826 NAS :
1940 to 1993
Formed in Mar 1940 at RNAS Ford with the fixed wing Fairey Albacore and saw considerable Mediterranean service during WWII, it disbanded in Oct 1944. It reformed as a Canadian unit in Aug 1945, to disappear again in May 1951 when it was absorbed into 880 Squadron. It reformed as a Royal Navy unit, again at Ford with the anti-submarine Fairey Firefly, converting to Gannets in early 1955 and disbanded at RNAS Lee-on-Solent in Nov 1955.
Reformed on 18 Mar 1966 at RNAS Culdrose, it worked up with 8 brand new Wessex HAS.1 and the unit was attached to HMS Hermes (R12) for deployments worldwide, returning to the UK in Feb 1968. It reduced to 4 airframes and deployed from time to time on the OL Class Fast Fleet Support Tankers, RFA Olna (A123) and RFA Olmeda (A124). It re-equipped with 6 Wessex HAS.3 in Oct 1968 and in Apr 1969 it embarked HMS Eagle (R05) for North Atlantic and Mediterranean duties. On return to the UK, it disbanded on 25 Mar 1970 at Culdrose.
Reformed with 4 Sea King HAS.1s in Jun 1970, adding 2 more later, it embarked on HMS Eagles last pre-reserve deployment, in Nov 1970 to the Far East and Australia via the Mediterranean. It detached its Sea Kings to HMS Albion between early and late Dec 1971. 826 Squadron then embarked on RFA Engadine (K08) for the spring in Mar 1972, operating from Culdrose when shore based. It reduced to 4 Sea Kings and embarked HMS Tiger by Aug 1972. Between Jun and Dec 1973, it operated from HMS Tiger (flagship of Task Group 317.1) during a Far East deployment where it had been based ashore temporarily at RAF Tengah, disembarking for RNAS Culdrose again on 20 Dec. It became the first front-line unit to receive the improved Sea King HAS.2, and 4 airframes had been delivered to Culdrose by Dec 1976. It disembarked from HMS Tiger for the last time in Apr 1978 and was re-assigned to HMS Bulwark in Feb 1979 as she was completing a refit.
It converted to the Sea King HAS.5 in Mar 1981 and undertook trials of the Magnetic Anomaly Detection sensors. 9 airframes initially embarked HMS Hermes in Sep 1981 and went South for the duration of the Falklands campaign. Split into 3 Flights (having taken over 824 Squadrons A and C Flights in Jan 1983), it provided a Sea King anti-submarine Flight for the Falkland Islands on rotation until Aug 1986 (the SAR duty having been taken up by the RAFs 1310 Flight and subsequently by 78 Squadron). The Squadrons C and D Flights moved to the Middle East in Dec 1990 (aboard HrMs Zuiderkruis) and Mar 1991, for Operation Desert Shield / Desert Storm.
E Flight was formed to evaluate the much improved Sea King HAS.6 in Jun 1991 at Culdrose, spending time at Farnborough and Boscombe Down before becoming absorbed into 810 Squadron in Jul 1993. The other 4 HAS.5 airframes were operating as single flights, until they in turn were transerred to 819 Squadron, leading to 826 Squadron disbanding in late Jul 1993.
|1973||Tengah Air Base||WSAT|
|25-jun-77||28-jun-77||Fleet Review: Silver Jubilee of HM The Queen|
|23-nov-71||17-dec-71||Indo-Pakistan war contingency|
|28-jul-69||28-jul-69||Fleet Review: Ships of the Western Fleet|