RAF Type A1 roundel

Canadian Military Aircraft
Serial Numbers
RCAF 1000 to 9999
Rapid growth early in WW II,
to early postwar procurement

standard postwar RCAF roundel

 


back to main page

go to table

go to bottom of page


The serial numbers listed here are aircraft owned and operated by the RCAF, mostly within North America.  The 400 series squadrons that operated in Europe, the Mediterranean, and eventually in South-East Asia, used RAF owned, RAF numbered aircraft. These are covered in their own web page.

The early days of World War II

In the early years of World War Two, the RCAF expanded as fast as it could procure aircraft and train aircrew, as did most of the Allies. New aircraft came from the Canadian factories started in the 1920s and 30s, from American factories, and from the UK.  Civil aircraft were impressed in Canada, and purchased second hand from the US.  Many less successful British operational aircraft, like the Battle and the Anson, found their way to Canada, both new and second hand.  Similarly, less successful American types like the Douglas Digby (B-18 Bolo) and the Northrop Nomad (A-17) found a home in Canada. After taking over ten years to assign the first 1,000 RCAF serial numbers, serial number 10,000 was reached almost exactly 3 years later, when Bolingbroke number 10000 was delivered on 19 October 1942. Numbering continued with 5 digit serials from this point.

Starting with 1001, the four digit serials were generally assigned in blocks by aircraft types.  Gaps were sometimes left to accommodate future procurement, and some of these gaps would be filled in with other aircraft types at later dates.  Because of this, the relative age of aircraft from this period can only be roughly determined from relative serial numbers.  There does not appear to have been any deliberate attempt to mislead observers about procurement numbers by using this numbering method, unlike RAF serial number allocation at the same time.
 

The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and aircraft for export

The RCAF began to expand its own training facilities even before war was declared, and this would lead into the massive multi-national British Commonwealth Air Training Plan of 1940 to 1945.  The BCATP era is a gold mine for the serial number enthusiast.  Because of the multi-national funding, some aircraft were issued two or even three serial numbers - RCAF, RAF and USAAF.  Usually only one of these numbers would be physically marked on the aircraft.  RCAF schools operated RCAF owned aircraft with RCAF serials and RAF serials, and even a handful with USAAF serials.  The RAF also funded and operated schools in Canada, using RAF owned aircraft with RAF serials.  Outside of the BCATP, Canadian built aircraft were also operated at schools in the US, with USAAF serials.  Many Canadian built operational aircraft from this era, bound for the US, USSR, UK, Australia, and New Zealand, would also have multiple serial numbers assigned.  I hope to live long enough to sort this all out and include the results in these pages.

Defense of Canada

The home defense squadrons also grew rapidly, but not to the dramatic degree seen in  the training schools.  East coast squadrons were in action over the North Atlantic from September 1939 to May 1945, flying long hours in terrible weather, and scoring several successes.  On the west coast, bomber and fighter squadrons saw action in the Aleutians after the Japanese invasion, and against Japanese balloon bombs later in the war.  Early in the war, several home defense squadrons were moved to the UK, and would form the first 400 series squadrons on 1 March 1941.  The few Canadian numbered aircraft they took with them were soon transferred to the RAF, and for the rest of the war the RCAF overseas would use RAF owned aircraft.  A few long range transports and patrol aircraft were regular visitors to Europe, and one Eastern Air Command squadron, No. 162, operated Cansos briefly from Iceland and the UK, but otherwise most of the aircraft here never left North America.

Post war era

A few of these 4 digit aircraft survived the war and the mass sell-offs at the end of the war, and continued in RCAF service.  No less than 71 Dakotas and 53 Expeditors survived past February 1968, and were allocated Canadian Armed Forces serial numbers.  Many of these were in storage at this time, and it is not known if all these new numbers were physically marked on the aircraft.  A few 4 digit aircraft would be transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy in the post war era, retaining their RCAF serial number.  These are listed here under the original RCAF number., with the date of the change of ownership listed, when known.

