725 Squadron RAN

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725 Squadron
Crest 725sqn.gif
725 Squadron badge
Active 1943–45
1958–1975
Country

United Kingdom United Kingdom

Australia Australia
Branch

Royal Navy

Royal Australian Navy
Battle honours Vietnam 1967

725 Squadron was a Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm and Royal Australian Navy Fleet Air Arm flying squadron. The squadron was formed for the first time in 1943 and was last disbanded in 1975.

History[edit]

725 Squadron was formed on 27 August 1943 as a fleet requirements unit of the Royal Navy. It became an air target towing squadron in August 1945 and was disbanded in December of that year.[1]

725 Squadron was re-formed as a Royal Australian Navy fleet requirements and communications unit unit at HMAS Albatross on 13 January 1958. The squadron was initially equipped with C47 Dakota, Auster Autocar, Hawker Sea Fury, Fairey Firefly and Fairey Gannet aircraft and added De Havilland Sea Venoms shortly afterwards.[1] The squadron was redesignated an anti-submarine training squadron in May 1959[2] and suffered its only fatality in December of that year when a Gannet crashed while landing at HMAS Albatross.[1] The squadron's duties during this period included providing aircraft for air direction officer training, radar calibration and target towing as well as conducting simulated attacks on RAN warships during exercises.[1] These duties continued until 31 May 1961 when 725 Squadron was disbanded and absorbed into 724 Squadron.[1]

The RAN's first two MH-60Rs at NAS Jacksonville shortly before being formally delivered in December 2013

725 Squadron was reformed as an operational anti-submarine squadron equipped with Westland Wessex helicopters on 1 November 1962.[2] In this role the squadron regularly deployed four Wessex helicopters on HMAS Sydney to provide the converted aircraft carrier with anti-submarine cover during her many transport voyages to South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.[2] The squadron also participated in the search and rescue efforts which followed the collision between HMAS Melbourne and Voyager in February 1964.[1] Helicopters from the squadron also took part in the relief effort after Cyclone Tracy destroyed much of Darwin in December 1974.[3] 725 Squadron was disbanded at HMAS Albatross on 27 December 1975.[2]

On 13 December 2012 the Australian Government announced that 725 Squadron will be re-raised as a training unit operating MH-60R Seahawk helicopters. In this role it will train aircrew for subsequent service with 816 Squadron.[4] The yet-to-be commissioned squadron will be based at Naval Air Station Jacksonville in Florida until December 2014 while personnel train on the new helicopters.[5]

Battle honours[edit]

725 Squadron was awarded the battle honour "Vietnam 1967" for its service during the Vietnam War.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "725 Squadron". Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 2008-09-19. 
  2. ^ a b c d Eather, Steve (1995). Flying Squadrons of the Australian Defence Force. Canberra: Aerospace Publications. p. 134. ISBN 1-875671-15-3. 
  3. ^ "Disaster Relief - Cyclone Tracy and Tasman Bridge". Semaaphore, Issue 14. Sea Power Centre Australia. 2004. Retrieved 2008-09-19. 
  4. ^ Clare, Jason. "Joint Media Release – Capability Update – Air Projects". Minister of Defence Material. Department of Defence. Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  5. ^ "Milestone moments in MH60R training". Navy News. 15 August 2013. p. 10.