1939 - 1943
710 NAS formed at RNAS Lee-on-Solent on 23. August 1939 as a seaplane squadron for service in the seaplane carrier HMS
Albatross. Equipped with 6 Walruses plus 3 reserve aircraft, these were embarked on 1. September and the ship sailed for West Africa. Arriving
Freetown, Sierra Leone on 8. September 1939, the ship was soon back at sea after a report was received of U-boats and a mother ship being sighted in mid-Atlantic. This proved fruitless, and the ship retuned to Freetown, where
710 NAS operated as a Fleet Requirements Unit, providing drogue towing for the local anti-aircraft defences and taking aerial photographs to enable the Army to update maps and charts. The ship also operated as a repair unit for visiting catapult flights
of 700 NAS, whilst 710 NAS sent detached flights to Dakar and Bathurst for
antisubmarine patrols over an extended area.
By the end of July 1940 a rough landing ground had been cleared at Hastings, and another at nearby Wellington, and an increasing number of
Walruses were able to operate ashore. On 15. January 1941 an unsuccessful attack was made on an Italian submarine
which had just sunk a freighter. From 14. May 1941 the whole squadron began to operate from
Hastings, which had become a Royal Navy Air Station (RNAS).
Re-embarking with 6 aircraft on 14. September
NAS had only short periods ashore before
sailing in HMS Albatross during April 1942 by way of the Cape to participate in the Madagascar campaign, during which they dropped supplies to forward troops and undertook other tasks. Two aircraft went ashore to Nairobi in June to be fitted with radar, and in July five aircraft went to Mayotte to patrol the Mozambique Channel. Following the final landings in Madagascar in September
1942, the HMS Albatross remained in the area until November when she sailed to Durban, where
710 NAS was put ashore to Stamford Hill.
In March 1943 the ship sailed for Bombay with 710 NAS to become a Combined Operations Training Ship.
The squadron trained at Santa Cruz, carrying out exercies with the Army, until re-embarking in July
1943 to sail back to Africa. The Walruses were put ashore at Kilindini, and ferried to Nairobi before the ship
sailed without aircraft, the squadron disbanding at RNAS Lee-on-Solent on 14. October 1943, soon after arrival .
1944 - 1945
710 NAS reformed at RNAS Ronaldsway,
Isle of Man on 7. October 1944 as a Torpedo Training squadron. Operating as part of No.1 Naval Operational Training Unit, it provided Part III of the Torpedo Bomber Reconnaissance Course with Barracudas and a few
Swordfish. 710 NAS disbanded at RNAS Ronaldsway on 20. December 1945.
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