The 415 Squadron WWII Exhibit
located at the GMAM, 14 Wing, Greenwood NS.
If you have ever had the opportunity to visit the Greenwood Military Aviation Museum (GMAM), you will have noticed that one of the exhibits showcases 415 Squadron activities that occurred during World War Two. This exhibit was greatly enhanced in 2012 by the edition of two new displays: a vingette that provides a summary of the Squadron’s changes throughout WWII; and a collection of artefacts that relate to a mission flown by Squadron Hampden crews against the Tripitz
The vignette was produced by Bert Campbell, a former navigator on 415, who through research acquired the necessary photographs and related historical facts to put together a short, snappy and eye catching summary of the Squadron throughout the war. With the assistance of the GMAM, a video screen was acquired and placed within the 415 Squadron WWII exhibit. This new display can be easily modified and updated should the Association acquire any additional poignant photos of that era.
The second display was developed by Robert Johnson, the manager of the GMAM, who has been a strong supporter of the 415 Squadron Association. The display was built to highlight a 415 mission flown in search of the Tripitz. The second of two Bismarck class battleships, the Tripitz was built for the German Kriegsmarine and named after Grand Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, the architect of the Imperial Navy. The ship was laid down at the Kriegsmarinewerft in Wilhelmshaven in November 1936 and launched in April 1939. Work was completed in February 1941, when she was commissioned into the German fleet. Tirpitz was armed with a main battery of eight 38-centimeter (15 in) guns in four twin turrets. After completing sea trials in early 1941, Tirpitz briefly served as the centerpiece of the Baltic Fleet, which was intended to prevent a breakout attempt by the Soviet Baltic Fleet. In early 1942, the ship sailed to Norway to act as a deterrent against an Allied invasion. While stationed in Norway,
Tirpitz could also be used to intercept Allied convoys to the Soviet Union. Tirpitz acted as a fleet in being, forcing the Royal Navy to retain significant naval forces in the area to contain the battleship. As part of this effort, on 28 Febraury 1943, an eight plane 415 Detachment was sent to RAF Tain, Scotland. From this airbase three major anti-shipping operations were conducted in March of that year. One of these missions was along the Norwegian coast with the goal of suppressing the movement and if necessary interdicting the “Tripitz”.
The display includes a scaled model of the Tripitz, photos of Handley Page Hampdens Mk 1, and a piece of the Tripitz chain. Of note 415 Squadron received the piece of chain at it’s 50th Anniversary Reunion held at CFB Greenwood in 1992. A visiting crew from No. 333 Squadron, a Norweigan P3C Squadron, presented the artefact on behalf of the RNoAF.
"Presented to the Canadian 415 Sqn by the Norwegian 333 Sqn at the Swordfish reunion September 1982. A link from the anchor chain of the German Battleship Tirpitz who operated in Norwegian waters during World War II. Attacked by bombers, submarines and U-5 midgets and finally sunk outside Tromso Norway on November 22nd 1944"
The 415 Squadron Association gratefully acknowledges the work of both Bert Campbell and Robert Johnson to assist in the preservation and recognition of the contribution made by the members of 415 Squadron to the security of Canada and our Allies.
President 415 Squadron Association
415 Squadron Association