INDEX OF NAVAL AIRCRAFT
When first flown on 7th December, 1940, the first prototype Barracuda
a cantilever shoulder-wing monoplane of all-metal construction, the foldable
wings incorporating Fairey-Youngman trailing-edge flaps that gave the aircraft
a much improved performance capability over its predecessors, the Fairey
Swordfish and Albacore. The fuselage accompanied a crew of three in tandem
cockpits, enclosed by a long 'greenhouse' canopy; and housed the main units
of the tailwheel landing gear when retracted.
No fewer than 2,572 Barracudas of all marks were delivered to the FAA.
The Barracuda began entering service in late 1943 with Fleet Air Arm units,
and at one point the Fairey Barracuda equipped twenty-three first-line
squadrons. It gained a measure of fame in attacks on the German battleship
Tirpitz in the spring and summer of 1944 in Arctic Norway. It went on to
serve with the British Pacific Fleet (BPF) as well as seeing some post-war
Air Trails Magazine introducing the new FAA aircraft - the Fairey Barracuda - in 1945
Barracuda Mk.I First production version, 1260 hp Rolls-Royce Merlin 30 engine, three
propeller (30 built by Westland and Boulton Paul)
Barracuda Mk.II prototype single Mk I conversion; production versions - upgraded engine, new
Barracuda Mk.II Main production model; unrated engines; Four blade propeller, ASV Mk
radar (1,688 built)
Barracuda Mk III Prototype Single Mk II conversion
Barracuda TR.Mk.III Modified Mk II torpedo-reconnaissance version with ASV Mk X radar
mounted under the fuselage ( 852 built by Boulton Paul and Fairey)
Barracuda Mk IV Unbuilt project
Barracuda TR.Mk.V Post war development with upgraded engine, reduced armament, quickly
removable radar under the wing. Never entered frontline service.
Pilots cockpit of Fairey Barracuda.
In Fairey Barracuda Pilot's Notes, and Technical Manual,
Fleet Air Arm history
FAA 1939-1945: 2572
First delivered to RN: 1942 service trials A&AEE
First squadron 1939-1945: Spring 1943
Last with RN Post war
Two Fairey Barracuda prototypes ordered from Fairey under contract No
777067/38 to spec S.24/37.
Serial Numbers P1767 and P1770. Built at Hayes
P1767 First flight 7.12.40 To C sqdn A&AEE 6.41
To sqdn 778 Arbroath/Crail 1.43
Barracuda I ordered from Fairey, Heaton Chapel under contract No 993331/39
to spec S.24/37/P.IIF
Serial Numbers P9642-P9666. Flown at Ringway.
First flight 18.5.42 (P9642)
First RN to C sqdn at A & AEE 7.42 (P9642), 10.42 C sqdn A& AEE (P9644)
First sqdn P9645 to 778 sqdn at Crail from 9.42. to sqdns 785/786 Crail 7.43 P9650
First op sqdn 1.43 P9657 to 827 Lee (P9657, 58 and 59 plus 9663). No other operation sqdn with
Barracuda Mk I
225 Barracuda II ordeerd from Fairey, Heaton Chapel under contract No 993331/39
to Spec S.24/37
Serial Numbers P9667-P9986
P9667 to C sqdn A& AEE on 12.42
First sqdn: 827 sqdn on 2.43 (P9672), and to 830 sqdn P9668 on 5.43
Last 11.44 (P9736). Balado bridge 3.52 (P9735)
First RAF RNAS China Bay to 618 sqdn 5.12.44 returned to the RN 8.45 (P9911). P9959 to 667 sqdn
Barracuda I and 245 ordered under contract No Ctts/Acft/497/C.20(b) from
Serial numbers BV660-BV664 as Mk I. BV665-BV981 as MkII.
Deliveries by ATA from Sherburn.
