
 
820 NAS :  1933 to present 
Originally formed from 450 Flight in Apr 1933 as a Fleet Spotter unit but it became an AntiSubmarine unit during WWII when it served with distinction, disbanding in Mar 1946. Further commissions came and went and it disbanded once again in Dec 1957, bringing its history as a fixedwing unit to a close. 820 Squadron was the second antisubmarine helicopter unit to form in Jan 1958 with the Whirlwind HAS.7 at RNAS Eglinton. The first HAS.7s experienced a series of engine problems and whilst in the Far East, engines were swapped over. The unit disbanded at Sembawang on 8 May 1959, when the HAS.7 was grounded. Once HAS.7 operations were resumed, it reformed in the UK at RNAS Culdrose in Nov 1959, still with Whirwind HAS.7s, where it disbanded again in Oct 1960. It reemerged with Wessex HAS.1 at Culdrose in Sep 1964 and deployed in Dec 1964 to the Far East via the Indian Ocean on HMS Eagle (R05), finally returning in Jun 1968. During May 1969, the Wessex HAS.1 was phased out for 4 of the more capable Wessex HAS.3, which deployed with HMS Blake (C99) and the occasional Fleet Tanker auxiliary over the next few years. In Dec 1972, the Sea King HAS.1 replaced the Wessex in the antisubmarine role and spent Sep 1974 to Jun 1975 embarked on HMS Blake. These in turn were updated by the Sea King HAS.2 in Jan 1977 and the shortlived HAS.2A in Jan 1979, prior to transferring to HMS Hermes (R12) in Jan 1980. It disembarked from HMS Hermes (R12) to RNAS Culdrose in Mar 1980 and replaced the HAS.2As with the Sea King HAS.5 in Nov 1980 in time to work up with HMS Invincible (R05), embarking in Feb 1981. The Squadron was involved in intensive flying in the South Atlantic, operating briefly from San Carlos during Jun 1982. After a brief Far East tour, the unit returned to the UK in Mar 1984 when HMS Invincible developed mechanical difficulties. Further deployments followed, including the transfer to HMS Ark Royal (R07) during early 1986 for later deployments to the Far East and Australia. On 10 Jan 1991, it embarked HMS Ark Royal with 10 Sea Kings to patrol the Mediterranean gateway to the Suez Canal during the Gulf War. The unit was a key player during 1993 in the NATO intervention in Bosnia and then transferred to HMS Illustrious (R06) in Autumn 1994, followed by service in the Gulf during late 1998. The Merlin HM.1 was cautiously introduced as a single Flight from Sep 2001 and dual operation with the Sea King HAS.6 continued until Mar 2003 when the Sea King was finally retired after recovering embarked flights (such as RFA Fort Austin), leaving 820 Squadron to become a Merlin only unit, officially from Sep 2003. During the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, embarked 3 Merlin HM.2 in Oct, on RFA Argus and departed Falmouth for Sierra Leone.

News about this Rotary Wing Unit :   
Royal Navy Merlin Mk2 in Exercise Deep Blue, 16Jun14 : Exercise Deep Blue is a high tempo, multiaircraft exercise, putting the Merlin Mk2 through its paces operating from sea and conducting antisubmarine warfare. 
