Operational History and Background
The squadron formed at St Merryn in October 1942 as a Fleet Fighter unit with 6 Fulmar Is, where subsequently it operated from Charlton Horethorne and Old Sarum on Army Support training.

In March 1943 the squadron moved to Stretton to re-equip with 10 Seafire Ibs, and subsequently moved to Andover for Army co-operation training with No 36 (AC) Wing with 10 Seafire L.IICs.

The squadron embarked on HMS Attacker in July 1943 for the Mediterranean, taking part in the Salerno landings. On return to the UK the squadron joined the 4th Naval Fighter Wing, and incorporated 886 squadron aircraft and crew to bring the squadron to 20 aircraft. The squadron being based at Andover and Burscough until February 1944.
The squadron returned with HMS Attacker to the Mediterranean in April 1944, with detachments at Gibraltar, Blida, Algeria and Pomigliano, Capodichino, Orvieto and Castiglione with the Desert Air Force in Italy, including undertaking support to the Army.
In July 1944 the squadron re-embarked on HMS Attacker and took part in the landings in the South of France, and operations in the Aegean including from Mitylene.
In December the squadron dis-embarked at Dekheila where it was re-equipped with 24 Seafire L.IICs and L.IIIs.

The squadron re-embarked on HMS Attacker in April 1945 for Katukurunda and Trincomallee, Ceylon, and saw action against the Malay Peninsula on HMS Attacker just before VJ-Day, although one detachment was also carrying out DLT on HMS Hunter at the time.

Battle Honours
Salerno 1943, South France 1944, Aegean 1944

Commanding Officers and Squadron Personnel

  • Lt SFF Shotton, RNR Sept 1942-Jan 1943
  • L/C(A) RJH Grose, RNVR Jan 1943-Nov 1944
  • L/C PEI Bailey, RN Nov 1944-April 1945
  • L/C(A) BH Harriss, RN April 1945-end of WW2
  • Aircraft
  • Fulmar II Oct 1942-March 1943
  • Spitfire Va March 1943-March 1943
  • Spitfire Vb/hooked March 1943-March 1943
  • Seafire Ib March 1943-June 1943
  • Seafire L.IIc/LR.IIc June 1943-end of WW2
  • Seafire L.III March 1944-end of WW2
  • Ships and Squadron bases
    To be listed
    The Squadron Today
    Link to current Fleet Air Arm squadron information

    Associations and Reunions
    Website tribute: 879 Squadron Fleet Air Arm

    Website tribute: 879 Squadron Fleet Air Arm Tribute by Gavin Bull to former 879 squiadron air mechanic Fred Hardy his Father-in-law. This website is intended to record and document his service of his country during the Second World War. Includes a history of wartime 879 squadron, and HMS Attacker. 
    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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