Another request from Steve Nickerson

Hello Pierre,

I’m seeking information on the Spitfire Mk IX known as ‘CANADIAN PACIFIC’.
I know that S/L Syd Ford flew this fighter and claimed four aerial victories during the months of February to April 1943. However, I would like to know the history of this fighter and the squadron letters and serial number the aircraft wore when Ford flew it 1943.

Thank you for all the hard work you have done during the past countless years keeping the memory of the 403 and all its members alive for this generation and future generations to read about.
We will remember them.


Steve had already requested some information about Squadron Leader Ford.

Click here.


13 thoughts on “Another request from Steve Nickerson

  1. Information 1 : found at :
    Spitfire Mk. IX, s/n BS474 Canadian Pacific I No. 403 ‘Wolf’ (F) Squadron KH-L
    Spitfire Mk. IX, s/n BS430 Canadian Pacific I No. 402 ‘City of Winnipeg’ (F) Squadron AE-N
    Spitfire Mk. Vb, s/n BL258 Canadian Pacific I No. 401 ‘Ram’ (F) Squadron
    Spitfire Mk. Vb, s/n EP288 Canadian Pacific II No. 402 ‘City of Winnipeg’ (F) Squadron

    My comment : according to the fact that you’re looking for a Mk IX, the first two Spifires could match. But according to another source (, Spitfire code KH-L was s/n BS148 !!
    Information 2 : found at :
    BS430 Supermarine Spitfire F. Mk. IX
    First flight on 31 August 1942. Delivered new to No. 402 (F) Squadron, RCAF on 1 September 1942, coded « AE*N ». Category AC damage in a flying accident on 25 January 1943, repaired on site. With No. 416 (F) Squadron, RCAF, from 23 March 1943, coded « DN*N ». Was flown by S/L F.H. Boulton on 18 sorties with 416 Sdn., claimed 1 Bf 109 and 3 Fw 190s destroyed on these missions. Lost on Ramrod 71 on 13 May 1943, struck by flak. S/L F.H. Boulton PoW, repatriated in October 1943 due to wounds. May have been named « Canadian Pacific », conflicting reports.
    BS474 Supermarine Spitfire Mk. V
    First flight on 3 October 1942. Named « Canadian Pacific I ». With No. 401 (F) Squadron, RCAF from 8 October 1942. To No. 403 (F) Squadron, RCAF on 25 January 1943. Category AC damage on operations on 17 June 1943. Repaired on site. Left this unit by March 1944. Survived the war, became training aid in 1946.
    BS148 Supermarine Spitfire F. Mk. IX
    Delivered new to No. 402 (F) Squadron, RCAF on 26 August 1942. Left this unit by September 1942. To No. 403 (F) Squadron, RCAF on 29 March 1943, left this unit by April 1943.
    My comment : according to this source, only the BS430 was a Mk IX, not the BS474. But S/L Syd Ford is not mentionned..
    Information 3 : found at :
    Victories Include :
    27 Sept 1941, 1/2 Bf.109 damaged (Hurricane Z3349,
    19 August 1942, two FW.190 destroyed (Spitfire BM344);
    15 February 1943, one FW.190 damaged (Spitfire BS474);
    27 February 1943; one FW.190 destroyed (BS474) plus
    one FW.190 damaged (BS474);
    13 March 1943, one FW.190 destroyed (BS474);
    3 April 1943, one FW.190 destroyed (BS474);
    4 April 1943, one FW.190 destroyed (BS474).

    My comment : it seems that Sid Ford claimed 4 destroyed and 2 damaged FW 190 with Spitfire BS474

  2. Pierre, does Steve have any idea what Squadron Syd Ford was flying with when he flew ‘Canadian Pacific’

    Pat Murphy

  3. BS474 arrived at 403 Squadron on January 25th 1944. It was sent to Air Training Service for repairs or mods on March 28th 1944. BS128 arrived on March 28th 1944 and it is possible that it got the code « KH-L » and that BS474 was assigned another code when it returned to the unit a few days later.

  4. Wing Commander Leslie Sidney Ford – pilot of 402 Squadron’s Spitfire AA980

    Leslie Sidney Ford was born at Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 30th December 1919  the son of Dr. Theodore Rupert Ford & Margaret Irene Ford, of Shelburne, Nova Scotia.  He attended Acadia University for three years.

    Sid Ford enlisted in the RCAF at Halifax 21 January 1940 and was awarded his wings on 28th January 1941.

    Sid Ford (right) with his Nova Scotia mate Flight Lieutenant Patrick O’Leary who was shot down by Fw190s off Dunkirk on 27th February 1943

    He returned to 403 Squadron as “B” Flight Commander, 19 July 1942; and became Commanding Officer on 13 August 1942.

    On 19 April 1943 Sid was posted to RAF Digby as the Wing Commander of 402 City of Winnipeg Squadron.

    News report – April 29th 1943.  Leslie Ford, of Liverpool, N.S., has been promoted from the rank of squadron leader to that of wing commander, becoming the first graduate of the combined (air) training organization to attain that rank, it was announced Wednesday. The flyer already has won the Distinguished Flying Cross and bar for exploits which includes the sinking of an enemy destroyer and the destruction of six enemy aircraft.

    The 23 year old was killed in action on 4 June 1943 with four other pilots of 402 Squadron while flying Spitfire – AA 980. After attacking three E-boats off the Dutch coast he was shot down into the sea and is buried at Vlieland Cemetery.

    403 Squadron (RCAF) Wolf Squadron – Squadron Code KH-Z

    The squadron served in RAF Fighter Command and Second Tactical Air Force for over four years. By May 1945, the squadron had a record of 123 enemy aircraft destroyed, with a share in seven more, 10 probably destroyed and 72 damaged with a share in one more.

    An equally impressive number of ground targets had been destroyed or damaged including 30 tanks, 50 locomotives and nearly 100 other vehicles. Sixteen Distinguished Flying Crosses (DFC), four DFC with Bar and one Military Medal were awarded to members of the Squadron, in addition to a number of Mentions in Despatch. It was the top-scoring fighter squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force. During 1943 it out-topped all other Spitfire squadrons in Fighter Command with the exception of one Norwegian unit.

    Like many other units, the price the “Wolf” Squadron was to pay in lives and aircraft was high. Eighty-five aircraft were destroyed and a total of 76 pilots were reported missing. Of these, four were killed, 39 presumed dead, 21 captured, nine successfully evaded capture.

  5. I wish to thank Pierre Lagace, John Engelsted, Benoit Paquet, and Pat Murphy for taking the time and finding the answer to my question on Canadian Pacific.

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