Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Canadian Warplanes 3: The Second World War, Westland Lysander

Westland Lysander

Data current to 2 Oct 2019.

(RCAF Photo)

Westland Lysander Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. 416), Patricia Bay, 1 Nov 1941. 

The Lysander had excellent short take-off and landing (STOL) characteristics.  For a brief period in 1940, every available Hawker Hurricane fighter in Canada had been sent overseas to fight in the Battle of Britain.  This situation left the RCAF without a modern fighter aircraft at home in Canada.  Two RCAF Lysander-equipped squadrons which were supposed to convert to fighter aircraft but had none to convert to, were re-designated as operational fighter squadrons.  No. 111 Squadron, a Coastal Artillery Squadron which earlier had replaced its Avro trainers with Lysanders and been reclassified as an Army Co-operation Unit, was again reclassified as a fighter squadron – the only one on the Canadian west coast – in June 1940.  Lysander-equipped No. 118 Squadron was also re-designated as a fighter squadron.  The Lysander completely lacked the capability to operate in a fighter role, and neither squadron saw action as a fighter unit while equipped with Lysanders, but their designation as fighter squadrons did allow RCAF fighter pilots to work up at a critical time without having to wait for the arrival of true fighter aircraft.  No. 118 Squadron was disbanded in September 1940, and when it reformed in December 1940, still as a fighter squadron, it was equipped with 15 obsolete Grumman Goblin fighters produced by Canadian Car and Foundry. Both No. 111 and No. 118 Squadrons soon re-equipped with the Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk, bringing the brief service of Lysanders in fighter squadrons to an end.  The aircraft was invaluable at landing behind enemy lines and rescuing downed pilots, POW or the resistance.  (David Lynn Courtney)

Westland Lysander Mk. II (76), (Serial Nos. 416-490, 700), Mk. IIIA (150), (Serial Nos. 2305-2454), Mk. IIIT (103), (Serial Nos. 1536-1592, V9281, V9290, V9301, V9312, V9315, V9318, V9320, V9323, V9324, V9347, V9351, V9365, V9370, V9371, V9378, V9383, V9386, V9407, V9409, V9413, V9417, V9423, V9442, V9443, V9449, V9486, V9502, V9504, V9508, V9519, V9520, V9526, V9553, V9556, V9570, V9577, V9589, V9607, V9642, V9651, V9676, V9678, V9712, V9716, V9733, V9739), for a total of 329 aircraft.

 (DND Photo)

Westland Lysander  . Mk. III, RCAF (Serial No. 1557).  This aircraft is painted in distinctive yellow and black stripes indicating its role as a target towing aircraft.  The aircraft was built by Westland Aircraft Limited at Yeovil, Somerset as a Lysander Mk. IIIA.  It became a United Kingdom contribution to the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and allocated  RAF (Serial No. V9358).  After being shipped to Canada, this Lysander was assembled by Fleet Aircraft Limited at Crumlin Airport Ontario, better known today as London International Airport.  It was taken on strength with the RCAF on 27 Jan 1942 and re-serialed as 1557.  The aircraft was later stored in reserve with No. 1 Training Command.  Lysander 1557 was converted to the target towing configuration on 24 Oct 1942 and re-designated as a Lysander . Mk. III.  It was transferred to Western Air Command`s No. 3 Operational Training Unit at R.C.A.F. Station Patricia Bay, British Columbia on 8 April 1943.  Lysander 1557 was struck off stength with the RCAF on 21 July 1946.  (DND Data courtesy of Chris Charland)

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3560836)

Westland Lysander Mk. IIT RCAF (Serial No. 1557), target tug, No.3 Operational Training Unit (RCAF Schools and Training Units), Patricia Bay, 14 Feb 1944. 

 (City of Vancouver Archives Photo, AM640-S1-: CVA 260-1358)

Westland Lysander Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. 424), Vancouver, British Columbia, 23 Dec 1939.

