united kingdom 815 Squadron

Fleet Air Arm

815 NAS : 815 Naval Air Squadron

1939 to present    

815 squadron royal navy

815 Squadron
Tail Codes
A 1959/61
R 1961/63
C 1963/64
R 1965/66
815 Squadron formed at RNAS Worthy Down on 9 October 1939, equipped with 12 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 moved to Portland in mid-Apr, 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 from Feb 1960, 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 (with a detachment to HMS Victorious during Dec 1961) to Dec 1963 (where it had been disembarked in preparation for Operation Nutcracker). During 1964 on HMS Centaur, it provided support against disturbances in Aden (with 45 Commando Royal Marines from 24 May 1964 in the Radfan) while temporarily detached to Khormaksar between 22 May and 25 Jun, 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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News of 815 Squadron

Royal Navy Wildcat with Martlet Missiles, 25-May-20 : A Royal Navy 815 Naval Air Squadron Wildcat HMA Mk2 helicopter completed tests of the new Martlet missile on a range off the coast of Wales.

Royal Navy Exercise Saif Sareea 3 off Oman, 28-Oct-18 : #SaifSareea Largest Royal Navy task group in the Middle East in 15 years taking part in region’s biggest war game of 2018, Saif Sareea 3, off Oman

Royal Navy Wildcat Deployed on German Frigate, 14-Jul-17 : For the first time Royal Navy new Wildcat deployed on a foreign vessel spending 7 weeks with the German Bundesmarine frigate Lübeck

Royal Navy Retired Lynx Helicopter, 24-Mar-17 : 815 Naval Air Squadron held a ceremony to say goodbye to the Westland Lynx helicopter, mainstay of operations by Royal Navy around the globe since the late 1970s

Exercise Deep Blue II in the Mediterranean, 20-Jul-16 : UK, US and France ships leaded by HMS Ocean helicopter carrier took part of antisubmarine exercise Deep Blue II in the Mediterranean. First time since 2012 HMS Ocean embarked an entire air group

    More News ...


1999/    RNAS YeoviltonEGDY
1982/99Portland HeliportEGDP
1981/82RNAS YeoviltonEGDY
1964YE Khormaksar / Aden InternationalOYAA
1962/66SG SembawangWSAG
1961/66RNAS CuldroseEGDR
1959/60RNAS CuldroseEGDR
1959Portland HeliportEGDP
1958/59Eglinton / LondonderryEGAE


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2016/    AW159 Wildcat HMA2
1961/66 Wessex     Wessex HAS.1
1959 Whirlwind     Whirlwind HAR.3
1959/60 Whirlwind     Whirlwind HAS.7
1958/59 Whirlwind     Whirlwind HAS.7

In this unit

1982-nov-291983-mar-24HMS Minerva(F45)Deployed to South Atlantic from HMNB Devonport on 29 Nov, with Lynx HAS.2 XZ698 / 424-MV embarked. Returned 24 Mar 1983 and Lynx flown off to Portland on 25 Mar.


21-dec-1822-dec-18 Operation Buckthorn
oct-18oct-18OM Exercise Saif Sareea 3
07-sep-17oct-17AI Hurricanes Irma, Jose and Maria Relief Operations
06-jun-1419-jun-14 BALTOPS 14
18-nov-1325-nov-13RP Typhoon Haiyan relief operations
07-oct-1317-oct-13 Exercise Joint Warrior 13-2
04-oct-1305-oct-13AU International Fleet Review Sydney 2013
aug-13dec-13 Cougar 13
oct-11oct-11 Staff College Sea Days 2011
01-jul-1103-jul-11NL naval days 2011 (marinedagen)
mar-11oct-11LY Operation Unified Protector
may-10aug-10US Exercise Auriga 2010
04-jun-0715-jun-07 BALTOPS 07
16-jan-0303-dec-03IQ Operation Telic
18-sep-9930-sep-99 Operation Langar
09-aug-9531-aug-95MS Operation Harlech
05-jun-9405-jun-94 D-Day 50th Anniversary Flypast
aug-90mar-91IQ Operation Desert Shield/Storm
21-jun-8622-jun-86NL Fleet days 1986
17-jan-8624-jan-86YE Operation Balsac
nov-83mar-84LB Operation Offcut
02-apr-8217-jun-82 Operation Corporate
may-65jul-65MY Konfrontasi
aug-64nov-64MY Konfrontasi
22-may-6422-jun-64YE Operation Flamingo
21-jan-64feb-64 East African Mutinies
04-jan-6414-jan-64YE Operation Nutcracker
jul-63sep-63MY Konfrontasi
15-jun-5315-jun-53 Fleet Review: Coronation Review of the Fleet

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