INDEX OF NAVAL AIRCRAFT
Fleet Air Arm history
Total FAA 1939-1945 192
First delivered to RN: Entered Service: 28.8.1938
First squadron 1939-1945: 800 sqdn 10.1938
Operational squadron: 800 sqdn 10.1938
Last served with RN 1944/45 (front-line in 1941)
2 Protypes (K5178, K5179)
Dld 2.37 from Brough to A&AEE 6.1937 for Performance trials.
End 9.39 ditching trials from HMS Pegasus.
190 ordered 7.36 under contract No 534298/36 to specification 25/36.
First RN Entered Service: 28.8.1938. To 9.1938 to A&AEE for electrical, oil, diving and night flying (L2867)
First sqdn: 800 sqdn 10.38 L2869
First op: 803 sqdn ĎA7Mí FTR from attack on U-30 off Rockall Bank 14.9.39 Lt
Griffiths RM POW and PO J Simpson killed.
End RN 8.44 L3045 776 sqdn Speke Woodvale, 776 sqdn 10.44 L3040, 3.45 to 776 sqdn L3034
Just after the commencement of War, on 14 September 1939 Skua L28723 'A7M' of 803 squadron and flown by Lt GBK Griffiths RM and PO J Simpsin were involved in one of the first attacks of the war on a German U-Boat, U-30, off Rockall Bank. However, it was not very successful and the aircraft failed to return and the pilot, Lt Griffiths was taken POW and PO Simpsin killed.
Just over a week later, on 26 September 1939 a Skua of 803 squadron of HMS Ark Royal piloted by Lt BS McEwen and PO BM Seymour, along with another piloted by Lt CLG Evans and Lt WA Robertson, shot down the first enemy aircraft of the war, a German Do18 which fell in the sea, its crew subsequently being picked up by HMS Somali.
Hostilities did not heat up again until 1940, a period where the Skua is more known for its dive-bomber role. At dawn on 10 April 1940, 16 Skua aircraft from the 800 and 803 squadrons flying from Hatston in the Orkneys sank the German cruiser Konigsberg in Bergen harbour. Eleven days later most of the Skuas were destroyed after an attack at Narvik.
Mild success occurred immediately after that on 28 April 1940, when Skua L3000 of 800 squadron, flown by Lt GED Finch-Noyes and PO HG Cunningham, shot down a German He111 over Convoy TM1. The kill was shared with Skuas L2934 and A6G.
On 13 June 1940, calamity again occurred when 800 squadron (HMS Ark Royal) was involved in dive bombing the German Capital ship Scharnhorst at Trondheim, during which many of the aircraft were shot down by Bf109s of II/JG77, Stornfjord, Fosen and even the Commanding Officer Capt RT Partridge RM flying Skua L2995 was lost. He was taken PoW and Lt RS Bostock killed.
The Skua was again in combat the following month during the Dunkirk evacuation. On 31 May 1940, a Skua flown by Mid RMS Martin and NA R Hedger from 801 squadron at Detling, it took part in combat with Bf109s ovcer Dunkirk, both crew were wounded.
On 24 September 1940 Skua "A7K' of 803 squadron of HMS Ark Royal took part in the Operation Menace attack on French warships at Dakar. It led an attack on French Curtiss Hawk 75s, but was hit by HA fire, and force landed. The crew were recovered by HMS Forester.
Then on 27 November, 1940, Skua L3015 "6F' from 800 squadron on HMS Ark Royal, flown by Lt JA Pooper and Sub Lt GR Woolston along with Skuas shared L2900, L3007, and L3017, took part in a divebombing attack on Monte Cuccioli, and on its return shot down an Italian Ro43 in the sea in flames off Sardinia.
There are only two known partially preserved Skua in the world, at the Fleet Air Arm Museum (UK). It is a Skua forward cockpit section of Skua II L2940 that crash landed in Norway during World War II. The nose-art is exactly the way it was depicted on Skua L2963. Restoration and reconstruction of the cockpit section of a Blackburn Skua, undertaken by the Fleet Air Arm Museum (UK) in cooperation with Norsk Luftfartsmuseum, Bodø
In Norway, the wreck of Skua L2910 of 803 sqdn flown by Lt LA Harris
RM and Lt JHR Medlicott-Vereker in May 1940 was raised from Rombaksfjorden
a few years ago, and a large amount of spare parts have also been collected
by the Norsk Luftfartsmuseum, Bodø. They plan to commence with the
construction of the centre section of the Skua as son as the necessary
materials arrive in Bodø. The cockpit section is on loan
to the War Memorial Museum in Narvik and had been reconstructed for exhibition purposes.