The RCAF 435/436 Squadron - Our C119's History

This is for information and updates on the restoration of the C-119 "Flying Box Car"

The RCAF 435/436 Squadron - Our C119's History

Postby Dave Kolchuk » 12 Jun 2012 12:26

These are the roots of our C119G, RCAF 22103 in it's early days. We hope you'll find it interesting.


435 Transport Squadron History.
435 Squadron was formed in Gujrat, India in November 1944. The Squadron provided airlift support, using the famous C-47 Dakota Aircraft, throughout the Burma Campaign of 1944-45. Since that time, the Squadron has operated Dakotas, C-119 Boxcars, and C-130 Hercules in many roles including Strategic and Tactical Airlift, Search and Rescue (SAR), and Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR). Following WWII, the squadron was based in Edmonton, Alberta. In 1994, 435 Squadron moved to its current location, 17 Wing Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The Burma Years.
435 Transport Squadron was formed as a Royal Canadian Air Force unit on November 1st, 1944, at Gujrat, Punjab, India. At the time, the Squadron flew Dakota Aircraft in support of the British Fourteenth Army in Northern Burma.

While operating in the Far East, the squadron completed 15,681 sorties (missions). During these sorties, the crews moved 27,460 tons of freight, 14,000 passengers and suffered 851 casualties. Four Aircraft were lost and 21 airmen injured. Of the 21, eight were killed, five were wounded, and eight were missing. In 1996, the remains of the KN 563 crew, missing in action since June 21st, 1945, were recovered from the Burmese jungle in December 1996.

Following the Second World War, on April 1, 1946, 435 Squadron was disbanded at Down Ampney, Gloucestershire, England. It was reformed later in that same year at Edmonton Municipal Airport in Edmonton, Alberta on August 1st, 1946. Still flying Dakota airplanes, the squadron's peacetime mission was to ensure Western Canada air transport as well as to support parachute training at Rivers, Manitoba. In 1952, the squadron was equipped with the Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar. Due to its larger cargo capacity, greater range, and ease of loading, the Boxcar played an essential role in opening up one of Canada's last frontiers: the Arctic. In addition, 435 Squadron and its Boxcars were instrumental in the airlift of the United Nations Emergency Force from Italy to Egypt in the fall and winter of 1956-57.

In 1955, the squadron moved to the Namao airfield just north of Edmonton where it would remain until 1994.
The first of the Lockheed C-130 'B' model Hercules Aircraft arrived in 1960. Once again, the squadron had an aircraft more capable than the last. The squadron exchanged its 'B' models for the newer 'E' models in 1966. From 1973 to 1992, the newer 'H' model Hercules were purchased to supplement the older 'E' models in the fleet. In the summer of 1994, 435 Squadron was relocated to Winnipeg after having spent 48 years in Edmonton.

Motto: CERTI PROVEHENDI (Determined to deliver)
Badge: A Chinthe on a plinth
Battle Honours: Burma 1944-1945

435 has flown the following aircraft: Douglas CC-129 (DC-3) Dakota, Fairchild CC-119 Flying Boxcar, Lockheed CC-130 Hercules.

(Editor's Note:)This is our aircraft C119 22103 in the background. We need to research it's history from that era.

436 Transport Squadron History
436 Transport Squadron was assembled in Gujrat, India on 9 October 1944. Equipped with the C-47 Dakota (DC-3), the Squadron`s primary task was that of supplying troops and material to the Allied 14th Army in Burma.

Belonging to 229 Group, 436 Sqn was part of a RAF-USAF-RCAF force known as "the Combat Cargo Task Force". On 31 August 1945 following cessation of hostilities, the squadron was relocated to Down Ampney, Glouchestershire in the UK. after having logged 32,000 flight hours and airlifting over 29,000 tons of supplies and 15,000 troops, casualties, and passengers.
Following ten months of transport work in post-war Europe, the Squadron flew home to Canada and was subsequently disbanded on 22 June 1946.

Increased Canadian post-war involvement in NATO and the United Nations necessitated an increase in RCAF transport ability and 436 Squadron was reformed at RCAF Station Dorval, Quebec, on 1 April 1953. Flying the C-119 Boxcar, the Squadron embarked on what would become a long tradition of support to the Army in the para-drop mission, international humanitarian aid, support to NATO and the U.N., and the life-line to remote bases and outposts in the Canadian Arctic.

Following a hanger fire at Dorval, the Squadron moved to RCAF Station Downsview in Toronto in 1956. In 1964, the Squadron was once again on the move to Canadian Forces Base Uplands in Ottawa and re-equipped with its present aircraft, the C-130 Hercules. Finally, in 1971, 436 Squadron moved to their present home on the shores of Lake Ontario at Canadian Forces Base Trenton.

436 (Transport) Squadron has participated in every major airlift operation that the Canadian Forces have been involved in for the past 60 years. Today, as in the fifties, the Squadron`s two primary tasks remain tactical transport / airdrop support of the army, and global strategic airlift of personnel and equipment in support of Canada`s defence commitments.

Motto: ONUS PORTAMUS (We carry the load)
Badge: An elephant's head couped carrying a log
Battle Honours: Burma 1945

436 has flown the following aircraft: Douglas CC-129 (DC-3) Dakota, Fairchild CC-119 Flying Boxcar, Lockheed CC-130 Hercules.
Last edited by Dave Kolchuk on 27 Oct 2014 20:18, edited 2 times in total.
Dave Kolchuk
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Re: The RCAF 435/436 Squadron - Our C119's History

Postby Tom Kwiatkowski Sr. » 12 Jun 2012 13:08

Excellent Dave, Thanks for sharing.

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