united kingdom 846 Squadron

Fleet Air Arm

846 NAS : 846 Naval Air Squadron

1943 to present    

846 squadron

846 Squadron
Formed at Quonset Point, USA in Apr 1943 as a TBR Avenger unit. Returned to UK on the Attacker Class HMS Ravager (D70) in Jul 1943 and eventually embarked on HMS Tracker in Jan 1944 for convoy duty off Gibraltar. It joined 15 Group RAF Coastal Command at Limvardy, when the ship was damaged in Jun 1944. The squadron embarked on HMS Trumpeter (D09) in Jul 1944 for operations off Norway, mine-laying till Sep 1944. From December, the squadron operated from HMS Trumpeter or Hatston until May 1945 when the fighter flight was disbanded. After VE Day the squadron was due to join HMS Illustrious (4th Carrier Air Group), but plans changed and it became 751 Squadron to conduct trials. It disbanded in Sep 1945 at Machrihanish.
846 NAS reformed in May 1962 as the second Commando Squadron, initially with 6 Whirlwind HAS.7s, increasing to 12 by mid Aug. After working up, it embarked on 2 Nov 1962 for the Far East on HMS Albion. The Squadron operated in Aden and Seria in Brunei (disembarking on 14 Dec 1962), then joined HMS Bulwark for Singapore, where it disbanded in Oct 1964.
On 29 Jul 1968 the squadron was reformed at RNAS Culdrose with 5 Wessex HU.5 flying at various times from HMS Albion, HMS Bulwark and HMS Hermes (R12), including the first cold weather arctic trials in Norway during 1969. It disbanded on 17 Dec 1975 at RNAS Yeovilton.
Reformed in Oct 1978 at RNAS Yeovilton with 12 Wessex HU.5. The Sea King HC.4 was introduced to the unit in Dec 1979 and the last Wessex was replaced in Oct 1981. It detached a 2 airframe flight to HMS Bulwark during Jan 1980 for exercises in the western Atlantic. The unit was heavily committed to the 1982 Falklands conflict. 846 NAS was the only front line unit operating HC.4s at the start of the campaign with 9 airframes from HMS Hermes and the remaining 3 aboard HMS Fearless.

A detachment of 3 Sea King HC.4 embarked on RFA Reliant was deployed during Jan - Mar 1984 off Lebanon during its civil war, supporting British forces of BRITFORLEB and eventually evacuating them and civilians from Beirut.

Between 1990 and 1992, the Squadron was involved in the Gulf War, during Operation Granby in support of allied ground forces during the six week ground campaign and in northern Iraq for humanitarian missions.
During Jan 1993, 846 NAS embarked HMS Ark Royal and made its first deployment to the Adriatic as part of UN attempts to bring peace during the break-up of the former Yugoslavia.

846 NAS embarked its Sea King HC.4 on HMS Ocean and deployed to Sierra Leone during Operation Palliser, in support of 42 Commando, Royal Marines.
Deployed to Banja Luka on 25 Jun 2002 with 3 Sea King, to replace a Dutch contingent, until Nov 2002. C Flt was transported to Bosnia in RFA Fort Rosalie in Aug 2004 to relieve 845 NAS until that Oct. Later, the unit was replaced in its Bosnian UN peacekeeping support by Army Air Corps detachments at Banja Luka Metal Factory in Mar 2005. In Jul 2006, the unit deployed to RAF Akrotiri in support of Operation Highbrow (qv), returning by the end of the month. In Sep 2006, as part of pre-theatre deployment training for Afghanistan, 3 Sea Kings were airlifted from RAF Brize Norton to RAF Akrotiri for hot and high training in the Cyprus mountains.
D Flt deployed to Afghanistan towards the end of Nov 2007, following extensive work up from Sep 2006. Its Sea King HC.4s having been the subject of hot and high modifications (including Carson main blades, improved avionics and reverting to a 5 bladed tail rotor) prior to departure. The unit returned to the UK during Nov 2011.
Decommissioned in Mar 2013 as part of drawdown of Sea King from Commando Helicopter Force, in preparation for receipt of Merlin, forecast for Sep 2014. Reformed Sep 2014 at RAF Benson to receive first of the Merlin HC.3, handed over from RAF 78 Squadron. On 26 Mar 2015, 846 NAS moved back to RNAS Yeovilton, with 6 Merlin HC.3 flying in. The homecoming was officially celebrated by a Merlin flypast on 12 May.

1981, 846 deployed two Sea Kings in on the HMS Hermes to the Carribean and Florida

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2015/    RNAS YeoviltonEGDY
2014/15RAF BensonEGUB
2011/13RNAS YeoviltonEGDY
2007/11AF KandaharOAKN
2003/07IQ Basrah International AirportORMM
2002BA BLMF - Camp Dragočaj
1991/93RNAS YeoviltonEGDY
1991QA Doha / Ad DawhahOTBD
1991TR Silopi
1984/90RNAS YeoviltonEGDY
1984CY Dhekelia
1982/84RNAS YeoviltonEGDY
1982 Port StanleySFAL
1982 Pollock's Passage
1982 Old House Creek
1978/82RNAS YeoviltonEGDY
1976/77RNAS YeoviltonEGDY
1972/75RNAS YeoviltonEGDY
1968/72RNAS CuldroseEGDR
1966RNAS CuldroseEGDR
1966GI RAF GibraltarLXGB
1964MY TawauWBKW
1963/64HK Kai TakVHKT
1962/63MY KuchingWBGG
1962RNAS CuldroseEGDR
??/05BA BLMF - Camp Dragočaj


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2017/    Merlin HC.4
2015/    Merlin HC.3i
1979/13Sea King HC.4
1978/81 Wessex     Wessex HU.5
1976/77 Wessex     Wessex HU.5
1968/75 Wessex     Wessex HU.5
1962/64 Whirlwind     Whirlwind HAS.7


21-dec-1822-dec-18 Operation Buckthorn
apr-15apr-15 Exercise Joint Warrior 15-1
oct-11oct-11 Staff College Sea Days 2011
oct-07oct-11AF Operation Herrick
oct-06nov-06SL Operation Vela (Green Eagle)
jul-06jul-06LB Operation Highbrow
25-jun-02nov-02BA SFOR (stabilisation force)
may-00jun-00SL Operation Palliser
05-jun-9505-jun-95 D-Day 50th Anniversary Flypast
20-apr-9105-jul-91IQ Operation Haven
dec-90mar-91IQ Operation Desert Shield/Storm
11-jan-8423-mar-84LB Operation Offcut
02-apr-8217-jun-82 Operation Corporate
25-jun-7728-jun-77 Fleet Review: Silver Jubilee of HM The Queen
28-jul-6928-jul-69 Fleet Review: Ships of the Western Fleet
14-dec-6211-aug-66MY Konfrontasi
31-oct-5606-nov-56EG Operation Musketeer

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