Some blocks of numbers, in the 1000s, 3000s, 5000s, and the 9000s, were not completely used during the war. Some of these available numbers would be used for new procurement of transports, assault gliders, and helicopters from 1945 up to the 1960s. They are included in these lists for now.   Post war procurement is shown in italics in the table below.  Some postwar procurement recycled a few of the war time 4 and 5 digit serial numbers, and these are listed separately.  It should be noted that several aircraft  orders were canceled at the end of the war, particularly for Bolingbrokes and Cornells.  As a result, some of the serial numbers listed below were never actually marked on aircraft.  The last 4 digit serial numbers issued by the RCAF appear to be those of the de Havilland Canada Buffalos procured in the late 1960s.


The table below will connect you to two types of listings of these aircraft. The "Brief lists" present a minimum amount of information about as many aircraft as I can fit on a reasonably sized page. Use these lists to identify individual aircraft, or to quickly scan a large range of serials. The "Detailed lists" contain all the information currently in my database, and are broken into many more pages to keep the data manageable.

Brief lists

Detailed lists

Typical aircraft

1001 to 4999
3954 records
updated 30 September 2005

1001 to 1049
49 records
updated 13 May 2005

1050 to 1099
50 records
updated 13 May 2005

1100 to 1149
50 records
updated 20 May 2005

1150 to 1199
50 records
updated 27 May 2005

Finch, Kittyhawk, Tiger Moth

1200 to 1249
50 records
updated 27 May 2005

1250 to 1299
50 records
updated 3 June 2005

1300 to 1349
50 records
updated 11 April 2010

1350 to 1399
50 records
updated 18 April 2010

Tiger Moth, Crane, Battle, Harvard, Hurricane, Expeditor

1400 to 1449

50 records
updated 20 August 2005

1450 to 1499
50 records
updated 18 June 2005

1500 to 1549

50 records
updated 24 September 2011

1550 to 1599

50 records
updated 3 July 2005

Expeditor, Oxford, Electra, Lysander

1600 to 1649

50 records
updated 15 July 2005

1650 to 1699
50 records
updated 17 July 2005

1700 to 1749
50 records
updated 24 July 2005

1750 to 1799
50 records
updated 24 July 2005

Expeditor, Battle

1800 to 1849
50 records
updated 29 July 2005

1850 to 1899

50 records
updated 5 August 2005

1900 to 1949
50 records
updated 12 August 2005

1950 to 1999

50 records
updated 12 August 2005

Battle

2000 to 2049
50 records
updated 12 August 2005

2050 to 2099
50 records
updated 31 August 2005

2100 to 2149
50 records
updated 31 August 2005

2150 to 2199

50 records
updated 4 September 2005

Battle, Ventura

2200 to 2249

50 records
updated 11 September 2005

2250 to 2299

50 records
updated 11 September 2005

2300 to 2349
50 records
updated 16 September 2005

2350 to 2399
51 records
updated 16 September 2005

Ventura, Expeditor, Lysander

2400 to 2449
50 records
updated 23 September 2005

2450 to 2499
47 records
updated 23 September 2005

2500 to 2549
49 records
updated 30 September 2005

2550 to 2599
50 records
updated 30 September 2005

Lysander, Norseman, Harvard

2600 to 2649

50 records
updated 8 October 2005

2650 to 2699

50 records
updated 22 October 2005

2700 to 2749
50 records
updated 4 November 2005

2750 to 2799
50 records
updated 11 November 2005

Harvard

2800 to 2849
50 records
updated 11 November 2005

2850 to 2899
50 records
updated 11 November 2005

2900 to 2949
50 records
updated 25 November 2005

2950 to 2999
50 records
updated 25 November 2005

Harvard

3000 to 3049
50 records
updated 25 November 2005

3050 to 3099
50 records
updated 16 December 2005

3100 to 3149

50 records
updated 16 December 2005

3150 to 3199
50 records
updated 16 December 2005

Harvard

3200 to 3249
50 records
updated 20 January 2006

3250 to 3299

50 records
updated 29 January 2006

3300 to 3349
50 records
updated 29 January 2006

3350 to 3399

