415 Squadron Association
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415 SQUADRON 80TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
The year 2021 marked the 80th anniversary of the formation of 415 Squadron. The squadron was stood up on 20 August 1941 at Royal Air Force (RAF) Station Thorney Island on the English south coast. It was the fourth Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) squadron assigned to RAF Coastal Command and Canada’s first Torpedo Bombing squadron.
In 2018 there were initial discussions between 415 Squadron and the 415 Squadron Association on how best to celebrate the 80th Anniversary. A number of proposals were considered and a reunion was envisioned for the May-June timeframe of 2021. Unfortunately with the onset of the COVID pandemic and the growing number of related restrictions, it became clear that a reunion would not be possible. By early 2021 it was determined that a smaller celebration might be possible in the late fall. To this end the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick LeBlanc, scheduled an Anniversary Mixed Dinner to be held on 28 October 2021. Despite ongoing COVID restrictions and many operational challenges this special event took place in Greenwood, Nova Scotia.
Bernie Thorne, a former 415 Commanding Officer and member of the 415 Squadron Association, attended the Anniversary Mixed Dinner and provided the following report - “415 Squadron held a mixed dining in on 28 October to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Squadron formation. The Commanding Officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick (Panda) Leblanc graciously welcomed retired Swordfish as well as the lodgers working with the squadron (434 Sqn and the Block 4 Implementation Flight). Capt Jennifer Bass organized a wonderful evening, decorating the room beautifully, and sourcing catering from a favorite restaurant in Middleton. Wine at the tables, wonderful food (my selected main of roast pork belly was delicious), desserts, and lots of good cheer were had even following all the prescribed COVID rules for Nova Scotia. Major (Ret’d) Rick Anscomb showed up in full mess regalia and was awarded the CO’s nod for best turned out on parade. Honorary Colonel Sandra Snow, mayor of Kentville, and Maj Keith Fugger, CO 415 Sqn designate, also came to be with the Swordfish. In these days of less social interaction, it was wonderful to see friendly faces in good cheer; I can hardly wait for the next chance to be together again. “
We all hope that the pandemic will soon abate and once more allow opportunities to celebrate the rich history of 415 Squadron and its recent long range patrol force development successes, as well as, the current serving members, who continue to serve with honour and devotion. AD METAM