Construction Numbers found for 820Sq  Help Us  
 C/N  Version  Built  In this Organisation  In other Org   wa157  has7  1957  XK910 : 845Sq/A by Sep 1957 to Jan 1958, 820Sq/320/W by Jan 1958 to c Jun 1958, Ha+
   wa 8  has.1  1959  XM327 : HAS.3 819 Sq/531 by May 1968; 820Sq/411BL by Feb 1972 still Jun 1972; 73+
 XM327 : HAS.1 Westland development & trials airframe from late 1959, conv HAS.3 be+
  wa 14  has.1  1960  XM833 : 814Sq/272V by Jul 1968, 814Sq/272H by 1969, 820Sq/412BL by May 1969 sti+
   wa 18  has.1  1961  XM837 : Now HAS.3, 814Sq/271V by Oct 1967, 814Sq/271H by May 1968, 820Sq/411BL +
 XM837 : spent winter of 1960/61 in Churchill, Canada with A&AEE for icing / cold w+ XM837 : Westland trials and evaluation airframe until very early in 1966, when it +
  wa 19  has.1  1961  XM838 : 737 Sq/520PO by Sep 1968 still 1969. 820Sq/412BL by Aug 1971 still Jun 1+
   wa 25  has.1  1961  XM844 : to Westland for HAS.3 conversion 1965 completed by 1967. 737Sq/535PO by +
   wa 30  has.1  1961  XM871 : As HAS.3, 820Sq/410BL by Aug 1971 until at least Sep 1972, Engadine Flt/4+
   wa 55  has.1  1962  XP104 : 820Sq/412BL by Apr 1969, 820Sq/410BL by Sep 1969 still Aug 1971, w/o 6 J+
   wa 92  has.1  1962  XP159 : 820Sq/297E by Nov 1964, 814Sq/341V by Apr 1965, 814Sq/270V by Jul 1966,+
   wa 99  has.1  1963  XS120 : 1965/67 pictured as /66E with 820Squadron
   wa100  has.1  1963  XS121 : HAS.1 A&AEE by Aug 1964, 820Sq/295E by Nov 1964, ditched in Malacca Strai+
   wa101  has.1  1963  XS122 : 820Sq/290E by Jul 1965, 820Sq/060E by 1966, to Yeovil for conv to HAS.3 +
   wa102  has.1  1963  XS123 : 820Sqn Wessex HAS.1 as /291E ditched and sank in the Malacca Strait, whi+
   wa103  has.1  1963  XS124 : Jan65 pictured as 820Squadron /297E after disembarked in Sembewang during+
   wa104  has.1  1963  XS125 : Dec64 as 820Squadron /293E departed on HMS Eagle tour to the far east
   wa105  has.1  1963  XS126 : 820Sq/294E by Nov 1964, 815 Sq/056 by Aug 1966, to Yeovil for conv to HAS+
   wa249  has.1  1965  XS869 : 1967 820Sqn /64 FAA aboard HMS Eagle (R05) ditched into sea, recovered to +
   wa 631  has.1  1969  XV643 : HAS.1 f/f 10jun69, d/d 29oct73;
conv to HAS.2A; then to HAS.5; and finall+ : HAS.5, 820Sq/015R by Jun 1986, 820Sq/009R by 1988, 814Sq/265N by May 19+
 XV643 : f/f 10 Jun 1969, HAS.1 A&AEE Boscombe Down by Aug 1969 : G.I. BDRF DARA St. Athan /262 by Aug 2002 still 2003 still Jan 2005, BDRF/+
  wa 635  has.1  1969  XV647 : ff 06 Sep1969, dd 26 Sep 1969 to RN as HAS.1 700Sq(S) Sq/585CU 1969, 706S+
   wa 642  has.1  1969  XV654 : f/f 9 Dec 1969; d/d 5 Jan 1970 as HAS.1; 706Sq/593CU by Sep 1977; Conv to+ : 1822mar88 type:HAS.5 820Sqn./R018 embarked HMS Ark Royal R07.
 XV654 : MoD; 08jun91 type:HAS.6 NARO./R018 ex 820Sqn.
  wa 646  has.1  1970  XV658 : Conv to HAS.5. 706Sq/596 by Sep 1982, 820Sq/016N by Dec 1982. Ditched in +
   wa 651  has.1  1970  XV663 : RN; 08jun91 type:HAS.6 NARO./R015 ex 820Sqn.
   wa 653  has.1  1970  XV665 : f/f 17 Jun 1970, d/d 2 Jul 1970 to RN as HAS.1 826Sq/143E by 1971; Conv t+
   wa 662  has.1  1970  XV674 : conv to HAS.6 type; 2000 820Sqn /L015; 2001 still : 820Sq/015L by 2003; To HMS Sultan /015 by Mar 2005; sold to RAN Nov 200+
   wa 667  has.1  1971  XV696 : HAS.1 820Sq/411BL by Dec 1972 still Sep 1973 still Feb 1977
   wa 671  has.1  1971  XV700 : 1822mar88 type:HAS.5 820Sqn./R011 embarked HMS Ark Royal R07.
   wa 674  has.1  1971  XV703 : RN HAS.1 f/f 14jun71, d/d 03aug71; 1976 824Sq/050R recovered the rotorles+
 XV703 : Oct06 Vector Aerospace
  wa 677  has.1  1971  XV706 : 28Sep99 type:HAS.6 820Sqn./L011 embarked aboard HMS Illustrious R06.
