835 Naval Air Squadron

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835 Naval Air Squadron
Active 17 February 1942 – 1 April 1945
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Type Carrier based squadron
Role torpedo bomber
Motto Latin: Semper miseri sumus
(Translation: "We are always miserable")
Battle honours Atlantic 1943–44,
Arctic 1944–45[1]
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Lt/Cdr. M. Johnstone, DSC, RN; Lt/Cdr(A) J.R. Godley, RNVR
Insignia
Squadron Badge heraldry Two wing-hilted swords in front of waves in a circle of rope
Aircraft flown
Attack Fairey Swordfish
Fighter Hawker Sea Hurricane
Grumman Wildcat

835 Naval Air Squadron was a squadron of the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm originally formed in February 1942 as a torpedo bomber and reconnaissance unit flying Fairey Swordfish. In June 1943, six Sea Hurricanes were added to the squadron as a fighter flight. The composite unit exchanged the Hurricanes in September 1944 for Grumman Wildcats, serving on until 1 April 1945, when the squadron disbanded.

History[edit]

1942[edit]

HMS Furious at sea, circa 1935–36, with a flight of Blackburn Baffin torpedo planes overhead.

The first members of the squadron assembled at the Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Eastleigh (also known as HMS Raven) in January 1942 near Southampton in Hampshire.[2] They left Eastleigh on 29 January to board the SS Andalucia Star at Glasgow. Andalucia Star sailed from Glasgow on 4 February and arrived in Kingston, Jamaica on 17 February.[3] 835 Naval Air Squadron officially formed that day at Palisadoes (HMS Buzzard), Jamaica as a torpedo-bomber and reconnaissance squadron of Fairey Swordfish. After patrolling the seas around Jamaica until 12 March 1942, the squadron moved to Norfolk, Virginia, where a refitted HMS Furious lay waiting to take them aboard. Furious left Norfolk on 3 April 1942,[4] and arrived at RNAS Lee-on-Solent (HMS Daedalus), Hampshire, on 15 April. The squadron moved to RNAS Hatston (HMS Sparrowhawk), Orkney, Scotland, in June 1942. During a period of frequent relocation the squadron moved to RNAS Stretton (HMS Blackcap), Cheshire, on 22 September 1942 and to RNAS Machrihanish (HMS Landrail), Argyll, on 29 October to spend November doing initial Deck Launch Training (DLT) on HMS Activity.[5] December saw temporary return to RNAS Machrihanish before relocation to RAF Kirkistown, County Down, Northern Ireland.

1943[edit]

HMS Battler underway.

Return to RNAS Machrihanish on 29 January 1943 caused the base to be nicknamed "Clapham Junction" by the squadron.[5] Carrier embarkation was aboard HMS Battler on 8 April 1943 for convoy duties, but the squadron returned to RNAS Machrihanish for RP-3 Rocket Projectile training on 7 May. After a short return to Battler, the squadron moved to RAF Ballykelly, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland on 15 May and to RNAS Eglington (HMS Gannet) on 22 May.[6] In June 1943, 835 Squadron was reinforced with a flight of six Sea Hurricane Mk.IIcs from 804 squadron. The Hurricanes spent part of September and October 1943 operating from HMS Ravager, while some of the Swordfishes served aboard HMS Argus and the others remained at RAF Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland. After a period ashore at RNAS Eglington, the squadron shortly embarked on HMS Chaser for three weeks before transfer to RNAS Abbotsinch (HMS Sanderling) and thence to RNAS Eglington.

1944[edit]

British escort carrier HMS Nairana underway.

The squadron transferred to the escort carrier HMS Nairana on 31 December 1943, and returned ashore at RNAS Hatston and RNAS Machrihanish (HMS Landrail) in January 1944. Most of 1944, however, was spent onboard Nairana, on Atlantic convoy duties and on the Gibraltar Run. The squadron also served in 1944 with a successful submarine Hunter-Killer Group in the North Atlantic under the overall command of Captain Frederick Walker. Three Ju 290s were shot down in May and June.[7] The squadron became involved in the Murmansk Convoys to and from RNAS Hatston in August. Squadron pilots faced the most dangerous flying conditions of the war to attack two U-Boats and shoot down four enemy aircraft in the Arctic. The aging Sea Hurricanes were replaced by Grumman Wildcat Mk.VIs in September.

