On the outbreak of war,
the Swordfish squadron saw service in the China Station with HMS
Eagle providing convoy protection and searches for enemy shipping in
the Indian Ocean from Ceylon.
In March 1940 she sailed
to Singapore and, after a refit, to the Mediterranean where 4 Sea
Gladiators were added to the squadron in June. Initial success
opened with the Gladiators shooting down 2 Italian bombers and a
number of others over subsequent months.
On 5 July 1940, the
Swordfish sank a destroyer and a merchant ship, damaged another
destroyer and 2 merchant ships in an attack on Tobruk, and three
days later sank a destroyer at Port Augusta, Sicily. On 11 November
1940 the squadron took part in the successful attack at Taranto from
In March 1941 the
squadron was sent to Port Sudan and the Sea Gladiators withdrawn,
succeeding in destroying 5 Italian destroyers north of Massawa (2
sunk, 2 beached and the 5th scuttled).
On 6 June 1941 whilst
operating from HMS Eagle, the squadron sank the U-Boat supply ship
Elbe and forced the tanker Lothringen to surrender and returned home
in October to re-equip with Swordfish and Sea Hurricane Ibís. In
January 1942 the squadron sailed with HMS Eagle and undertook a
number of operations delivering RAF Spitfires to Malta, being shore
based at Gibraltar when the ship was sunk on 11 August 1942.
The squadron carried out
anti-submarine patrols from Gibraltar and took part in the North
African landings, operating in North Africa till March 1943 when it
returned to Gibraltar, and disbanded in UK in October 1943.
In November 1943 the
squadron reformed at RNAS Donibristle with 9 Swordfish, and
subsequently augmented with 3 Fulmars and 4 Wildcat Vs, the squadron
embarked on HMS Campania in April 1944 for Atlantic and Arctic
convoy duties. On 30 September 1944 the Swordfish sank U-Boat 921,
and on 13 December sank U-365, and the Wildcats shot down 4 enemy
In April 1945 the
squadron embarked on HMS Vindex for its last Arctic convoy to
Russia, disbanding in May 1945.
The squadron reformed as
a torpedo fighter squadron with 15 Firebrand TF.IVs on 1 September
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