Operational History and Background

The squadron formed at Norfolk, USA in August 1942 as a fighter squadron with 6 Martlet IVs, subsequently embarking on HMS Battler for the UK in December.
In July 1943 the squadron, now with 9 Seafire IICs embarked on HMS Illustrious for operations to Iceland and Norway.

In August 1943 the ship sailed for Malta, and in September the squadron took part in the Salerno landings. Subsequently, in November 1943 the squadron joined the 24th Naval Fighter Wing at Henstridge with 12 Seafire F.IIIs.

In April the squadron operated from Culmhead carrying out anti-shipping duties in the English Channel with RAF Typhoons.

Embarking on HMS Indefatigable in July 1944, the squadron took part in operations against the German battleship Tirpitz at Kaa Fjord, North Norway, during which on 22 August the squadron shot down 2 enemy aircraft.

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".

After re-equipping with 24 Seafire L.IIIs the squadron embarked on HMS Indefatigable for Ceylon, and then took part in the operations against Palembang oil refineries in Sumatra, January 1945.

In March and April 1945 the squadron took part in attacks against targets in the Sakishima Gunto islands, and then attacked the Japanese mainland just prior to VJ-Day.

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

Commanding Officers and Squadron Personnel

  • L/C(A) DA Van Apps, RNVR Aug 1942-June 1943
  • L/C FRA Turnbull, DSC, RN June 1943-Jan 1944
  • L/C(A) C Walker, RN Jan 1944-Nov 1944
  • L/C(A) J Crossman, DSO, RNVR Nov 1944-end of WW2
  • Martlet IV Aug 1942-Feb 1943
  • Spitfire Vb March 1943-April 1943
  • Seafire Ib Feb 1943-March 1943
  • Seafire IIc March 1943-Nov 1943
  • Seafire L.IIc March 1943-Nov 1943
  • Seafire F.III Nov 1943-Nov 1944
  • Seafire L.III Nov 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
    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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