Every Royal Canadian Air Force squadron based in the United Kingdom was involved in supporting Operation Neptune / Overlord. The RCAF was involved for several months in bombing key enemy targets in the invasion area: roads, bridges, railways, airfields, and command and communications centres. Before H-Hour on D-Day, RCAF Lancasters of No. 6 Bomber Group dropped thousands of tons of bombs on German coastal defences.

Hawker Typhoon - 438 squadronThere were many Canadian pilots in the RAF, but all RCAF fighter squadrons were assigned to 83 Group which worked closely with the Anglo-Canadian invasion forces. A day-fighter wing consisted of three squadrons of 18 aircraft, 39 officers and 743 other ranks. RCAF squadrons in 83 Group were assigned to the 126, 127, 143 and 144 Canadian fighter wings. The 143 wing flew the Typhoon IB fighter-bomber while the other three flew the Spitfire IXB. The Typhoons could carry two 500 lb or 1,000 lb bombs to provide direct support to the ground forces.

Spitfire - 401 squadronCanadian fighter pilots fought the Luftwaffe and helped achieve Allied air superiority over the bridgehead. Fighter squadrons escorted invading troops and attacked German ground positions. Later, as ground forces forged ahead, air superiority was easily maintained over an area that now reached some 100 km behind enemy lines. Allied ground forces could then move freely while German troops, whether they used roads or railways, or moved across fields could not do so without being targeted by RAF and RCAF fighters.

Canadian and British squadrons demonstrated the meaning of air superiority to the soldiers fighting through the Atlantic Wall. When more than a dozen Ju 88s tried to break through to bomb the beaches, pilots of 401 Ram Squadron destroyed six and forced the remainder to flee.

No. 438 Squadron was assigned the task of dive bombing two concrete block houses overlooking the beach on which the 50th British Division was to land tanks. This operation had to be performed just as the tanks landing craft lowered their ramps.

The first Allied planes to operate from French soil since 1940, RCAF squadrons No. 441, 442, and 443 continued to ravage enemy columns and support offensives throughout the Normandy campaign, helping to tilt the tactical balance in the Allies' favour.

Royal Canadian Air Force Squadrons
2nd Tactical Airforce - 83 Group
- 126 Wing - 401, 411, 412 Squadrons
- 127 Wing - 403, 416, 421 Squadrons
- 144 Wing - 441, 442, 443 Squadrons
- 143 Wing - 438, 439, 440 Squadrons
- 39(R) Wing - 414, 430 Squadrons
2nd Tactical Airforce - 85 Group
- 409, 410 Squadrons
Fighter Command - 10 Group
- 406 Squadron
Fighter Command - 11 Group
- 402, 418 Squadrons
Bomber Command - 6 (RCAF) Group
- 408, 419, 420, 424, 425, 426, 427, 428, 429, 431, 432, 433, 434 Squadrons
Bomber Command - 8 (P.F.F.) Group
- 405 Squadron
Coastal Command
- 423, 415, 404, 407 Squadrons



A massive armada of 5,300 Allied vessels put to sea on D-Day. Canada's contribution to the Operation Neptune, the naval part of Overlord, was 109 ships and 10,000 men - 4 percent of the total naval strength. The navy transported the assault troops and then ensured the continued flow of more troops, ammunition, equipment and supplies.

RCN - Canadian Flower-class CorvetteFar in front of the armada were the minesweepers. There were sixteen Canadian minesweepers including the Canso, Caraquet, Thunder, Vegreville and Wasaga that performed the crucial task of clearing a safe route across the English Channel. The destroyers Algonquin and Sioux bombarded the enemy defences and provided fire support for the ground attacks.

The landing ships Prince Henry and Prince David carried fourteen assault landing craft to Juno Beach. Twenty-six landing craft infantry (LCI) transported second wave troops. Canadian motor torpedo boats patrolled the Seine estuary. Many other corvettes and frigates escorted landing craft and patrolled the convoy routes. RCN flotillas of landing craft transported infantry and tanks to shore and provided additional fire support for them.

Destroyers (V Class)
HMCS Algonquin
HMCS Sioux

Tribal Class Destroyers
HMCS Haida
HMCS Huron
HMCS Iroquois
HMCS Athabaskan (sunk April 29/44 while on minelaying mission in preparation for D-Day)

HMCS Assiniboine
HMCS Chaudiere
HMCS Gatineau
HMCS Kootenay
HMCS Ottawa
HMCS Qu’Appelle
HMCS Saskatchewan
HMCS Skeena
HMCS St Laurent
HMCS Restigouche

HMCS Caraquet
HMCS Canso
HMCS Bayfield
HMCS Blairmore
HMCS Cowichan
HMCS Fort William
HMCS Georgian
HMCS Guysborough
HMCS Kenora
HMCS Malpeque
HMCS Milltown
HMCS Minas
HMCS Mulgrave
HMCS Thunder
HMCS Vegreville
HMCS Wasaga

HMCS Cape Breton
HMCS Matane
HMCS New Waterford
HMCS Outremont
HMCS Port Colborne
HMCS Stormont
HMCS Saint John
HMCS Swamsea
HMCS Waskesiu

HMCS Alberni
HMCS Baddeck
HMCS Calgary
HMCS Camrose
HMCS Drumheller
HMCS Kitchener
HMCS Lindsay
HMCS Lunenburg
HMCS Mayflower
HMCS Mimico
HMCS Moosejaw
HMCS Rimouski
HMCS Port Arthur
HMCS Prescott
HMCS Regina
HMCS Summerside
HMCS Rimouski
HMCS Trentonian
HMCS Woodstock

Motor Torpedo Boats
29th MTB Flotilla
MTB459, MTB460, MTB461, MTB462, MTB463, MTB464, MTB465, MTB466,
65th MTB Flotilla
MTB726, MTB727, MTB735, MTB743, MTB746, MTB745, MTB748

Assault Forces
Landing Ships, Infantry

HMCS Prince Henry
528th LCA Flotilla
LCA856, LCA1372, LCA736, LCA1033, LCA850, LCA1021, LCA925, LCA1371
HMCS Prince David
529th LCA Flotilla
LCA1150, LCA1375, LCA1059, LCA1151, LCA1138, LCA1137

Landing Craft Infantry, Large
260th LCI Flotilla
LCI117, LCI121, LCI166, LCI177, LCI249, LCI266, LCI271, LCI277, LCI285, LCI298, LCI301,
262nd LCI Flotilla
LCI115, LCI118, LCI125, LCI135, LCI250, LCI252, LCI262, LCI263, LCI270, LCI276, LCI299,
264th LCI Flotilla
LCI255, LCI288, LCI295, LCI302, LCI305, LCI310, LCI311