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  • united kingdom 728 Squadron

    Fleet Air Arm

    728 NAS : 728 Naval Air Squadron

    1943 to 1967    

    Tail Codes
    HF 1946/67
    Formed at North Front, Gibraltar on?1 May 1943 with fixed wing target tugs and moved around bases of the Mediterranean rim during WWII. Mosquitos were issued towards the end of 1945 and the Squadron also assumed the radar calibration duties from 255 Squadron, RAF. After 4 months at RAF Luqa, the unit moved to Hal Far (HMS Falcon) on 5 May 1946. From Dec 1952 the Squadron operated helicopters alongside its fixed wing types, when the first Dragonfly HR.3s arrived. Whirlwind HAR.3 operated between Jun 1957 and Nov 1958, and until Mar 1963 these were known as 728B (SAR) Flight. This was followed by the departure of the Dragonfly in Oct 1959 and the Whirlwind HAS.22 came into use between Mar 1963 and Aug 1965. 728 Squadron was disbanded at Hal Far on 31 May 1967, when it handed back its last Meteors.
    There was a separate 728 B Squadron, formed at Ta Kali on 1 Jan 1945 but disbanded again in Jul 1945. It reformed in the UK in Jan 1958 with pilotless target drones moved to Malta towards the end of Feb 1958, becoming operational at Hal Far in Mar 1958.  It flew various fixed wing target drones until it disbanded in Dec 1961 at Hal Far and its drones were returned to the UK by sea.
    There was also an independent 728 C Squadron. Building on 845 NAS experience in Operation Musketeer, this was formed on 7 Jan 1958 at RNAS Lee-on-Solent, with 4 Whirlwind HAS.22 as an Amphibious Warfare Trials Unit with a mission to develop techniques to get the Royal Marines and other specialists from ship to shore quickly and safely.  This mission was similar to the Joint RAF-Army JEHU. They arrived at Hal Far between Feb and Apr 1958, embarked for Cyprus (Nicosia) by Jun 1958 and returned to Hal Far around the end of Jul 1958, before becoming the nucleus of 848 Naval Air Squadron on 13 Oct 1958.
    Tom Lowrie writes: In the early 1960s, 728 Squadron were flying Meteor TT20s, Meteor Mk 7s and Sea Devons (latterly replaced by Sea Heron). 728 (B) had Firefly and Canberra pilotless drones.

    The meteors used for target towing were there from my knowledge as I was there from 1964 untill 1967
    mention Dec 1961 at Hal Far and its drones were returned to the UK by sea. Whereas i WAS THE cpo I/C 728 Radio section in 19 63/64. When Halfar closed down in 1963, the squadron moned to RAF Saffi, in Malta. I was drafted back to the UK in Feb 1964 before the squadron disbanded. Steve Green CPO Rel Mechanician L/F 946691 -

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    1958CY Nicosia (Lefkosia)LCNC
    1946/67MT Hal Far


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    1963/65 S-55 H-19     Whirlwind HAS.22

    728 NAS List of helicopters

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    C/NVersionBuiltIn this OrgIn other Org
    wa/h/050 hr.3 1952 WG719 : ff 19 Sep 1952 as HR.3 Hal Far SAR Flt/901-HF by Jan 1953.
    - G-BRMA
    - WG719
    wa/h/053 hr.3 1952 WG722 : ff 16 Oct 1952, dd 9 Dec 1952 Gosport. To Malta in HMS Indomitable 12 Jan +
    wa/h/071 hr.3 1953 WN494 : Mar 1953 ff at Yeovil; Apr 1953 del RN at Gosport; May 1953 to Theseus SAR+
    wa/h/086 hr.3 1953 WP501 903-HF : RN d/d Aug 1953; 728Sq / 903-HF Hal Far Station Flt, still Aug 1955 ; 728S+
    wa/h/089 hr.3 1953 WP504 : Hal Far SAR Flt / 960 by Sep 1959; stored Hal Far by May 1961. Returned to+
    - WP504
    55-477 HO4S-3 1953 WV205 : 845Sq/W by Apr 1957; 728Sq C Flt/624 by Feb 1958; Fleetlands Nov 1958; 771+
    US Navy 133745
    55-498 HO4S-3 1953 WV223 : 728Sq C Flt/621 by Mar 1958; 737Sq/781 by Apr 1960 still 1961; 781Sq/(827)+
    US Navy 133751
    Autair Helicopters ZS-HDM
    South African Air Force A5
    55-499 HO4S-3 1953 WV224 : Hal Far SAR Flt/958 by Jan 1960; 728Sq/961-HF by Apr 1965; RNAY Fleetlands+
    US Navy 133752
    - WV224


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