1945[edit]

An example of a still-flying Fairey Swordfish.

The squadron of 14 Swordfish and six Grumman Wildcats was led by Lieutenant-Commander Val Jones, a Swordfish Observer. The Senior Pilot of the squadron was Lieutenant Allen Burgham, DSC, MiD, who flew Sea Hurricane Mk.IIcs and later Wildcat Mk.VIs, and was Flight Commander of the Fighter Component. Lt-Commander John Godley RNVR, who had previously been in command of 'P' Flight of 836 Naval Air Squadron, became commander of the squadron on 9 January 1945.

Lieutenant-Commander Godley served as Squadron Commanding Officer for one Murmansk Convoy in February 1945. 835 Squadron saw further combat doing two coastal anti-shipping raids along the Norwegian coast off Trondheim, before being disbanded on 1 April 1945 at RNAS Hatston,[8] with its fighter flight transferring to 821 Naval Air Squadron. Lieutenant-Commander Godley was transferred to command 714 Naval Air Squadron.

Aircraft operated[edit]

an example of a still flying Hawker Sea Hurricane
Aircraft operated by 835 Naval Air Squadron FAA, data from[9]
From To Aircraft Version
February 1942 February 1943 Fairey Swordfish MK.I
October 1942 June 1944 Fairey Swordfish Mk.II
June 1943 September 1944 Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk.IIc
July 1944 March 1945 Fairey Swordfish Mk.III
September 1944 March 1945 Grumman Wildcat Mk.VI

Squadron bases[edit]

