Operational History and Background

The squadron officially formed at Eglington in November 1943 as a fighter squadron with 10 Hellcat Is, embarking as part of the 5th Naval Fighter Wing on HMS Begum for southern India in February 1944.

24-29 January 1945 - Fleet Air Arm strikes on oil installations at Pladjoe around Palembang, Sumatra - the largest operation ever undertaken by  the Fleet Air Arm - successful strikes are made by aircraft from Task Force 63 - HM carriers "Indomitable", "Illustrious", "Indefatigable" and "Victorious".

In July 1944 the squadron embarked on HMS Indomitable, providing cover during attacks on Sumatra. In December 1944 and January 1945 the squadron took part in the strikes on the Palembang, Sumatran oil refineries, and with the ship joined the British Pacific Fleet to attack the Sakishima Gunto islands.

On 24 January 1945 Sub Lt RF Mackie RNZN of 1839 sqdn flying Hellcat JV141 "116/W" shot down a Japanese Ki44 aircraft at Palembang.

Hellcat I, JV141, 1839 Squadron, HMS Indomitable, 1945
© Scott Fraser

In April 1945 the squadron absorbed 1840 squadron, and subsequently the 5th Naval Fighter Wing disbanded into the 11th Carrier Air Group in June 1945.

June 1945 was spent shored based at Nowra, Australia and in early August the squadron embarked on HMS Indomitable but saw no action before VJ-Day.

Battle Honours
Palembang 1945, Okinawa 1945

Commanding Officers and Squadron Personnel

  • L/C(A) DM Jeram, RN Nov 1943-Sept 1944
  • L/C(A) BHC Nation, RN April 1945-end of WW2
  • Hellcat I Nov 1943-end of WW2
  • Hellcat II March 1945-end of WW2
  • Ships and Squadron bases
    To be listed
    The Squadron Today
    Link to current Fleet Air Arm squadron information

    Associations and Reunions
    No information

    World Aircraft Carrier Lists and Photo Gallery - from 1913 to 2000. Naval History Information Center, Haze Gray & Underway American based World Aircraft Carrier Lists & Photo Gallery - one of the definitive online sources for British and world aircraft carrier & seaplane tender data, histories and images - over 1000 photos. 
    Sturtivant, R & Ballance, T  (1994). 'The Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm' Published by Air Britain (Historians) Ltd, 1994 ISBN: 0 85130 223 8  
    Robert Horsten's FAA
            Last Modified: 23-2-2001


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