First Mk II:
1.43 15 MU. Deld till 4.44
Sqdn MKII: 827 4.43 BV667 at Stretton (many Barracuda to 827 from April 1943-July 1943)
Last: 3.46 in 767 sqdn at Easthaven (BV734). BV977 at Balado Bridge Dump 3.50
RAF BV764 to RAF at Harrowbeer, then to 1623 AAC Flt Roborough 25.9.43 , became 691
AAC sqdn Roborough 1.12.43, returned to the RN 4.45
BV733 flown by British Admiralty delegation at Floyd Bennett Field, New
York 9.12.43; Naval Air Test
Centre, USNAS Patuxent River 13.12.43-4.44, tested Donisbristle 9.45
Barracuda Mk I and II ordered from Westland, Yeovil, under contract No
Serial Numbers DN615-DN629 as Mk I (5 aircraft) and DN630-DN642 as Mk II (13 aircraft). Remainder cancelled
First deld 12.42 to 785/786 sqdns DN625 to Crail (all Mk I to 785 sdqn)
First Mk II 2.43 ready for collection, to 736 sqdn at St Merryn 9.43 (all to 736 and 785 sqdns)
Barracuda Mk I, II and III ordered from Boulton Paul, Wolverhampton, under
Contract No Ctts/Acct/1066
Serial Numbers: DP855 Mk I (total 1) , then Mk II DP856-DR317, Mk III DR318-DT887
Mk II first deld
First sqdn: 827 ‘U’ 4.43
Last: 785 DP862 Ballyhalbert 9.45. DP993 flown 12.9.45 by New Zealander T/O Miss Barbara
Lankshear ATA. This aircraft was painted with the name ‘Te Rauparaha’ and 4 vertical
bombs over four swastikas. ‘The great but bloody Napolean of the Maoris’. RNARY
Many lasted till 1945 and 1946.eg DR134 in 818 sqdn, DR137 in 769
DR158 in 736 sqdn at St Merryn etc
RAF: DR154 to 679 sqdn at Ipswich on 3.44 and DR157 to 679 sqdn at Ipswich 3.44
First deld 3.44
First Sqdn 810 1.45 DR324 (many to 810 sqdn at this time) , 747 sqdn 4.45 DR320 (many to 747 sqdn at this time)
Barracuda Mk II ordered from Fairey, Heatron Chapel under Contract No B.993331/40(ADDL)
Serial numbers DT813-DT887
First sqdn : 768 sqdn at Easthaven 10.43 (DT814)
Operational sqdn: 810 sqdn 12.43 (DT814), and 817 sqdn on HMS Indomitable 3.44 (DT813)
Last 2.46 to 700 sqdn at Worthy Down (DT814)
barracuda mk ii ordered from Fairey, Heaton Chapel under contract No Ctts/Acft/2011
Serial Numbers LS464-LS974 All delivered from Ringway.
Sqdn: 1.44 to 831 sqdn (LS468)
Last: LS617 to 767 sqdn at Easthaven on 1.46. Many to 1945-46. LS936 at Crail to Balado
Bridge 8.5.46. LS964 on Balado Bridge dump 10.57
Barracuda Mk II ordered from Blackburn aircraft, Brough, under Contract
No Ctts/Acct/497 and built on Works Order No.
3360/251-400 as continuation from batch ending BV981
Serial Numbers: MD612-MD807. Deliveries to Sherburn-in-Elmet for ATA ferrying
First deld RN
First sqdn 778 sqdn on 5.44 (MD613)
Last MD761 at Fairey Stretton 8.45, 731 sqdn MD764 on 9.45, and 736 sqdn MD765 at
Dunino on 1.46, MD767 in 735 sqdn 3.46 ASH trainer, Crail 4.46. Many 1945 and into1946
Barracuda Mk III ordered from Boulton Paul, Wolverhampton, under contract
Serial Numbers: MD811-ME293
First deld RN: 5.44MD811
First sdqn MD834 on 11.44 to 821 sqdn on HMS Puncher (many to sqdn), 822, 1.45 MD817 (many
to 822 sqdn)
Last: Most into 1945/46. ME260 of 703 sqdn at Thorney Isle up till 6.45-9.47. Some Balado
Bridge 3.52. ME287 at Easthaven to Ronaldsway 15.9.45 (fit photo gear for HMS
Nairana, RN film unit Belfast 9.45.
Barracuda Mk II ordered 10.10.42 under Cont no ctts/acct/2513/C.29(b) from
Blackburn aircraft, Brough and built on
Works Order No 3700/1-365
Serial numbers: MX535-MX983. Cancelled 65 from MX908
First deld RN: 7.44
to 15 MU (MX535)
First sqdn: 786 sqdn on 8.44 (MX536), 713 sdqn on 9.44 at Ronaldsway (MX535)
Last Many 1945 and 1946, also at Balado Bridge on 1952
Barracuda Mk II ordered 12.6.43 under Cont no ctts/acct/2011 from Fairey,
Serial Numbers: PM682-PN164. PM940 3rd prototype Mk V 2.45
First deld RN: 9.44
First sqdn: 11.44 to 841 sqdn (PM684), and 12.44 to 828 sqdn (PM682)
Last: PM742 to Trincomalee early 1946 (PM889 et al), Bankstown 1.46 PM757 et al. PM860 on
Balado 10.57, Trincomalee 1.46
Barracuda Mk III ordered 14.10.43 from Boulton Paul, Wolverhampton, under
contract No Ctts/Acct/1066.
Serial Numbers: RJ759-RK325. 208 cancelled from RJ967
First deld RN:
15 MU on 6.45
First sqdn: 744 sqdn at Maydown 7.45
Barracuda Mk II ordered 14.10.43 (updated 10.2.44) under Cont no ctts/acct/2011/C.20(b)
from Fairey, Heaton Chapel.
Serial Numbers: RK328-RK784. RK482-RK523 - 30 aircraft cancelled.