Air stations and carriers used by 835 Naval Air Squadron FAA, data from[9]
From To Base Remark
1 January 1942 29 January 1942 RNAS Eastleigh (HMS Raven), Hampshire
29 January 1942 17 February 1942 En route to Jamaica
17 February 1942 12 March 1942 Palisadoes (HMS Buzzard), Kingston, Jamaica
12 March 1942 2 April 1942 'En route to Norfolk, Virginia
3 April 1942 15 April 1942 HMS Furious
15 April 1942 June 1942 RNAS Lee-on-Solent (HMS Daedalus), Hampshire
June 1942 21 September 1942 RNAS Hatston (HMS Sparrowhawk), Orkney, Scotland
22 September 1942 28 October 1942 RNAS Stretton (HMS Blackcap), Cheshire
29 October 1942 12 November 1942 RNAS Machrihanish (HMS Landrail), Argyll, Scotland
13 November 1942 27 November 1942 HMS Activity
28 November 1942 18 December 1942 RNAS Machrihanish (HMS Landrail), Argyll, Scotland
18 December 1942 29 January 1943 RAF Kirkistown, County Down, Northern Ireland
29 January 1943 8 April 1943 RNAS Machrihanish (HMS Landrail), Argyll, Scotland
9 April 1943 7 May 1943 HMS Battler
7 May 1943 14 May 1943 RNAS Machrihanish (HMS Landrail), Argyll, Scotland
14 May 1943 15 May 1943 HMS Battler
15 May 1943 22 May 1943 RAF Ballykelly, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland
22 May 1943 4 June 1943 RNAS Eglington (HMS Gannet), County Londonderry, Northern Ireland
4 June 1943 28 June 1943 HMS Battler Detachment at RNAS Eglington, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland
28 June 1943 July 1943 RNAS Eglington (HMS Gannet), County Londonderry, Northern Ireland
July 1943 30 July 1943 HMS Battler
30 July 1943 6 November 1943 RAF Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland
9 September 1943 6 November 1943 HMS Ravager Sea Hurricane flight
9 September 1943 6 November 1943 HMS Argus part of Swordfish flight
6 November 1943 27 November 1943 HMS Chaser
27 November 1943 16 December 1943 RNAS Abbotsinch (HMS Sanderling), Renfrewshire, Scotland
16 December 1943 30 December 1943 RNAS Eglington (HMS Gannet), County Londonderry, Northern Ireland
31 December 1943 January 1944 HMS Nairana
January 1944 24 February 1944 RNAS Hatston (HMS Sparrowhawk) and RNAS Machrihanish (HMS Landrail)
24 February 1944 6 March 1944 HMS Nairana
6 March 1944 8 March 1944 RAF Gibraltar
8 March 1944 15 March 1944 HMS Nairana
15 March 1944 17 March 1944 RNAS Abbotsinch (HMS Sanderling), Renfrewshire, Scotland
17 March 5 April 1944 HMS Nairana
5 April 1944 10 April 1944 RAF Gibraltar
10 April 1944 17 April 1944 HMS Nairana
17 April 1944 13 May 1944 RNAS Abbotsinch (HMS Sanderling), Renfrewshire, Scotland
13 May 1944 4 July 1944 HMS Nairana
4 July 1944 13 August 1944 RNAS Burscough (HMS Ringtail), Lancashire
13 August 1944 14 September 1944 HMS Nairana
14 September 1944 14 October 1944 RNAS Yeovilton (HMS Heron), Somerset
14 October 1944 29 October 1944 HMS Nairana
29 October 1944 2 November 1944 Murmansk, Russia
2 November 1944 9 November 1944 HMS Nairana
9 November 1944 30 November 1944 RNAS Machrihanish (HMS Landrail), Argyll, Scotland
30 November 1944 20 December 1944 HMS Nairana
20 December 1944 27 December 1945 RAF Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland
27 December 1944 5 January 1945 HMS Nairana
5 January 1945 22 January 1945 RNAS Machrihanish (HMS Landrail), Argyll, Scotland
22 January 1945 29 January 1945 HMS Nairana
29 January 1945 5 February 1945 RNAS Hatston (HMS Sparrowhawk), Orkney, Scotland
5 February 1945 28 February 1945 HMS Nairana
28 February 1945 26 March 1945 RNAS Hatston (HMS Sparrowhawk), Orkney, Scotland
26 March 1945 29 March 1945 HMS Nairana
29 March 1945 1 April 1945 RNAS Hatston (HMS Sparrowhawk), Orkney, Scotland

Commanding Officers[edit]

Officers commanding 835 Naval Air Squadron FAA, data from[9][10][11]
From To Name
17 February 1942 15 April 1942 Lt/Cdr. M. Johnstone, DSC, RN
15 April 1942 28 June 1943 Lt/Cdr. J.R. Lang, RN
28 June 1943 December 1943 Lt/Cdr. W.N. Waller, RN
December 1943 9 February 1944 Lt/Cdr(A) T.T. Miller, RN
9 February 1944 13 August 1944 Lt/Cdr. E.E. Barringer, RNVR
13 August 1944 9 January 1945 Lt/Cdr(A) F.V. Jones, RNVR
9 January 1945 31 March 1945 Lt/Cdr(A) J.R. Godley, RNVR

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Barringer 1995, p. 186.
  2. ^ Barringer 1995, pp. 3, 10–11.
  3. ^ Barringer 1995, p. 13.
  4. ^ Barringer 1995, p. 28.
  5. ^ a b Barringer 1995, p. 44.
  6. ^ Barringer 1995, p. 51.
  7. ^ Swanson, Graham. "809 Naval Air Squadron and the late Sammy Mearns". www.fleetairarmoa.org. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  8. ^ Barringer 1995, p. 177.
  9. ^ a b c "835 Squadron". www.fleetairarmarchive.net. Fleet Air Arm Archive. 2005. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  10. ^ Barringer 1995, p. 181.
  11. ^ Houterman, Hans; Jeroen Koppes. "Royal Navy (RN) Officers, 1939–1945". www.unithistories.com. World War II unit histories & officers. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]