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See the Coastal Command and Maritime Air Association for history of the Command

This web 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 Flying School. 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. 

Fleet 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 information

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 profiles.

The RAF Commands

The History of Coastal Command

Battle of Britain July to October 1940: Coastal Command

Coastal Command and Maritime Air Association

Coastal Command: Order of Battle, Strength, and Availability. Wartime Totals, 1939-1945

Created: 3-04-2001, Last Modified 3-06-2005


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