RK530-RK574 delivered as Mk V; RK575 onwards cancelled.
125 Mk II, 3 Mk V (RK532 onwards completed in 1946 and 1947)
First deld RN: 5.45 as RK328
First sqdn: 826 sqdn on 10.45 (RK334)
Last: 1948. Balado 10.57 (RK387)
RK400 RDU Anthorn to France 1948
RK530 first pre-production Mk V aircraft 11.45
Battle Honours and Operational History
Fairey Barracuda Mk II 371/A of 812 squadron on HMS Vengeance, British Pacific Fleet 1945/1946
The Barracuda saw intense action from the Arctic, to the Mediterranean and to Malaya. Missions included dive bombing German capital ships, strikes against German convoys, minelaying of European harbours and support to invasion forces in Italy. The most notable success of the Barracuda was in the crippling of the German Battleship Tirpitz in Kaa Fjord (Norway) on 3 April 1944 by aircraft of No 8 TBR (827 and 830 squadron) and No 52 TBR (829 and 831 squadrons), the strike force under the command of Wing Leader Lt Cdr RS Baker-Falkner DSO DSC RN.
Barracudas from 827 and 830 squadrons landing on after the Tungsten strike, April 1944
addition the Barracuda claimed sinking two German submarines in its career.
27 October 1944, 828 and 841 squadrons of HMS Implacable with Fireflies from
1771 squadron helped to drive ashore the German submarine U-1060 in the North
Sea south of Bronnoysundlater (Norway). It was destroyed by 311 squadron
Liberators and 502 squadron Halifaxes.
second claimed U-Boat sunk was by Barracuda DR327 ‘N6l’ of 821 squadron
which claimed to have sunk a submarine 14 miles off the Dutch coast on 13 April
1945. There were two survivors to which the Barracuda crew threw out a dinghy. A
Catalina was later sent out to pick them up (The Barracuda crew included Sub Lt LP
McCarthy, Sub Lt JG Cooper, and TAG L/A B Conway).
The Fairey Barracuda is currently extinct as a complete aircraft, although various wrecks exist, including parts of two aircraft in the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton (UK), DP872 and LS931.
DP872 of 769 squadron based at Easthaven, crashed in Blackhead Moss, near Enagh Lough, Waterside, Londonderry in August 1944. The wreckage was subsequently taken to the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton where the cockpit has been restored.
The wreck of LS931 on Jura, Scotland (UK)
FAAM Barracuda project, Operation Jura: In September 1999 FAA Personnel travelled to the Island of Jura to examine the wreckage of Barracuda LS 931. Flown by the CO of 815 Squadron, this aircraft had crashed into a mountainside on the Island on 2nd January 1945 and large pieces of wreckage have lain there ever since. In 2000 the wreckage had been brought down from the Mountain and arrangements made to transfer the recovered sections to the Fleet Air Arm Museum by sea and land.
The Fleet Air Arm Museum has large pieces of wreckage that it wishes to restore to a complete example, and to that end a Support Group has been set up. The Barracuda Support Group's aim is to raise enough to restore the aircraft using the designated on-site facilities. The group has raised over UK £2,000 in the past few weeks of 1999 and 2000 but there is still a long way to go. For a donation of more than £10, supporters will receive a membership card. This card entitles the the bearer unlimited free entry to the museum. For further information contact the Fleet Air Arm Museum.
Delivery of the Barracuda wreckage to the FAAM
Associations and reunions
FURTHER INFORMATION Barracuda links on internet Fairey Barracuda Pilot's Notes, and Technical Manual, copied by Sierra Scale
Technical drawings, plans and photographs from the Pilots' Notes and Technical Manual. Fairey Barracuda profile in Canadian Aircraft Carriers website Profile history, technical aspects and history of the Barracuda serving with 821 squadron on HMS Puncher Aircraft Profiles by FAUCONBERG AEROGRAPHICS An A-Z of Aircraft Profiles by FAUCONBERG AEROGRAPHICS including FAIREY BARRACUDA T.B. Mk.II, 821 Squadron, Royal Naval Air Service, H.M.S. Puncher, March 1944 , FAIREY BARRACUDA T.R. Mk.III, 821 Squadron, Royal Naval Air Service, H.M.S. Puncher, March 1945 WPA Film Library database Wartime footage of The tirpitz bombed vs planes of the fleet air arm taking off from deck of carrier for the attack. Vs aircraft returning to the carrier. Ms fleet air arm pilots on the deck posing for camera. (WPA Film Library database Barracuda 1/72 scale in Squadron Mail Order's Home Page. A review of the Barracuda 1/72 scale with model photos, description, history and references, by Chuck King Sturtivant, R. & Burrow, M (1995) 'Fleet Air Arm Aircraft 1939 to1945' Published by Air Britain (Historians) Ltd, 1995 ISBN: 0 85130 232 7