824 Naval Air Squadron

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824 Naval Air Squadron
Fairey Swordfish lifst off from .HMS Strikerj.jpg
Fairey Swordfish of 824 Squadron
Active 1933–1989
2001 – present day
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Air Force (1933–1939)
Royal Navy
Role Training
Part of Fleet Air Arm
Garrison/HQ RNAS Culdrose
Motto Spectat Ubique Spiritus
"Behold, the wind all around them"
Equipment Merlin HM Mk1
Battle honours Calabria 1940
Mediterranean 1940
Taranto 1940
Libya 1940
Malta Convoys 1942
Arctic 1944
Falkland Islands 1982 [1]

824 Naval Air Squadron is a Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm squadron first formed on 3 April 1933, disbanding and reforming several times before assuming its current role at RNAS Culdrose as a training squadron.

The squadron was originally formed on 3 April 1933 as a Spotter Reconnaissance squadron.[2] During World War II, the squadron carried out various duties, such as convoy protection, bombing raids, spotting for gunnery bombardments and attacks on enemy destroyers. The squadron took part in the Battle of Taranto on 11 November 1940, where together with aircraft from 813, 815 and 819 squadrons flying from HMS Illustrious, it successfully attacked the Italian Battle Squadron. It was disbanded 10 times between 1934 and 1970, in that time it was equipped with the Fairey Seal, Fairey Swordfish, Fairey Barracuda, Fairey Firefly and finally the Fairey Gannet. [2]

The squadron participated in the Falklands War, later responsible for trials of the Sea King helicopter. The squadron again disbanded in August 1989 and its aircraft were transferred to 819 Naval Air Squadron at Prestwick.[2]

824 Naval Air Squadron reformed on 2 June 2000 at RNAS Culdrose, equipped with eight Merlin HM Mk 1 helicopter. It trains Pilots, Observers and Aircrewman on the Merlin Mk1 helicopter in Anti-Submarine Warfare and Search and Rescue.[3] Once trained the aircrew go to one of the front line Merlin squadrons 814 NAS, 820 NAS, 829 NAS. In August 2013, 824 NAS received several new Mk2 Merlin Helicopters.[4]

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