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  • united kingdom 815 Squadron

    Fleet Air Arm


    815 NAS : 815 Naval Air Squadron

    1939 to present    







    Westland Whirlwinds - 815 Naval Air Squadron 1958-1959


    815 Squadron reformed in Sep 1958 with 12 Whirlwind HAS.7 but almost immediately problems were experienced with the Alvis Leonides Major engines:

    XL877 /300 Sep 1958 until ditched off Donegal 21 Oct 1958
    XL867 /300 Oct 1958 - Dec 1958, replaced XL877
    XL868 /301 Sep 1958 - Dec 1958
    XL869 /302 Sep 1958 until ditched off Portrush after engine failure Oct 1958
    XL873 /303 Sep 1958 - Mar 1959
    XL874 /304 Sep 1958 - Dec 1958
    XL875 /305 Sep 1958 - Dec 1958
    XK935 /306 Sep 1958 - Dec 1958
    XL882 /307 Oct 1958 - Mar 1959
    XK909 /308 Sep 1958 - Mar 1959
    XK912 /309 Oct 1958 - Dec 1958
    XK933 /310 Sep 1958 - Mar 1959
    XL883 /311 Nov 1958 - Dec 1958

    These were replaced in Jan 1959 by HAR.3 while the HAS.7s went to Fleetlands to be fixed:

    XG575 /300 Jan 1959 - Aug 1959
    XG577 /301 Jan 1959 - Aug 1959
    XG578 /302 Jan 1959 - Aug 1959
    XG579 /304 Jan 1959 until ditched off Portland 21 Apr 1959
    XG574 /304 Apr 1959 - Sep 1959, replaced XG579
    XG580 /305 Jan 1959 - Sep 1959
    XG584 /306 Feb 1959 until ditched in Portland Harbour 20 Jul 1959
    XJ399 /306 Jul 1959 - Aug 1959, replaced XG584
    XJ397 /309 Jan 1959 until ditched Portland Harbour 29 Apr 1959
    XG587 /309 Apr 1959 - Aug 1959, replaced XJ397
    XG573 /311 Feb 1959 - Aug 1959

    These HAR.3 were handed on to 737 Squadron at RNAS Portland when it reformed on 28 Aug 1959. Meanwhile 815 NAS moved to RNAS Culdrose and were re-equipped with a "rectified" HAS.7 fleet until it disbanded in Dec 1960:

    XL867 /301-A Oct 1959 - Dec 1960
    XL850 /302 Sep 1959 until ditched off HMS Albion in the Mediterranean 9 Feb 1960
    XL897 /302-A Mar 1960 replaced XL580, until it ditched and sank off HMS Albion 10 Apr 1960
    XL868 /303-A Sep 1959 - Aug 1960 damaged in a folding blades accident aboard HMS Albion
    XL874 /304 Oct 1959 - Dec 1960
    XL875 /305 Sep 1959 - Nov 1960
    XL880 /306-A Oct 1959 - Aug 1960 damaged blades in a deck accident aboard HMS Albion
    XL881 /307-A Oct 1959 - Dec 1960
    XL883 /308 Sep 1959 - Dec 1960

    By Dave Taskis


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