Operational History and Background

The squadron officially formed at Eglington in December 1943 as a fighter squadron with 10 Hellcat Is, as part of the 5th Naval Fighter Wing.

In February 1944 the squadron embarked on HMS Begum for the Far East, disembarked for work-up at Ulunderpet, southern India, and then in July 1944 embarking on HMS Indomitable the squadron provided fighter cover and photographic duties during the attacks on Indaroeng and Emma Haven in Sumatra.

In September 1944 similar duties were carried out during bombing attacks on Sigli, and fighter cover was provided during attacks on Car Nicobar.

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".

October till December 1944 was spent ashore at China Bay, the squadron then re-embarked on HMS Indomitable for strikes on oil installations at Belawan Deli in Sumatra, and in January 1945 airfields and shore targets were attacked at Pangkalan Brandan as well as the oil refineries at Palembang.

Hellcat II, 1844 Squadron, HMS Indomitable, April 1945
© Scott Fraser

The ship then sailed for Australia and the squadron disembarked at Nowra where it was re-equipped with 18 Hellcat IIs. On re-embarking the squadron then took part in attacks on the Sakishima Gunto islands, and on Formosa.

Further operations planned for August 1945 were cancelled due to VJ-Day.

Battle Honours
Palembang 1945, Okinawa 1945

Commanding Officers and Squadron Personnel

  • L/C(A) TW Harrington, RN Dec 1943-Sept 1944
  • L/C(A) MS Godson, RN Sept 1943-May 1945
  • L/C PJP Leckie, RN May 1945-end of WW2
  • Hellcat I Dec 1943-May 1945
  • Hellcat II Feb 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
    The following profiles are offered by Scott Fraser, owner of Tally Ho! decals, Hellcat II, 1844 Squadron, HMS Indomitable, April 1945 
            Last Modified: 23-2-2001


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