Operational History and Background
On the outbreak of war this Swordfish squadron carried out anti-submarine patrols from HMS Courageous in the South Western Approaches, until the ship was torpedoed and sunk by U-29 when the squadron ceased to exist.

In October 1941, the squadron reformed as a torpedo bomber reconnaissance Swordfish squadron, but in March 1942 re-equipped with 9 Albacore Is.

In July 1942, the squadron embarked on HMS Furious for convoy escort duties, participating in the North African landings in November 1942. On 11 November, the CO, Lt (A) JGA McI Nares, led the squadron in an attack on La Senia aerodrome which destroyed 47 enemy aircraft on the ground, for the loss of four of its own aircraft including the tragic loss of the CO himself.

After regrouping at Gibraltar and operations off the Algerian coast, and convoy duties to the Arctic, the squadron re-equipped with Barracuda IIs in July 1943 and joined 45th Naval TBR Wing for service with the Eastern Fleet, the aircraft being shipped in HMS Atheling in February 1944.

At Ulunderpet, Southern India the squadron joined 11th Naval TBR Wing and from Katukurunda embarked on HMS Victorious with 21 aircraft for a strike on 18 September 1944 on a railway target at Sigli, Sumatra. The squadron returned to UK on HMS Rajah without its aircraft due its poor performance in the tropical climate.
In January 1945 the squadron joined RAF Coastal Command for anti-submarine operations in the English Channel, being re-equipped with 12 Barracuda IIs in June 1945 after which the squadron was due to embark in August 1945 on a Colossus-class carrier as part of the 18th Carrier Air Group with the British Pacific Fleet. The squadron was still in Belfast by VJ-Day.

Battle Honours
North Africa 1942 - 3,Arctic 1943

Commanding Officers and Squadron Personnel

  • L/C WHG Saunt, RN (Sq Ldr, RAF) May 1939-June 1939
  • L/CHL McCulloch, RN June 1939-July 1939
  • L/C PW Humphreys, RN July 1939-September 1939
  • Major AR Burch, DSC, RM Oct 1941-Aug 1942
  • Lt (A) JGA McI Nares, RN Aug 1942-Nov 1942

  • Lt HAL Tibbetts, RCNVR Nov 1942-Feb 1943
  • Lt JW Colletts, RN Feb 1943-March 1943

  • L/C(A) PF King, RN March 1943-Aug 1943
  • L/C BE Boulding, DSC, RN Aug 1943-Dec 1943
  • L/C(A)GA Woods, RNVR, Dec 1943-July 1944
  • L/C(A)LC Watson, DSC, RNVR, July 1944-April 1945
  • L/C(A)DA Davies, DSC, RNVR April 1945-end of WW2




    • Swordfish I Aug 1937-Sept 1939
    • Swordfish II Oct 1941-March 1942
    • Albacore I April 1942-Aug 1943
    • Fulmar Oct 1942-Nov 1942
    • Barracuda II July 1943-Oct 1944
    • Barracuda TR.III Jan 1945-June 1945
    • Barracuda II(ASH) June 1945-Sept 1945
    • Firefly FR.I Sept 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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