RAF COASTAL COMMAND
& NAVAL AIR SQUADRONS
Coastal Command and Maritime Air Association for history of the Command
information concentrates on the Front Line Fleet Air Arm squadrons which
operated with RAF Coastal Command 1940-1945.
RAF Coastal Command was formed on the
14th July 1936, HQ RAF Northwood, Middlesex when ADGB was
replaced by fighter, bomber, coastal and training commands. When it formed
Coastal Command had a strength of three groups.Coastal Command had three
groups No.18 Group based in Scotland,
No.16 in SouthEastern England and No.15 covering Western
England and the Irish Sea. The Command
had nineteen squadrons including six of flying boats. The Commands' duties
covering the North Sea, enemy coast, the northern
Atlantic convoy routes and English Channel defences.
In addition to U-Boat and E-Boat huinting, duties included convoy protection
duties, emergency evacuation, transport, air-sea rescue of downed aircrew and
the crew of sinking ships.
The RFC, which gave birth to the RAF, was formed in 1912. It comprised a
Military Wing, a Naval Wing, The Royal Aircraft Factory and the Central
Eighteen months after its formation, the Naval Wing of the RFC was reformed
into the Royal Naval Air Service.
It was from these branches that the RAF was formed on 1st April 1918. Whereas the RFC squadron numbers
were largely retained from 1 to 199, the number 200 was added to that of each
RNAS Squadron, thus 3 Sqn RNAS became 203 Sqn RAF. In 1918 the combined
strength of the RAF was 188. Under the guidance of Sir Hugh Trenchard, Britain
formed an Air Force independent of Army or Navy control. It was also
developed as the first strategic air force in the world at the time. British
carriers operated squadrons between 1918 and 1937 as RAF Naval Air Branch
squadrons and as such were not under Navy control, however they precede the
period of this website and are therefore not listed here.
Fleet Air Arm squadrons
and Dunkirk Evacuation: A list of the Fleet Air Arm squadrons which operated
under RAF Coastal Command during the Dunkirk evacuation and Battle for France.
Fleet Air Arm aircrew loaned to RAF Coast Command squadrons 1940-1945: from 1940 onwards a few Fleet
Air Arm pilots were loaned directly to RAF Coastal Command.
Air Arm and RAF Coastal Command 1940-1945: from the Dunkirk
evacuation until after the Normandy D-Day invasion Fleet Air Arm
squadrons were to operate under RAF Coastal Command in a variety of duties
from minelaying and bombing enemy coastal targets, to convoy duties and
attacking enemy E-Boats and other Axis shipping.
Website Directories and Databases
with RAF Coastal Command and FAA Squadron
The Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm. An inventory of
the Squadrons with an outline of their Battle honours.
Robert Horsten's FAA Squadrons
Royal Navy and the Fleet Air Arm squadrons of today with historic
The RAF Commands
History of Coastal Command
Battle of Britain July
to October 1940: Coastal Command
Coastal Command and Maritime Air
Command: Order of Battle, Strength, and Availability. Wartime Totals,
Created: 3-04-2001, Last Modified 3-06-2005