50 records
updated 10 February 2006

Harvard, NA-44, NA-26, Yale

3400 to 3449
50 records
updated 10 February 2006

3450 to 3499
50 records
updated 18 February 2006

3500 to 3549

43 records
updated 26 February 2006

3550 to 3599

50 records
updated 26 February 2006

Yale, Voyager, Nomad, Norseman, Fort, Anson, Harvard

3600 to 3649

50 records
updated 3 March 2006

3650 to 3699

50 records
updated 14 March 2006

3700 to 3749

45 records
updated 8 April 2006

3750 to 3799

39 records
updated 15 April 2006

Fort, Otter, Liberator, Harvard

3800 to 3849

50 records
updated 22 April 2006

3850 to 3899
50 records
updated 5 May 2006

3900 to 3949
50 records
updated 5 May 2006

3950 to 3999
42 records
updated 21 May 2006

Harvard, Tiger Moth

4000 to 4049

50 records
updated 21 May 2006

4050 to 4099

50 records
updated 27 May 2006

4100 to 4149

50 records
updated 27 May 2006

4150 to 4199
50 records
updated 2 June 2006

Crane, Tiger Moth

4200 to 4249
50 records
updated 2 June 2006

4250 to 4299
50 records
updated 11 June 2006

4300 to 4349
50 records
updated 16 June 2006

4350 to 4399

50 records
updated 15 August 2007

Tiger Moth

4400 to 4449
50 records
updated 15 August 2007

4450 to 4499

50 records
updated 23 June 2006

4500 to 4549
50 records
updated 30 June 2006

4550 to 4599
50 records
updated 30 June 2006

Tiger Moth, Finch

4600 to 4649
50 records
updated 7 July 2006

4650 to 4699
50 records
updated 7 July 2006

4700 to 4749
50 records
updated 14 July 2006

4750 to 4799
50 records
updated 14 July 2006

Finch

4800 to 4849
50 records
updated 22 July 2006

4850 to 4899

50 records
updated 22 July 2006

4900 to 4949
50 records
updated 15 September 2006

4950 to 4999
50 records
updated 15 September 2006

Finch, F-24R, Menasco Moth, Tiger Moth

5000 to 9999
4637 records
updated 9 October 2007

5000 to 5049

50 records
updated 14 November 2007

5050 to 5099
50 records
updated 16 November 2007

5100 to 5149
50 records
updated 6 January 2008

5150 to 5199
26 records
updated 6 January 2008

Tiger Moth

5200 to 5249

50 records
updated 4 February 2008

5250 to 5299

34 records
updated 12 February 2008

5300 to 5349

11 records
updated 25 March 2008

5350 to 5399
24 records
updated 13 January 2007

Mitchell, Comet, Caribou, Hurricane

5400 to 5449
50 records
updated 20 January 2007

5450 to 5499
50 records
updated 10 February 2007

5500 to 5549
50 records
updated 17 February 2007

5550 to 5599

50 records
updated 10 March 2007

Hurricane

5600 to 5649
51 records
updated 15 May 2007

5650 to 5699
50 records
updated 15 May 2007

5700 to 5799
76 records
updated 1 August 2007

Hurricane

5800 to 5849
50 records
updated 1 May 2008

5850 to 5899
50 records
updated 28 June 2008

5900 to 5949
50 records
updated 15 August 2008

5950 to 5999
50 records
updated 20 November 2008

Tiger Moth

6000 to 6049

49 records
updated 7 December 2008

6050 to 6099

50 records
updated 3 February 2009

6100 to 6149
50 records
updated 5 April  2009

6150 to 6199
50 records
updated 26 June  2009

Anson Mk. I

6200 to 6249
50 records
updated 21 November 2009

6250 to 6299

50 records
updated 29 November 2009

6300 to 6349
50 records
updated 2 May 2010

6350 to 6399
50 records
updated 22 August 2010

Anson Mk. I

6400 to 6449
50 records
updated 18 December 2010

6450 to 6499


50 records
updated 15 November 2011

6500 to 6549

50 records
updated 25 May 2012

6550 to 6599

50 records
updated 19 August 2012

Anson Mk. I

6600 to 6649
50 records
updated 30 October 2012

6650 to 6699

50 records
updated 4 January 2013

6700 to 6749

50 records
updated 27 January 2013

6750 to 6799

50 records
updated 19 February 2013

Anson Mk. I

6800 to 6849

50 records
updated 20 June 2013

6850 to 6899

50 records
updated 15 July 2013

6900 to 6949

50 records
updated 17 August 2013

6950 to 6999

50 records
updated 31 August 2013

Anson Mk. I

7000 to 7049
50 records
updated 20 September 2013

7050 to 7099


