805 Squadron RAN

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805 Naval Air Squadron
805 Squadron RAN
805 Squadron's badge
Ship's badge for 805 Squadron RAN
Active 1940–1943
1948–1982
2001–2008
Country  United Kingdom
 Australia
Branch Royal Navy
Royal Australian Navy
Motto Over Sea and Sand
Battle honours Korea 1951–52

805 Squadron was a Royal Australian Navy Fleet Air Arm squadron, which previously operated as 805 Naval Air Squadron of the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm. First formed in 1940 and operating for the duration of World War II in both the Mediterranean and Pacific theatres, 805 Squadron was recreated as a unit of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in 1948, and operated from Australian aircraft carriers until 1982, having the distinction of being the last fast jet squadron in the RAN. 805 Squadron was re-established in 2001 to operate the Kaman Super Seasprite as a replacement for helicopters currently in service, but problems with the helicopters saw the project cancelled and the squadron disbanded in 2008.

History[edit]

Royal Navy[edit]

805 Squadron was first formed as a Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm squadron in November 1940 at the RAF aerodrome at Abukir in Egypt. The Squadron operated Fairey Fulmars in a convoy protection role. The Squadron operated in the Western Desert until January 1941, when it transferred to Crete. The Squadron returned to Egypt and re-equipped with Brewster Buffalo fighters and in June 1941 these were replaced by the Grumman Martlett III. The Squadron disbanded in January 1943.

The Squadron recommissioned in the UK for service in the Pacific Campaign, equipped with Supermarine Seafires, but saw no further service prior to the end of the war.

Royal Australian Navy[edit]

An 805 Squadron A4 Skyhawk landing on HMAS Melbourne in 1980

In August 1948, 805 Squadron was reformed as a Royal Australian Navy FAA squadron operating Hawker Sea Fury Mk II aircraft. The Squadron formed part of the 20th Carrier Air Group embarked on HMAS Sydney. During September 1951, 805 Squadron deployed to Korea, flying sorties for 64 days. Three 805 Squadron pilots were killed during the campaign. The battle honour "Korea 1951–52" was awarded to the squadron for this deployment.[1][2] Following the retirement of the Sea Fury aircraft, the unit was disbanded on 26 March 1958.

805 Squadron reformed at Nowra on 31 March 1958, equipped with de Havilland Sea Venom FAW.53 all weather night fighters. 805 Squadron embarked on HMAS Melbourne, as part of the 21st Carrier Air Group. The Squadron was again disbanded on 30 June 1963 and the aircraft transferred to B Flight, 816 Squadron.

Kaman SH-2G(A) Seasprite of 805 Squadron

On 10 January 1968, 805 Squadron reformed, equipped with the McDonnell Douglas A-4G Skyhawk fighter. The VF-805 designation was used to conform with USN Squadron name system during the Skyhawk era. V=Fixed Wing, F=Fighter to denote the Fleet Defence role of the aircraft. The squadron operation from Melbourne until 1982.

On 28 February 2001, 805 Squadron was reformed, equipped with Kaman SH-2G(A) Super Seasprite helicopters to be operated from the new Anzac-class frigates. The Squadron completed First of Class Flight Trials aboard HMAS Parramatta, but did not reach operational status due to difficulties with integrating the helicopters' avionic systems.[3] Following technical problems with the new helicopter, the squadron was relegated to minimal duties in 2005, grounded in 2006, and faced possible scrapping in early 2007.[4] Efforts to rectify the technical problems were not successful and the project was cancelled in early 2008. As a result, 805 Squadron was disbanded on 26 June 2008.[5]

Aircraft[edit]

RN service[edit]

RAN service[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Navy Marks 109th Birthday With Historic Changes To Battle Honours". Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "Royal Australian Navy Ship/Unit Battle Honours". Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  3. ^ Allard, Tom (19 March 2005). "Navy's $100m chopper can't fly in bad light". The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH.com.au) (John Fairfax Holdings). Retrieved 11 February 2007. 
  4. ^ Walters, Patrick (10 February 2007). "Seasprite headed for the junk pile". The Australian (News Corporation). pp. 1–2. Archived from the original on 12 February 2007. Retrieved 11 February 2007. 
  5. ^ "805 Squadron Decommissions" (Press release). The Hon. Greg Combet MP. Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Procurement. 28 June 2008. Archived from the original on 20 July 2008. Retrieved 28 June 2008. 

External links[edit]