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409 Squadron RCAF: The Nighthawks

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W/C R. F. HATTON

A Canadian, W/C Hatton joined the RAF in 1937. Commissioned as a pilot he served the early years of his service career as a staff pilot. In 1941 he joined 85 Squadron one of the top scoring night fighter Squadron's in the United Kingdom. His outstanding qualifications quickly earned him recognition and he was made a Flight Commander, a post he held until the completion of his first tour.

Joining 409 Squadron as a Flight Commander in July 1944 he was soon called upon to assume temporary command of the Squadron when the late W/C Beveridge went missing. During this time he moved the Squadron into Belgium on the heels of the Allied armies.

His leadership and flying ability made him the logical successor to W/C Somer- ville when the latter became tour expired, and in March 1945 he was appointed CO of the Squadron. It was under his command that the Squadron crossed the Rhine and became the first Nightfighter Unit to operate from an airfield in Germany.