Operational History and Background
On the outbreak of war this torpedo spotter reconnaissance squadron with 9 Swordfish transferred to HMS Hermes at the outbreak of war, sailing to West Africa to join French ships operating out of Dakar and Freetown, in the search for the German battleship Graf Spee.

After the French surrender to Germany in 1940, the squadron was tasked with attacking its former allies at Dakar, damaging the French battleship Richelieu on 8 July 1940.

In December 1940 the ship sailed for the Indian Ocean, operating off the East African coast and providing support for the land forces in British Somaliland and enabling the capture of 5 enemy merchant ships and bombing of a 6th by the cruiser HMS Hawkins in February 1941.

In May 1941 the squadron provided support to the RAF in Iraq, and subsequently after trade protection duties in the Indian ocean embarked on HMS Hermes from Ceylon in February 1942 to search for a Japanese carrier force but was ashore in April 1942 when HMS Hermes was sunk by Japanese aircraft, and disbanded at Katukurunda in December 1942.

The Squadron reformed at Stretton in July 1944 as a torpedo bomber reconnaissance squadron with Barracuda IIs and embarked on HMS Venerable in March 1945. It joined 15th Carrier Air Group in June 1945 but saw no action by VJ-Day.

        Last Modified: 23-2-2001


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