744 Naval Air Squadron

"Nemo solus satis sapit"   (no one knows enough)



1. March 1943 744 NAS formed at RNAS Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
February 1944 744 NAS disbandes at RNAS Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
6. March 1944 744 NAS reformed at RNAS Maydown
1. December 1947 744 NAS disbandes at RNAS Eglington
20. July 1951 744 NAS reformed at RNAS Eglington
1. March 1954 744 NAS disbandes at RNAS Eglington
1. March 1954 744 NAS reformed at RNAS Culdrose
31. October 1956 744 NAS disbandes at RNAS Culdrose



19?? - 19??
744 NAS Deployments 
744 Sqn was a second-line Squadron and not deployed on a carrier.-
744 NAS Commanding Officers 


The first 744 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) was officially formed at Yarmouth, Nova Scotia on 1 March 1943.  It operated the Short SB.6 Seamew, but these caused difficulties due to weak tailwheels which tended to collapse on landing.  The Squadron was re-designated 754 NAS in June 1944 because another 744 NAS was formed in the UK, presumably due to an administrative error. 

The second 744 NAS had formed at Maydown, Londonderry, on 6 March 1944 for Merchant Aircraft Carrier training.  Equipped with 18 Swordfish, it provided trained crews for the locally based 836 NAS with live armament and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) training at Machrihanish and deck landings aboard escort carriers in the Firth of Clyde.  By late-1944, the Squadron was equipped with Barracudas and in May 1945 the Swordfish were withdrawn.  Fireflies were briefly used from July 1945 but on 22 September 744 NAS reduced from 12 Barracudas and 6 Fireflies to 6 Barracuda IIIs. 

744 NAS moved in October 1945 to nearby Eglinton, having then become fully engaged on delivering ASW training with Ansons flown from August 1946.  The Squadron at this time worked in tandem with 719 NAS, co-operating with the Derry Squadron which comprised Loch-class Frigates and submarines.  This organisation, along with the sonobuoy tracking school, became known as the Joint Anti-Submarine School housed in the former Army barracks in Londonderry.  When 744 NAS was considered up to strength with trained crews it was elevated to ‘first line’ status and accordingly became 815 NAS on 1 December 1947. 

744 NAS next formed on 20 July 1951 as a Trials and Development Squadron within the Naval Air ASW School at Eglinton, near Londonderry.  Equipped with a few Fireflies, Barracudas and Ansons, it engaged in trials and development of search receivers to detect submarine radar.  ‘Investigation Pointer’ was a trial conversion of the Barracuda ASV Mk.XI for this purpose, and another such project was codenamed ‘Orange Harvest’ which eventually saw service in the RAF Shackletons.  After trials at Farnborough, two Fireflies were fitted with a new homing device for finding sonobuoys in the water without the need for smoke markers and these went to Malta in October 1951 for trials with submarines and ships.  744 NAS also acted as Station Flight by 1953 with an assortment of aircraft before disbanding at Eglinton on 1 March 1954. 

On the same day, 744 NAS reformed at RNAS Culdrose as the Naval Air-Sea Warfare Development Unit to work alongside ASWDU at RAF St Mawgan.  The Squadron subsequently moved to St Mawgan on 23 October 1954.  Equipped initially with Firefly AS.6s on which various trials were carried out under such codenames as ‘Talbe’, ‘Homer’ and ‘Random’.  Gannets were added in May 1955, followed 2 months later by Avengers and the Firefly soon withdrawn later in the year.  An ‘X’ Flight was formed on the 11 June 1955 for evaluation of radar jamming.  In October 1955 744 NAS was restyled as the Naval ASW Development Squadron.  The Avengers were withdrawn in February 1956 and on 20 April 1956 dummy rocket projectile dives were commenced at Lilstock Range.  Due to the Suez crisis, 744 NAS disbanded on 31 October 1956 with its trials task then being carried out elsewhere within ASWDU.  

744 NAS recommissioned at MOD Boscombe Down on 24 October 2018 through the renaming of the Mission Systems and Armament (MS&ARM) Test and Evaluation Squadron.  Personnel are involved primarily in Independent Technical Evaluation working within the ATEC construct as well as providing SME advice to Frontline Commands and Project Teams.

- Has anyone more Informations about this Squadron -



last update 1. Februay 2013

written 1. March 2011


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