Operational History and Background
A pre war squadron.  At the commencement of war the squadron consisted of 9 Fairey Swordfish under the command of Lt. Commander AJ Debenham, DSC, RN. The squadron's first wartime operations included Malta convoy duties with HMS Eagle and spotting for gunnery bombardment of Bardia.

Aerial Photograph of the sunken ships after Operation Judgement, the Fleet Air Arm air strike
on the Italian fleet and harbour at Taranto, 11 November 1940

Two of the squadron aircraft were involved in the Taranto raid in November 1940, and the squadron later in the month attacked Tripoli harbour.

On 3 April 1941 the squadron atacked enemy destroyers off massawa in Eritrea, sinking two and driving another two ashore. Then on 6 June 1941, the squadron bombed and sank the U-boat supply ship Elbe in the mid Atlantic during a search for the German battleship Bismarck, and on 15 June forced the German tanker Lothringen to surrender.

The squadron ceased to exist when her carrier HMS Eagle was sunk on 11 August 1942 during a Malta convoy. The squadron reformed in October 1943 with 6 Swordfish embarked on HMS Unicorn. In 1943, the squadron became a composite of 6 Swordfish and 6 Sea Hurricanes aircraft under the command of Lt. Commander Russell RNVR and Major Cheeseman, Royal Marines.

Subsequent war duties included Atlantic convoy escort with the escort carrier, HMS Striker in 1943, followed by Arctic convoys to the Kola Inlet, Soviet Union with HMS Vindex in February 1944.  Later in the year, in May and June 1944, the squadron took part in the carrier operations against the Tirpitz and offensive sweeps against enemy shipping off Stadlandet, Norway. A Bv 138 was shot down on 22 August 1944.

In July 1945 the squadron reformed at Katukurunda, Ceylon with 12 Barracuda IIs, for intended joining the 17th Carrier Air Group in the British Pacific Fleet, but plans were cancelled with VJ-Day .

Battle Honours
Calabria 1940, Mediterranean 1940, Taranto 1940, Libya 1940 - 1, Malta Convoys 1942, Arctic 1944

Commanding Officers and Squadron Personnel

  • L/C AJ Debenham, DSC, RN June 1939-Aug 1941
  • Capt FW Brown, RM Aug 1941-Aug 1942
  • Lt JA Ievers, RN Oct 1942-March 1943
  • L/C(A) EL Russell, DSC, RNVR March 1943-March 1944
  • L/C GC Edwards, RCNVR March 1944-Oct 1944
  • Lt(A) GR Clarke RNVR July 1945-July 1945
  • L/C(A) S Brilliant July 1945-end of WW2

  • Aircraft

  • Swordfish I April 1937-Jan 1943
  • Swordfish II Nov 1942-Oct 1944
  • Sea Hurricane IIc Aug 1943-June 1944
  • Wildcat V June 1944-Oct 1944
  • Barracuda II July 1945-Sept 1945
  • Ships and Squadron bases
    To be listed
    The Squadron Today
    Link to current Fleet Air Arm squadron information

    Associations and Reunions
    Contact the webmaster of  824 squadron FAA Photographic archive for further information

    824 squadron August 1943 September 
    1944- Fleet Air Arm Photography Archive by Gordon.G.F."Knocker" White.

    History of the squadron page

    Excellent website by veteran of 824 squadron with photographs of the squadron and ships, and documents. If you have any questions you can eMail him via
    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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