848 Naval Air Squadron
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|848 Naval Air Squadron|
848 NAS badge
|Active||1 June 1943-45
|Type||Land based and amphibious squadron|
|Role||Commando Helicopter training|
|Part of||Fleet Air Arm|
Latin: "Take That"
|Battle honours||Normandy 1944
Falkland Islands 1982
|Cdr Gav Simmonite DFC RN|
848 Naval Air Squadron was a squadron of the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm. It operated the Westland Sea King HC.4 helicopter and previously provided advanced flying training to pilots for the other squadrons in the Commando Helicopter Force. The squadron was based at RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset and was decommissioned on 24 March 2016.
Second World War
The squadron was officially formed in June 1943 as a torpedo bomber, reconnaissance, Avenger squadron at Quonset Point Naval Air Station, and subsequently embarked on HMS Trumpeter in October 1943, for the UK.
The squadron reformed at RNAS Gosport (HMS Siskin) on 29 October 1952 with American-built Westland Whirlwind HAS.21s for work in Malaya. 848 sqdn 26 whirlwind MK 7 aircraft joined HMS bulwark in early 1960 and deployed to the Far East for two and a half years - when the ship was in Singapore the sqdn detached to the shore base HMS Sinbang RNAS Sembawang (HQ of the 3rd Commando Brigade & 42 Commando RM) In December 1962 848 returned on HMS Bulwark to Plymouth and detached to its new home HMS Seahawk RNAS Culdrose
Wessex and Wasp years
During its 69-year history, 848 Squadron had been disbanded and reformed several times but had a more permanent standing, having been made the Commando Helicopter Training Squadron, based at RNAS Yeovilton.
Sea King years
The Squadron took the role from 707 NAS which was responsible for the training of aircrew and maintainers in the Commando role.
With a complement of one hundred ratings and thirty officers, the Squadron was responsible for the instruction of up to sixty pilots and aircrewmen each year. Operating the Westland Sea King HC.4, pilots undertook Advanced Flying Training - how to handle emergencies and how to fly with sole reference to instruments - before crewing up with the aircrewmen, taken from Royal Navy Ratings and Royal Marines, to learn how to operate the aircraft in a tactical environment during operational flying training.
The Squadron also trained more than one hundred and fifty helicopter maintainers annually before sending them to the front line. Aircrew and maintainers received military and amphibious training and were taught how to operate in the field and from the deck of a ship.
It was decommissioned on 24 March 2016.
The squadron operated a variety of different aircraft and versions:
- Grumman Avenger I & II
- Fairey Swordfish I
- Westland Whirlwind HAR.21, HAR.1, HAS.22 & HAS.7
- Westland Wasp HAS.1
- Westland Wessex HU.5
- Westland Sea King HC.4
The squadron had a number of affiliations:
- The Pirate Trust
- Downside School Combined Cadet Force (CCF)
- Birmingham University Royal Naval Unit (URNU)
- Crewkerne Branch of The Royal British Legion
- Sturtivant, Ballance 1994, p. 274.
- Sturtivant, Ballance 1994, p. 275.
- The Past, Present and Future of the 'Junglie' - Forces.tv
- "It really is goodbye to the 'old girl'". Royal Navy. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
- "848 Naval Air Squadron Affiliations". Royal Navy. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
- Sturtivant, R; Ballance, T (1994). The Squadrons of The Fleet Air Arm. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. ISBN 0-85130-223-8.
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