 (Greenwood Military Aviation Museum) 

Westland Lysander Mk. IIIA, RCAF (Serial No. 2305).  This was the first Canadian production Lysander target tug.  Note how the under-wing "2305" changes colours to contrast the target tow paint scheme.

(Library and Archives Canada, MIKAN No. 3574048)

Westland Lysander Mk. II, No. 110 (AC) Sqn, RCAF, Rockcliffe, Ontario, 18 Jan 1940.

 (Library and Archives Canada, MIKAN No. 3577669)

Westland Lysander Mk. II armament,  No. 110 (AC) Sqn, RCAF, Rockcliffe, Ontario, 31 May 1941.  

(Library and Archives Canada, MIKAN No. 3574047)

Westland Lysander Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. 430), No. 110 (AC) Squadron, Rockcliffe, Ontario, 8 Jan 1940.  

 (IWM Photo, CH 2414)

Crews of RCAF No. 400 Squadron run to their Westland Lysander aircraft during an exercise at RAF Odiham, England, 1941.  

  (RAF Photo)

Westland Lysander Mk. II, RAF (Serial No. N1256) in flight, ca 1941. 

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3642473)

Westland Lysander II, RCAF (Serial Nos. 418, 419, 420), No. 110 Sqn, Rockcliffe, Ontario, Jan 1940. 

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3521023)

Westland Lysander Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. 421), No. 110 Squadron. 

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3203502(

Westland Lysander Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. 421), No. 110 Squadron. 

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3521027)

Westland Lysander Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. 421), No. 110 Sqn.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 34975614)

Westland Lysander Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. 421), No. 110 Sqn.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3581569)

Westland Lysander Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. 427).

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583638)

Westland Lysander Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. 436), 15 May 1940. 

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3582866)

Westland Lysander Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. 459), on skis. 

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3643693)

Westland Lysander Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. 459), on skis. 

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3581921)

Westland Lysander Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. 473). 

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3581581)

Westland Lysander Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. 429), Lewis Gunner. 

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3203502)

Westland Lysander Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. 421), No. 2 Squadron.  

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3581920)

Westland Lysander Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. 479), Rockcliffe, Ontario, 1941. 

 (RCAF Photo)

Westland Lysander Mk. IIIA, RCAF (Serial No. 2307), painted with target towing recognition stripes, ca.1941.  

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4327614)

Westland Lysander Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. 425) and (Serial No. 426), No. 111 Coastal Artillery Co-operation (CAC) Squadron at RCAF Station Patricia Bay, British Columbia, being bombed up, 30 Aug 1940.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4327614)

Westland Lysander Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. 426), No. 110 Coastal Artillery Co-operation (CAC) Squadron.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3651083)

Westland Lysander Mk. II, RCAF (Serial No. 429). 

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3726442)

Westland Lysander Mk. II, RCAF, caring four stores containers, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

 (RCAF Photo via Fred Paradie)

 (RCAF Photo via Fred Paradie)

 (RCAF Photo via Fred Paradie)

Westland Lysander Mk. III, RCAF (Serial No. 1589), ex RAF (Serial No. V9415).  This aircraft was taken on strength 17 Feb 1942, converted to a Target Tug on 29 January 1943 and struck off strength in 1946.  It was transferred to the National Aeronautical Collection and partially restored in Canada.  In the late 1960s it was transferred to India and is currently on static display at the Indian Air Force Museum in Palam, Delhi.  In its place, the Indian Air Force donated the Consolidated (Vultee) B-24L Liberator GR Mk. VIII, RCAF (Serial No. 11130), (5009), HE773, ex-USAAF (44-50154), ex-Indian Air Force, now preserved in the Canada Air and Space Museum, Ottawa, Ontario.

 (Author Photo)

Westland Lysander Mk. III, RCAF (Serial No. 2374), painted as (Serial No. R9003).