HMS DAEDALUS
HERITAGE:
Post War, 1940s

 
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Preserved Firefly in the markings of 812 squadron in the Korean War

 
Post war HMS Daedalus

After the end of the war, HMS Daedalus continued to play an important role as the Fleet Air Arm barracks as well as home for the Fleet Air Arm Field Gun Crew. The Korean War, Suez, Aden, and the Indonesian troubles kept the establishment busy. However, the advent of the Scimitar and larger aircraft made Daedalus unsuitable for front line flying and the station became the centre of command and technical excellence. HMS Daedalus's wartime operational flying gave way to a developing role as a centre of air engineering training, the Royal Naval Air Engineering School. The School transferred to HMS Sultan 1995, and the air station finally decommissioned in March 1996 as a victim of national economies in defence spending.

1940s

Immediately post war, HMS Daedalus continued to remain the headquarters of the Fleet Air Arm and the home of the reformed 781 Communications squadron, which was now equipped with Anson XIX, Dominies and Expediters from 1946-47, plus Sea Otters for a Search and Rescue Flight.  However, the long history of the Seaplane facilities finally ceased post-war.


Early Royal Navy Dragonfly

The Air Station continued to see new aircraft developments. A former Lee-on-Solent squadron, 771 squadron, received in February 1945 the Hoverfly helicopter, making it the first naval air squadron to operate helicopters. It was mainly based at Portland, although the fixed-wing element of the squadron moved to Lee-on-Solent in March 1947. That same month, a meeting was convened in HMS Daedalus by the wartime Admiralty Glider Research Unit with representatives from the Fleet Air Arm air stations. The result was the formation of a Royal Naval Gliding and Soaring Association (RNGSA) at HMS Daedalus (cf Portsmouth Naval Gliding Club).

Model representing Seafiire FR XVII, SX194 '103' 'LP' of 781 Squadron, at Lee-on- Solent in 1949.

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