Motto: Latet Anquis In Aqua (A Snake Lies Concealed In The Water) 
Operational History and Background

The squadron was formed as a torpedo spotter reconnaissance Albacore squadron at Ford, Sussex in March 1940.

In May 1940, the squadron provided cover for the Dunkirk evacuation from Detling, and on 31 May bombed targets at Westende, and E-boats off Zeebrugge. The squadron then operated from Bircham Newton under RAF Coastal Command carrying out operations in Holland, Belgium and France when 5 enemy aircraft were destroyed or damaged.
In November 1940 the squadron embarked on HMS Formidable for convoy duties via Capetown to Egypt, and in February 1941 the squadron attacked Mogadishu, Somalia, and Massawa, Eritrea before joining the Mediterranean Fleet.

In March 1941 the squadron, now also with Swordfish, took part in the Battle of Matapan and damaged the Italian battleship Vittorio Veneto by torpedo, subsequently taking part in operations against Tripoli and Bardia.

In May 1941, when the ship was badly damaged after raids against Scarpanto island, the squadron disembarked to Dekheila and then Fuka and Maaten Bagush in the Western Desert.

In July operations from Nicosia, Cyprus, were made against Vichy French ships at Beirut, followed by a return to Maaten Bagush to support the 8th Army, where it provided night illumination flares for the 7th Cruiser squadron operations that were so successful that the squadron then carried out these duties for the army and Desert Air Force as well as attacking enemy harbours and shipping strikes.

In December 1942, half the squadron was temporarily attached to 821 squadron on Malta for attacks on enemy convoys between Sicily and North Africa, returning in January 1943 to Dekheila. The squadron moved to Malta in June 1943 to provide support for the Sicily landings, and was disbanded in August 1943.

The squadron reformed as a torpedo bomber reconnaissance squadron with 12 Barracuda IIs in December 1943 at Lee-on-Solent, and joined the 9th Naval TBR Wing.

Taken shortly after the Operation Goodwood II strike on 22 August 1944.
Tirpitz is located in the upper right corner, hiding behind the smoke.

In June 1944 it embarked on HMS Indefatigable for the 17 July Operation Mascot against the German battleship Tirpitz at Kaa Fjord, North Norway, and subsequent patrols off the Norwegian coast. The squadron later embarking on HMS Formidable for further strikes against the Tirpitz in the Operations Goodwood in August 1944, followed by strikes against enemy shipping and shore targets in Norway. The squadron subsequently disbanded at Machrihanish in October 1944.

29 August 1944. Barracudas of 820 and 826 sqdns from HMS Indefatigable carry out another attack on Tirpitz in Operation "Goodwood IV". The Barracudas can be seen approaching the coast at low level to avoid detection by the German radar.

The squadron reformed on 15 August 1945 at East Haven as a Canadian-manned torpedo bomber reconnaissance squadron with 12 Barracuda IIs with ASH radar.

GENERAL MOTORS AVENGER AS.3 Mk.1, 53545 "AB-Z", 826 Sqn RCN, HMCS Magnificent, 1951 [A0464]

826 Squadron remained as part of the Royal Navy until it was disbanded in February 1946. It was then reformed as part of the RCN in May 1947 and later renumbered to 881 Squadron (RCN) in May 1951 whereupon the 826 designation returned to the Royal Navy.
Battle Honours
Dunkirk 1940, English Channel 1940 - 4, Atlantic 1940, Matapan 1941, Crete 1941, Mediterranean 1941 - 3, Libya 1941 - 2

Commanding Officers and Squadron Personnel

  • L/C FHE Hopkins, RN March 1940-April 1940
  • L/C CJT Stephens, RN April 1940-May 1940
  • L/C WHG Saunt, DSC, RN May 1940-June 1941
  • L/C CWB Smith, DSC, RN Jan 1942-March 1942
  • Lt PW Compton, RN March 1942-Aug 1942
  • Lt VGH Ramsey-Fairfax, RN Aug 1942-May 1943
  • L/C(A) RE Bradshaw, DSC, RN May 1943-Aug 1943
  • L/C(A) AJI Temple-West, RN Dec 1943-Jan 1944
  • L/C(A) SP Luke, RN Jan 1944-Oct 1944
  • L/C ES Carver, DSC RN Aug 1945-end of WW2

  • Aircraft

  • Albacore I March 1940-Aug 1943
  • Swordfish I July 1940-Sept 1941
  • Barracuda II Dec 1943-Oct 1944
  • Barracuda II(ASH) Aug 1945-end of WW2

  • Ships and Squadron bases
    To be listed

    The Squadron Today
    Link to current Fleet Air Arm squadron information

    Associations and Reunions

  • 826 Naval Air Squadron Reunion
  • Reunion. Contact details via FAAOA
    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. 
    826 squadron - See Canadian subsequent history of the squadron
    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
    An A-Z of Aircraft Profiles by FAUCONBERG AEROGRAPHICS including GENERAL MOTORS AVENGER A.S.3 Mk.I, 826 Squadron, Royal Canadian Navy, H.M.C.S. Magnificent, 1951
            Last Modified: 23-2-2001


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