815 Naval Air Squadron

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History 

9. October 1939 815 NAS formed at RNAS Worthy Down
10. November 1939 815 NAS merged with 774 NAS
23. November 1939 815 NAS reformed at RNAS Worthy Down
21. January 1941 815 NAS reformed at Dekheila
24. July 1943 815 NAS disbanded at Mersa Matruh
1. October 1943 815 NAS reformed at RNAS Lee-on-Solent
11. January 1946 815 NAS disbanded at Rattray
1. December 1947 815 NAS reformed at RNAS Eglington
13. October 1955 815 NAS disbanded at Rosyth
6. February 1956 815 NAS reformed at RNAS Eglington
15. July 1958 815 NAS disbanded at RNAS Culdrose
1. October 1958 815 NAS reformed at RNAS Eglington
28. August 1959 815 NAS disbanded at RNAS Portland
8. September 1959 815 NAS reformed at RNAS Culdrose
16. December 1960 815 NAS disbanded at the UK
8. July 1961 815 NAS reformed at RNAS Culdrose
7. October 1966 815 NAS disbanded at RNAS Culdrose
1. January 1981 815 NAS reformed at RNAS Yeovilton
Planes:
  Oct 1939 - Feb 1943
Swordfish I
   
  Mar 1943 - Jul 43
Swordfish II
   
  Oct 1941 - Aug 1943
Albacore I
     
  Sep 1943 - Jul 43
Fulmar I & II
     
  Oct 1943 - Apr 1945
Barracuda II
     
  Jan. 1945 - Jan. 1946
Barracuda TR.3
   
         
         
 

 

Oct. 1958 - Mar. 1959
Whirlwind HAS.7
     
  Jan. 1959 - Aug. 1959
Whirlwind HAR.3
 
....
  1961 - Aug. 1966
Wessex
   
....
 

 

Jan. 1981 -  19??
Lynx HAS.2
     
 

 

Mar. 1982 -  20??
Lynx HAS.3
     
 

 

20?? - Aug. 2016
Lynx HMA.8
     
 

 

April 2016 - Aug. 1959
Wildcat HMA.2
     
..
815 NAS Deployments 
         
19. July 1955 - 13. October 1955 HMS Albion - Avenger AS.4 350 Z
         
22. December 1963 - 20. December 1964 HMS Centaur - Wessex HAS.1 300-307 C
         
..
815 NAS Commanding Officers 
Lt-Cdr S. Borrett, RN Oct 1939 Nov 1939
Lt-Cdr S. Borrett, RN Nov 1939 Apr 1940
Lt-Cdr R. A. Kilroy, DFC, RN Apr 1940 Aug 1940
? Aug 1940  Nov 1940
Lt-Cdr JdeF Jago, RN  Nov 1940 Mar 1941
Lt-Cdr F. M. A Torrens-Spence, RN Mar 1941 Oct 1941
Lt-Cdr T. P Coode, RN Oct 1941 Dec 1941
Lt-Cdr P. D Gick, RN Dec 1941 Sep 1942
Lt-Cdr (A) J. W. G. Wellham, DSC, RN Sep 1942 Jul 1943
Lt-Cdr (A) R. G. Lawson, RNVR Oct 1943 Dec 1944
Lt-Cdr D. Norcock, RN Dec 1944 Jan 1945
Lt-Cdr (A) J. S. Bailey, OBE, RN Jan 1945 Apr 1945
Lt-Cdr (A) M. H. Meredith, DSC, RNVR Apr 1945 ?
.

History 

The squadron formed at RNAS Worthy Down in October 1939 from the remnants of 811 and 822 NAS surviving the sinking of HMS Courageous in September 1939, and disbanded in November 1939.

The same CO, Lt-Cdr S Borrett, RN reformed the squadron later that month with 9 Swordfish, and in April 1940 the squadron was attached to RAF Coastal Command at Bircham Newton.

In May 1940 the squadron provided support to the Dunkirk evacuation.

In June 1940 the squadron embarked on HMS Illustrious and sailed for the Mediterranean in August, attacking and minelaying Benghazi, Rhodes and Tobruk.

In November 1940 the entire squadron took part in the attack on the Italian Fleet at Taranto. The CO Lt-Cdr K. Williamson RN and crew were lost and taken POW during the operation.

In December 1940 two Italian convoy ships were sunk off Sicily, but HMS Illustrious was severely damaged in a dive bombing attack in January 1941 but 5 of the squadron aircraft escaped to Malta, combined with the remnants of 819 and 821 NAS to re-form as a new 815 NAS under the same CO.

In January 1941 the squadron operated from Crete carrying out attacks on shipping and minelaying, and was evacuated in April to Dekheila, thence Cyprus for attacks on Vichy French shipping off Syria, succeeding in damaging one destroyer and sinking another destroyer.

In August 1941 the squadron re-equipped with 12 Albacores and 2 Swordfish with ASV radar to support the 8th Army in the Western Desert, attacking German-held aerodromes and armoured formations, and the Allied advance into Libya in 1942.

On 2 June 1942 the U-boat U-652 was sunk, shared with RAF 203 squadron Blenheim V4707/L, then in March 1943 a special Albacore flight was formed to provide Fleet bombardment spotting.

The squadron was disbanded in July 1943 at Mersa Matruh but reformed at RNAS Lee-on-Solent in October 1943 as a Torpedo Bomber Reconnaissance squadron with 12 Barracuda IIs.

During 1943 the squadron joined the 52nd Naval TBR Wing, embarking on HMS Begum in February 1944 for India where it joined 12th Naval TBR Wing for operations with the Eastern Fleet in HMS Indomitable in July 1944. In August 1944 it took part in an attack on the Sumatran port of Emmahaven, then in succeeding months on Sigli and the Nicobar islands.

In November, the squadron returned to the UK in HMS Activity without its aircraft after a decision to replace Barracuda squadrons by Avengers in the Pacific Theatre.

In December 1944 the squadron re-equipped with 12 Barracuda IIs at Machrihanish for anti-submarine activities, replacing with Barracuda IIIs from January 1945, and adding Wildcat from 825 NAS in April, the following month being spent on deck landing training in HMS Campania.

The squadron subsequently sailed for the Far East in HMS Smiter, but saw no action before VJ-Day, and returned in September 1945 in HMS Fencer.

    

- Has anyone more Informations about this Squadron -

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last update 1. Februay 2013

written 1. March 2011

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