Operational History and Background

The squadron officially formed as a fighter squadron in June 1942 at Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, thence to Norfolk, Virginia, USA with US Navy F4F-3s, with a detachment on USS Charger.

Wartime colour photograph of a wildcat undergoing deck landing training on USS Charger - the main DLT aircraft carrier avialable and loaned fom the USN for Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm duties.

In September 1942, the squadron was equipped with 6 Martlet IVs, and embarked on HMS Battler for Machrihanish in December 1942.

From January to June 1943 the squadron was shore-based at Donibristle, Machrihanish and subsequently Hatston. In June 1943 the squadron embarked on HMS Illustrious for patrols off Iceland and Norway, and subsequently in September supported the landings in Salerno.

In October 1943 the squadron joined 15 Group RAF Fighter Command at Port Ellen, leaving for Eglington in December 1943.

Wildcat V, JV435, 890 Squadron, HMS Atheling Trade Protection Duties, 1944
© Scott Fraser

In February 1944 the squadron personnel embarked on HMS London for Ceylon, remaining at Pullalam from March to May. Re-embarking this time on HMS Atheling the squadron remained with the ship until July when it returned to Pullalam, where it disbanded in August 1944.

Battle Honours
Salerno 1943

Commanding Officers and Squadron Personnel

  • L/C JW Sleigh, DSC, RN June 1942-Nov 1943
  • L/C NA Bartlett, RN Nov 1943-Aug 1944
  • Aircraft
  • Grumman F4F-3 (Martlet III equiv) June 1942-Aug 1942
  • Martlet IV Sept 1942-Oct 1943
  • Wildcat V Oct 1943-July 1944
  • 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
    The following profiles are offered by Scott Fraser, owner of Tally Ho! decals Wildcat V, JV435, 890 Squadron, HMS Atheling Trade Protection Duties, Indian Ocean, May - July 1945 
            Last Modified: 23-2-2001


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