INDEX OF NAVAL AIR SQUADRONS
Just after the outbreak of war, this Swordfish torpedo spotter reconnaissance squadron from HMS Ark Royal attacked U-39 in the North west Approaches, then sailed with the ship to the South Atlantic and Indian Ocean in search of enemy shipping. The ship was recalled from the Mediterranean in April 1940 for the defence of Norway, when the squadron bombed enemy positions. On 21 June 1940 the squadron attempted an attack on the German battleship Scharnhorst, disbanding in December, although X flight continued with 6 aircraft on Malta convoys, to Gibraltar on HMS Argus and to Malta on HMS Ark Royal where the aircraft were absorbed into 815 squadron.
The squadron reformed in July 1941 at Detling for anti-submarine duties in the Orkneys, transferring to Egypt in November for Western Desert operations.
In March 1942 the squadron was re-equipped with 6 Albacore, flew missions to bomb Rhodes and then on return to Egypt continued to support ground forces from Maaten Bagush, Gambut and Daba. In November 1942 the squadron transferred to Hal Far, Malta for operations against shipping to North Africa. Four aircraft moving in March 1943 to Castel Benito, Tripoli to provide support to RAF night bombing in Libya, then in June the entire squadron transferred to Tunis for anti-shipping duties. The squadron disbanded in October 1943 in the UK.
The squadron reformed in May 1944 as a torpedo bomber reconnaissance squadron with 12 Barracuda IIs, embarking on HMS Puncher in November 1944, carrying out mine-laying operations from February 1945 with Barracuda IIIs, and from April also with 6 Wildcat VIs until June 1944.
FAIREY BARRACUDA TB.II, DR219 "X", 821 Sqn RN, HMS Puncher, March 1944 [A0460]
© Rick Kent FAUCONBERG AEROGRAPHICS
In July 1944 the squadron embarked on HMS Trumpeter for the Far East,
but saw no action before VJ-Day.
|821 Squadron's Barracuda Mk.IIs were operational from
May 1944 to April 1945, and its Barracuda TR.IIIs from January 1945 to
February 1946. They were stationed aboard HMS Puncher during the following
- 26 Nov. to 30 Nov. , 1944
The Commanding Officer of 821 Squadron during its time onboard Puncher was L/C(A) M. Thorpe, RN, who held that position from 1st May, 1944 to 13 June, 1945.
FAIREY BARRACUDA TR.III, MD837 "F", 821 Sqn RN, HMS Puncher, March 1945 [A0461]
© Rick Kent FAUCONBERG AEROGRAPHICS
Libya 1942, Mediterranean 1942 - 3
Commanding Officers and Squadron Personnel
- L/C GM Duncan, RN May 1939-September 1939
- L/C JAD Wroughton, RN Sept 1939-May 1940
- Major WHN Martin, RM May 1940-Dec 1940
- L/C RR Wood, RN Dec 1940-Jan 1941
Lt CWB Smith, RN July 1941-March 1942
- Major AC Newson, RM March 1942-1943
- L/C CHC O'Rorke, RN March 1943-October 1943
- L/C(A) M Thorpe, RN May 1944- June 1945
- L/C(A) D Brooks, DSC & bar, RNVR June 1945-end of WW2
- Swordfish I Sept 1937-March 1942
- Albacore I March 1942-Oct 1943
- Barracuda II May 1944-April 1945
- Barracuda TR.III Jan 1945-end of WW2
- Wildcat VI April 1945-May 1945
Ships and Squadron bases
To be listed
The Squadron Today
Link to current Fleet Air Arm squadron information
Associations and Reunions
FURTHER 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
An A-Z of Aircraft Profiles by FAUCONBERG AEROGRAPHICS including FAIREY BARRACUDA T.B. Mk.II, 821 Squadron, Royal Naval Air Service, H.M.S. Puncher, March 1944 Fairey Barracuda Mk.II In Service Aboard HMS Puncher Summary of 821 Squadron's Barracuda Mk.IIs and TR.IIIs operational activities from May 1944 to February 1946