870 Naval Air Squadron, VF-870



15. June 1945 803 NAS reformed at RNAS Arbroath
24. January 1946 Transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy
1. May 1951 803 NAS was renumbered 870 NAS
November 1952 870 NAS was redesignated VF-870
30. March 1954 VF-870 disbanded at Summerside, Prince Edward Island
1. November 1955 VF-870 reformed at HMCS Shearwater
7. September 1962 VF-870 disbanded at HMCS Shearwater




Jun 1945 -
Seafire III



Aug 1945 - 19??
Seafire F.XV



Aug 1947 -  Feb. 1950
Sea Fury F.10



Feb. 1948 - Mar. 1954
Sea Fury FB.11



Nov. 1955 - Sep. 1962
Banshee F2H-3
CAN-VF-870-1956-01.png (65645 Byte)    
870 NAS Deployments 
7. September 1957 - 30. October 1957 HMCS Bonaventure CVL 22 ? Banshee -
9. April 1962 - 29. June 1962 HMCS Bonaventure CVL 22 ? Banshee -
870 NAS, VF-870 Home Port Assignments
HMCS Shearwater, Nova Scotia 1. May 1951 24. Sep. 1953
RCAF Summerside, Prince Edward Island 24. Sep. 1953 30 Mar. 1954
HMCS Shearwater, Nova Scotia 1.  Nov. 1955 7. Sep. 1962
870 NAS, VF-870 NAS Commanding Officers 
Lt-Cdr. L. D. Wilkinson 15. Jun. 1945 ?
? ? Jan. 1946
Lt-Cdr. A. J. Tanner, RCN, (Act.) Jan. 1946 May 1946
Lt-Cdr. (P) C. G. Watson, RCN (Act.) May 1946 May 1947
Lt-Cdr. (P) H. J. G. Bird, RCN, (Act.) May 1947  Aug. 1948
Lt. (P) J. P. Whitby, RCN  Aug. 1948  Sep.1948
Lt-Cdr. (P) V. J. Wilgress, RCN, (Act.)  Sep.1948 May 1949
Lt-Cdr. (P) N. Cogdon, RCN, (Act.) May 1949 Dec.1950
Lt. (P) D. D. Peacocke, RCN Dec.1950  Nov.1952
Lt.(P) D. D. Peacocke, RCN  Nov.1952 Feb. 1953
Lt-Cdr. (P) D. M. Macleod, RCN Feb. 1953 30. Mar. 1954
Lt-Cdr. (P) R. H. Falls, CD, RCN 1. Nov. 1955 Jan. 1958
Lt-Cdr. (P) W. J. Walton, CD, RCN Jan. 1958 Apr. 1960
Lt-Cdr. (P) K. S. Nicolson, CD, RCN Apr. 1960 7. Sep. 1962


The squadron reformed in June 1945 at RNAS Arbroath with 25 Seafire L.IIIs, and was due to join 19th CAG at the time of VJ Day. 870 Naval Air Squadron was formed on 1. May 1951 when 803 Naval Air Squadron of the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm was re-numbered. It was initially based at HMCS Shearwater, Nova Scotia, with the Squadron operating the Hawker Sea Fury. In November 1952, 870 NAS adopted an American-styled squadron designation becoming VF-870. On 24. September 1953, the Squadron relocated to RCAF Summerside on Prince Edward Island. VF-870 had its first deployment in January 1954 when it was attached to HMCS Magnificent, it finished its deployment on 9 March. The Squadron stood down for the first time on 30. March 1954.

VF-870 reformed on 1. November 1955, this time equipped with 10 McDonnell F2H-3 Banshees, becoming the first jet squadron in the Royal Canadian Navy. The commanding officer of VF-870 at its reformation was future Canadian Chief of Defence Staff, Lt. Cdr. Robert Hilborn Falls. A total of 39 Banshees were eventually purchased second-hand from the U.S. Navy for a cost of $25 million, serving with VF-870, VF-871 and VX-10 VF-870 was attached, along with VF-871, to the aircraft carrier HMCS Bonaventure from which it would deploy. While not deployed, VF-870 was based at RCNAS Shearwater. The Squadron participated in the 1956 Canadian International Air Show in Toronto. The Squadron suffered a loss in August 1957, when a Banshee crashed into a Grumman Avenger AS.3, with one aircraft taking off as the other was landing. VF-870 made their first deployment on 7 September 1957, which lasted until 30 October 1957.

On 16. March 1959, VF-871 amalgamated with VF-870 thus leaving the Squadron as the only RCN unit to operate the Banshee. The Squadron made its final deployment on HMCS Bonaventure on 9. April 1962, lasting until 29. June 1962 While not deployed, VF-870 flew intercepts in the Canadian sector of NORAD. VF-870 disbanded for the last time on 7. September 1962. Throughout its service, the Royal Canadian Navy lost 12 of the 39 Banshees it had purchased, including those of VF-870. A replacement for the Banshee never came to fruition making VF-870 one of only three RCN squadrons to ever operate a jet fighter.

- Has anyone more Informations about this Squadron -



last update 1. January 2024

written 1. March 2011


- Corrections, additions and remarks please send to the Web master Michael E. Fader -
- If information from this site is used as source material please credit www.wings-aviation.ch  -
- If this page does not have a navigational frame on the left, click HERE to see the rest of the website. -