   wa 839  has.2  1976  XZ571 : 28Sep99 820Sqn./L016 embarked aboard HMS Illustrious (R06) : 2000 type:HAS.6 820Sqn./L016; 2001 still : Conv. to HAS.6 820Sq/016L by 2003; stored HMS Sultan by Dec 2004; Sold t+
   wa 842  has.2  1976  XZ574 : RN; 1998 type:HAS.6 820Sqn./L015 embarked aboard HMS Illustrious R06. : 28Sep99 type:HAS.6 820Sqn./L015 embarked aboard HMS Illustrious R06.
   wa 877  has.5  1979  XZ917 : 06Mar81 coded N.016 of 820Squadron, HMS Invincible collided with XZ915 whi+
   wa 878  has.5  1979  XZ918 : ff 3 Apr 1979, dd 6 Jun 1979, HAS.5 820Sq/020N by Jan 1985, ditched in Me+ : 28Oct82 noted RNAS Culdrose as N.020 of 820Squadron, HMS Invincible; 07Jun+
 N16918 : dd 25 Jun 1996 to RAN as N16918. Purchased as replacement for N16124 and+ : Nickname Desmond....(22)
  wa 881  has.5  1979  XZ921 : 28Oct82 noted RNAS Culdrose coded N.017 of 820Squadron, HMS Invincible; 26+
   wa 888  has.5  1980  ZA127 : 820Sq/361N by Dec 1980, 820Sq/011N by Feb 1982, 810Sq/511 by 1986, 810Sq+
   wa 889  has.5  1980  ZA128 : 28Sep99 820Sqn./010 embarked aboard HMS Illustrious R06.
   wa 894  has.5  1981  ZA133 : RN HAS.5, f/f 03apr81, d/d 14may81; 824Sq B Flt Arthur SeaSearcher trials + : 28Sep99 type:HAS.6 820Sqn./L013 embarked aboard HMS Illustrious (R06)
   wa 939  has.5  1984  ZD630 : 28sep99 type:HAS.6 820Sqn./012 embarked aboard HMS Illustrious R06. : 2001 type:HAS.6 820Sqn./N012
   wa 940  has.5  1984  ZD631 : 1822mar88 type:HAS.5 820Sqn./R019 embarked HMS Ark Royal R07.
   wa 942  has.5  1984  ZD633 : 28Sep99 HAS.6 type 820Sqn /L014 aboard HMS Illustrious (R06) at Amsterda+
   50040  hm.1  1998  ZH828 : RN from 1999 50040/RN08 in 2004 /CU013 820Sqn. ; 2006 /CU013 820Sqn. ; O+
   50053  hm.1  1999  ZH831 : RN 50053/RN11; 2007 /14 820Sqn. ; 2008 /14 814Sqn. ; 2009 /11 814Sqn; conv+ : ff 04 Feb 1999, dd 11 Mar 1999, to CU, 700Sq(M)Sq/541 by Oct 1999, 824Sq/5+
 ZH831 : by Sep 2014, fitted with dual Crowsnest ASaC sensors from the Lockheed Mar+
  50087  hm.1  1999  ZH841 : RN 50087/RN21; 824Sqn; 2004 820Sqn /CU012; 2011 829Sqn /502
   50125  hm.1  2000  ZH850 : 820Sqn /80 embarked RFA Argus 17 Oct 2014 for Sierra Leone
   50127  hm.1   ZH851 : 50127/RN31; 19jul11 pictured as /13 of 820Sqn at RNAS Culdrose
   50171  hm.1   ZH862 : RN 50171/RN42.; 2003 824Sqn.; 2004 820Sqn./CU010
   50179  hm.1   ZH864 : RN 50179/RN44.; 2003 824Sqn.; 2004 820Sqn./CU011 : 19jul11 pictured as 820Sqn /17 being towed at RNAS Culdrose : May12 as 820Sqd /17 at RNAS Yeovilton
   Ministry of Defence (MoD)    wa 642  has.1  1969  XV654 : MoD; 08jun91 type:HAS.6 NARO./R018 ex 820Sqn.
 47 C/N found for 820Sq
Participated in operations :   

   