50 records
updated 27 October 2013

7100 to 7149


50 records
updated 13 November 2013

7150 to 7199


50 records
updated 14 December2013

Anson Mk. I and Mk. II

7200 to 7249


50 records
updated 5 January 2014

7250 to 7299


50 records
updated 22 January 2014

7300 to 7349

50 records
updated 15 February 2014

7350 to 7399


50 records
updated 18 March 2014

Anson Mk. II

7400 to 7449


50 records
updated 4 April 2014

7450 to 7499


50 records
updated 27 April 2014

7500 to 7549


50 records
updated 28 May 2014

7550 to 7599

50 records
updated 28 May 2014

Anson Mk. II

7600 to 7649


50 records
updated 14 September 2014

7650 to 7699

50 records
updated 30 August 2010

7700 to 7749
50 records
updated 30 August 2010

7750 to 7799
50 records
updated 6 September 2010

Anson Mk. II, second-hand civil aircraft, Crane Mk. I

7800 to 7849
50 records
updated 25 January 2011

7850 to 7899
50 records
updated 25 January 2011

7900 to 7949
50 records
updated 15 March 2011

7950 to 7999
50 records
updated 4 April 2011

Crane, second-hand civil aircraft

8000 to 8049
50 records
updated 1 May 2011

8050 to 8099
50 records
updated 26 June 2011

8100 to 8149
50 records
updated 26 July 2011

8150 to 8199

50 records
updated 26 July 2011

Crane

8200 to 8249

50 records
updated 30 August 2011

8250 to 8299

50 records
updated 27 October 2014

8300 to 8349

50 records
updated 20 November 2014

8350 to 8399

50 records
updated 12 January 2015

Crane, Anson Mk. II

8400 to 8449

50 records
updated 3 March 2015

8450 to 8499

50 records
updated 16 April 2015

8500 to 8549

50 records
updated 2 May 2015

8550 to 8599

50 records
updated 30 May 2015

Anson Mk. II

8600 to 8649

50 records
updated 25 June 2015

8650 to 8699

50 records
updated 29 October 2011

8700 to 8749

50 records
updated 22 November 2011

8750 to 8799

50 records
updated 28 December 2011

Anson, Expeditor, Crane

8800 to 8849
50 records
updated 26 January 2012

8850 to 8899

50 records
updated 11 February 2012

8900 to 8949

50 records
updated 7 June 2012

8950 to 8999


50 records
updated 5 October 2013

Crane, Tiger Moth

9000 to 9049
50 records
updated 10 February 2009

9050 to 9099

50 records
updated 10 April 2009

9100 to 9149
50 records
updated 5 July 2009

9150 to 9201
53 records
updated 11 December 2009

Crane, Bolingbroke

9202 to 9207

6 records
updated 12 August 2005

9221 to 9250

30 records
updated 28 July 2006

9251 to 9300

50 records
updated 5 August 2006

9301 to 9310

10 records
updated 13 October 2006

Flying Fortress, Mustang, Albatross

9401 to 9427

27 records
updated 29 July 2015

9451 to 9465
15 records
updated 4 February 2005

9500 to 9530

31 records
updated 31 October 2015

9551 to 9600

50 records
updated 19 August 2006

Otter, Buffalo, Crane and gliders, Mustangs

9601 to 9644

42 records
updated 7 January 2016

9645 to 9700

56 records
updated 6 March 2016

9701 to 9750
50 records
updated 21 September 2006

9751 to 9800

50 records
updated 10 October 2006

Helicopters, Tiger Moth and Freighter, Canso
Note: additional RCAF helicopters can be found on the post war RCAF serials page

9801 to 9844
44 records
updated 20 October 2006

9850 to 9899

50records
updated 5 May 2016

9900 to 9949

9950 to 10000

Canso, Bolingbroke

 

This data has come from a variety of sources, and may contain all sorts of errors. In the future, I will add a complete list of references. For now, some recent Internet references can be found at the links below.  I would welcome any corrections or additions you may have. Contact me using the link below.


To main page

to top of this page

contact me

Canadian Military Aircraft links

Serial Number Links

About the Author

The Project


2004-2016 by R. W. R. Walker      All rights reserved under the copyright laws.
This is an amateur site - please don't rely on any of this data for anything important!
Created 27 April 2004. Updated 5 May 2016.