Photograph of squadron crest courtesy of Brian Grove

Operational History and Background

The squadron formed at Lee-on-Solent in May 1942 as a Fleet Fighter squadron with 6 Fulmar IIs.

In April 1943 the squadron, now equipped with 9 Seafire IICs, embarked on HMS Unicorn for Malta convoy duties, and subsequently taking part in the landings at Salerno in September 1943.

In October 1943 the squadron joined the 24th Naval Fighter Wing, and embarked on HMS Indefatigable in July 1944 to provide fighter cover during the Operation Mascot dive-bombing attack on the German battleship Tirpitz in Kaa Fjord, North Norway.

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".

In October 1944 the squadron operated from HMS Implacable. The squadron embarked again on HMS Indefatigable in November for the Far East, and took part in the attack on the oil refineries at Palembang, Sumatra in January 1945. It subsequently was involved in strikes on the Sakashima Gunto islands.

Seafire L.III, 112/S NN212 of 887 Squadron from HMS Indefatigable shot down a Japanese A6M near Tokyo, 15 August 1945
© Scott Fraser

June 1945 was spent at Schofields, the squadron re-embarking on HMS Indefatigable in July and was involved in strikes around Tokyo just before VJ-Day, with 887 squadron Seafire NN212 coded "112/S" flown by Sub Lt GJ Murphy shooting down 2 Japanese A6M in flames, at Odaki Bay on 15 August 1945, whilst escorting Avengers to Kisarazu airfield, 30 miles south of Tokyo. The ship and squadrons finally returned to the UK in March 1946.

Battle Honours
Atlantic 1943, Salerno 1943, Norway 1944, Palembang 1945, Okinawa 1945, Japan 1945

Commanding Officers and Squadron Personnel

  • Lt GR Callingham, RN May 1942-Aug 1942
  • L/C DW Kirke, RN Aug 1942-Jan 1944
  • L/C(A) BF Wiggington, DSC, RNVR Jan 1944-Aug 1944
  • L/C(A) AJ Thomson, DSC, RNVR Aug 1944-May 1945
  • L/C(E) NG Hallett, DSC & 2 Bars, RN May 1945-Sept 1945
  • L/C(A) G Dennison, RNVR Sept 1945-end of WW2
  • Aircraft
  • Fulmar II May 1942-Dec 1942
  • Spitfire Va Dec 1942-Feb 1943
  • Spitfire Ib Feb 1943-March 1943
  • Spitfire IIc March 1943-Dec 1943
  • Seafire F.III Dec 1943-end of WW2
  • Seafire L.III Dec 1943-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
    An A-Z of Aircraft Profiles by FAUCONBERG AEROGRAPHICS, including SUPERMARINE SEAFIRE L. Mk.III, 887 Squadron, Royal Naval Air Service, H.M.S. Indefatigable, British Pacific Fleet, August 1945 Piloted by Sub-Lieutenant G.J. Murphy this aircraft shot down two Mitsubishi A6M Reisens, Odaki Bay Japan, 15.8.45
    The following profiles are offered by Scott Fraser, owner of Tally Ho! decals, Seafire L.III, NN212, 887 Squadron, HMS Indefatigable, Seafire L.III, PR171, 807 Squadron, HMS Hunter Burmese Coast, May 1945
            Last Modified: 23-2-2001


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