united kingdom 815 squadron

Fleet Air Arm

1939 to present    


Helicopters1958-59


815 squadron
815 Squadron formed at RNAS Worthy Down in October 1939, equipped with Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers. It led a major airborne torpedo strike against the Italian fleet at Taranto Harbour in 1940 and repeated the success at Matapan in 1941. It reformed in 1947 from 744 Squadron and operated in the anti-submarine role. The Squadrons last fixed wing aircraft was the Gannet, disbanding at Culdrose in mid Jul 1958.

815 Squadron reformed at RNAS Eglinton initially with 12 Whirlwind HAS.7 in Sep 1958 but after trouble with the HAS.7 engines replaced them with HAR.3 from Jan 1959, until it was moved to Portland, eventually disbanding in Aug 1959 to become 737 Squadron. Reformed 8 Sep 1959 at Culdrose with Whirlwind HAS.7 as ASW unit. After a Far East tour on HMS Albion (R07), it disbanded again in Dec 1960.

On 4 Jul 1961, the Squadron recommissioned at RNAS Culdrose as the first front line unit to equip with Wessex HAS.1s (after the success of 700(H) Squadron) and after initialy difficulties with engines, participated in operations in East Africa and the Indonesian coast. Embarked in HMS Ark Royal from Nov 1961 to Dec 1963 (with a detachment to HMS Victorious during Dec 1961) and during 1964 on HMS Centaur, it provided support against disturbances in Aden (with 45 Commando Royal Marines from May 1964 in the Radfan) and in Tanganyika (now Tanzania). After a final deployment with Wessex HAS.1 on HMS Ark Royal (between Jun 1965 and Sep 1966), the unit disbanded at Culdrose in Oct 1966.

A plan to reform the unit with Sea Kings was abandoned in favour of 826 Squadron and it was almost 15 years before 815 Squadron re-commissioned at RNAS Yeovilton in Jan 1981 with the Lynx HAS.2, taking on the role as the headquarters and support Squadron for small ships Lynx Flights from 702 Squadron. It moved to Portland in Jul 1982 and during the 1980s was involved in the South Atlantic, the Armilla Patrol and relief operations off Lebanon, Aden and the Carribean. As the Wasp was being phased out service, some of the units Lynxes were transferred to 829 Squadron, to share the load in Sep 1986 and again in Apr 1988. Support for Lynx Flights was conducted jointly with 829 Squadron but when the two units eventually amalgamated to save cost, 815 Squadron became the largest helicopter squadron in the World on 27 Mar 1993.

In the lead up to the absorption of 700(L) Squadron in Jul 1992, the Lynx HAS.3 had been introduced into service. This was followed in 1995 by the Lynx HMA.8 and after an absence of nearly 17 years, the unit moved back to RNAS Yeovilton, with the closure of Portland in Mar 1999.

The unit made history in Nov 2012 when it deployed ex-HMS Liverpool Lynx of 217 Flight, aboard the Marine Nationale FS Surcouf, until Mar 2013. Signed Memorandum of Understanding with ROK Navy 627 Helicopter Squadron aboard HMS Daring on 19 Dec 2013.


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Locations of this unit:

YearsLocationICAO/FAA
1999/nowRNAS YeoviltonEGDY
1982/99PortlandEGDP
1981/82RNAS YeoviltonEGDY
1962/66SG SembawangWSAG
1961/66RNAS CuldroseEGDR
1959/60RNAS CuldroseEGDR
1959PortlandEGDP
1958/59Eglinton / LondonderryEGAE

Models served in this unit: Login to Edit    

YearsModels
1981/nowLynx
1961/66 wessex     Wessex HAS.1
1959 whirlwind     Whirlwind HAR.3
1959/60 whirlwind     Whirlwind HAS.7
1958/59 whirlwind     Whirlwind HAS.7






Participated in operations :

DatesOperation
06-jun-1419-jun-14 BALTOPS 14
18-nov-1325-nov-13 Typhoon Haiyan relief operations
07-oct-1317-oct-13 Exercise Joint Warrior 13-2
04-oct-1305-oct-13 International Fleet Review Sydney 2013
20132013 Cougar 13
20112011 Staff College Sea Days 2011
01-jul-1103-jul-11 naval days 2011 (marinedagen)
20112011 Operation Unified Protector
04-jun-0715-jun-07 BALTOPS 07
16-jan-0303-dec-03 Operation Telic
18-sep-9930-sep-99 Operation Langar
05-jun-9405-jun-94 D-Day 50th Anniversary Flypast
19901991 Operation Desert Shield/Storm
21-jun-8622-jun-86 Fleet days 1986
02-apr-8217-jun-82 Operation Corporate
22-may-6422-jun-64 Operation Flamingo
21-jan-641964 East African Mutinies
04-jan-6414-jan-64 Operation Nutcracker


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