Elsewhere

Canadian airmen also took part in other air operations in other parts of the world. At one time or another seven RCAF units served in Coastal Command where they were continuously employed in the campaign against the U-boats, escorting convoys and searching the seas from Iceland to Gibraltar. One squadron stationed in northern Scotland and the Shetland Isles served as a coastal fighter unit. It carried out reconnaissance and escort missions across the North Sea to the coast of Norway. Later it became a strike unit attacking enemy shipping from the coast of Norway to the ports of southern France. Another squadron made daring attacks on enemy shipping off the Frisian Islands and the Dutch coast.

In the Mediterranean theatre Canadians assisted in the vital task of keeping Malta out of enemy hands and preventing the whole Mediterranean from falling under Axis domination. One out of every four Allied pilots who flew in the Battle of Malta was Canadian.

An RCAF squadron flying with the Desert Air Force from Egypt took part in the bombing of northern Italy, protected Alexandria and covered the Allied invasion of Sicily and Italy. Three other RCAF squadrons were sent to the Mediterranean to assist in the invasion of Italy and Sicily in June 1943. Based in Tunisia, they made almost nightly attacks on harbours, freight yards and rail junctions in preparation for the invasion.

A squadron of the RCAF was part of the Southeast Asia Air Command which patrolled the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf from late 1941 until late 1944. It was, in fact, a Canadian aircraft which noticed a Japanese fleet approaching Ceylon and, although shot down, sent a warning message which enabled the island's defences to be manned in time.

Two RCAF transport squadrons were also sent to Southeast Asia in 1944 to drop supplies by parachute into dense jungle and carry freight, casualties and other passengers. These unarmed squadrons encountered intense Japanese ground fire, and were, on one occasion, attacked by enemy fighters.

The air force that had started the war 3,100 strong, ended it with a roll call of 249,624. A total of 17,100 gave their lives in the service of their country.

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