At the outset of war,
the squadron’s Swordfish were stationed at Dekheila, then sailed
with her ship HMS Glorious to the Indian Ocean in search of enemy
shipping, spending time in Ceylon and subsequently the Red Sea. On
return to Malta and a refit in January 1940, the ship was recalled
back to the UK for the German invasion of Norway.
The squadron was then
disembarked to RAF North Coates with RAF Coastal Command and flew
mining and bombing operations in coastal areas of Holland, Belgium,
Germany and France, taking part in the defence of the Dunkirk
In March 1941 the
squadron left Coastal Command, a detachment of 6 Swordfish providing
anti-submarine patrols for Gibraltar convoys from HMS Argus ferrying
RAF fighters to Malta.
In July 1941 the entire
squadron embarked for operations to attack the Arctic Port of
Petsamo from HMS Furious, and this followed with further Malta
convoy duties from HMS Furious, and from September in HMS Ark Royal.
Ark Royal was torpedoed
in November 1941 and the squadron regrouped at North Front,
Gibraltar where the squadron received the new ASV radar which was
subsequently used to make the first night sinking of a U-Boat,
U-451. Subsequently the
squadron served briefly both on HMS Argus, and as shore based when 5
U-Boats were damaged.
In April 1942, the
squadron returned to the UK on USS Wasp and rejoined Coastal Command
in September for night operations in the English Channel. Finally
merging with 811 NAS in December 1942.
In June 1944, the
squadron reformed at RNAS Stretton as a Torpedo Bomber
Reconnaissance (TBR) squadron with 12 Barracuda IIs. In January 1945 the
squadron embarked on HMS Vengeance to the Mediterranean, sailing to
join the British Pacific Fleet in July 1945 and not encountering any
combat up till VJ-Day.
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