INDEX OF NAVAL AIR SQUADRONS
In May and June 1940, the squadron operated from Thorney and Carew Cheriton
under the RAF Coastal Command in the Channel, then embarked on HMS Ark
Royal in the middle of the month for the Mediterranean where attacks were
made on the Vichy French Fleet at Oran, including attempts to attack the
French battleship Strasbourg.
Subsequently attacks were made on Sicily, and on the Italian battleship Littorio on 27 November 1940, and to provide Malta convoy escorts, followed by bombing and mining operations on Leghorn, Genoa, Pisa and La Spezia naval docks in February 1941.
Wartimecolour photograph ofthe Bismarck at sea Bismarck smoking on the horizon whilst under fire from the
Fleet immediately prior to her being sunk, 26 May 1941
In May 1941 HMS Ark Royal sailed to the North Atlantic in search of the German battleship Bismarck, 810 and 818 squadrons led the attack which crippled the Bismarck. Two of the 818 squadron aircraft succeeding in hitting the Bismarck with 2 torpedo hits which enabled the Fleet to subsequently sink the Bismarck.
Re-equipped with 9 Albacore Is the squadron embarked on HMS Formidable in February 1942 for Ceylon to protect against Japanese attacks, but with a reduction in the threat of attack the squadron was disbanded in June 1942.
In October 1942 the squadron re-formed at Lee-on-Solent with Swordfish II and embarked on HMS Unicorn in March 1943 for convoy escorts to Gibraltar, 6 aircraft being used in August 1943 for duties during the Sicily landings.
In November 1943 a reduced squadron sailed in HMS Unicorn to join the
Eastern Fleet, disembarking in Ceylon. The squadron being disbanded at
Cochin in October 1944.
The squadron was reformed at Rattray in May 1945 as a torpedo bomber reconnaissance squadron with 18 Barracuda IIs where it was intended to join the 22nd Carrier Air Group in a Colossus-class carrier. However the squadron was disbanded on VJ-Day, August 1945.
Norway 1940, Narvic 1940, English Channel 1940, Spartivento 1940, Mediterranean 1940 - 1, 'Bismarck' 1941
Commanding Officers and Squadron Personnel
L/C JE Fenton, RN Aug 1939-March 1940 L/C PGO Sydney-Turner, RN March 1940-Oct 1940 L/C TP Coode, RN Oct 1940-July 1941 L/C TWB Shaw, DSC, RN July 1941-June 1942 L/C AH Abrams, DSC, RN Oct 1942-July 1943 L/C(A) WH Lloyd, RNVR July 1943-Oct 1944 L/C(A) BW Vigrass, RNVR, May 1945-Aug 1945 Aircraft Swordfish I Aug 1939-Nov 1941 Albacore I Nov 1941-June1943 Swordfish II Oct 1942-Oct 1944 Barracuda II May 1945-Aug 1945 Ships and Squadron bases
To be listed
The Squadron Today
Link to current Fleet Air Arm squadron information
Associations and Reunions
FURTHER INFORMATION Order of Battle Mers-el-Kebir (Operation Catapult) 3 July 1940. Contributed by Dan Muir Role of 818 sqdn in the Battle With Gallantry and Determination" The Story of the Torpedoing of the Bismarck by Mark E. Horan 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