united kingdom 848 Squadron

Fleet Air Arm


848 NAS : 848 Naval Air Squadron

1943 to 2016    





Helicopters

848 Squadron
848 Naval Air Squadron was formed at Quonset Point (Rhode Island), USA on 1 Jun 1943, working up with Avengers for torpedo bombing and reconnaissance. After action during D-Day it served eventually with the Pacific Fleet. After the end of the Pacific war, it disbanded at Devonport, near Plymouth on 31 Oct 1945.
It became a helicopter unit when it reformed at RNAS Gosport with Whirlwind HAR.21s on 29 Oct 1952, where they worked up before a period of Far East service, delivered via HMS Perseus. On 8 Jan 1953, the squadron performed the first carrier based disembarkation when if flew off near Changi Point to RNAS Sembawang. 5 Whirlwind HAR.1 were added to the strength in Oct 1954 and the unit continued to serve until disbanded on 18 Dec 1956.
It achieved further distinction as the first officially recognised Commando support unit when it reformed at RNAS Hal Far with the Whirlwind HAS.22 on 14 Oct 1958 from C Flight of 728 Squadron, when it operated in Cyprus in support of 45 Commando, Royal Marines. By Mar 1960, now re-equipped with the initially disappointing Whirlwind HAS.7 from a further re-formation at RNAS Worthy Down in 1959, it deployed on an almost around-the-world assignment on HMS Bulwark (R08). Still on HMS Bulwark, it operated around Kuwait in Jul 1961.

It re-equipped with 18 Wessex HU.5 during May 1964 and relieved 845 Squadron at The Gaat with this more powerful version in Jun 1965. By Aug 1967 one of a very few Wasp HAS.1s joined the strength for liaison duties until Jul 1973. During Mar 1969 while at Sembawang, the squadron passed 8 of its Wessex to the reformed 847 NAS. Embarked 12 of its Wessex on HMS Albion in Mar 1971. In May 1971 it arrived in the Far East again (having disembarked from HMS Albion on 22 May for HMS Simbang), it re-absorbed 5 Wessex HU.5 from 847 NAS on its disbandment. While still embarked on HMS Albion, the unit was part of the contingency arrangements during the late 1971 Indo-Pakistan war. It moved its UK base from Culdrose to Yeovilton during Dec 1972. After further Far East, Mediterranean and West Indies missions, the unit disbanded at RNAS Yeovilton on 31 Mar 1976.
To provide a much-needed increase to the troop lift capability during the South Atlantic campaign, the Squadron was hurredly reformed for short service from parts of 707 and 772 Squadrons with the Wessex HU.5 on 17 Apr 1982. It went south in detachments; A Flight on RFA Regent, RFA Olna shipped B Flight, C Flight was on RFA Olwen and the ill-fated D Flight on the mv Atlantic Conveyor, which was sunk on 25 May. This transport arrangement probably spoke more of the lack of strategic sea-lift than for a desire to spread the risk, by dispersing the units airframes and personnel.  The unit disbanded again after an eventful period of operations on 30 Nov 1982, back at RNAS Yeovilton.
As a further international crisis loomed, 848 Squadron was again recalled, this time reforming with the Sea King HC.4 at Yeovilton on 16 Nov 1990 to see service in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in the Middle East. It returned to the UK aboard RFA Argus and disbanded again on 19 Apr 1991.

The unit was reformed in Mar 1995 by renumbering 707 NAS.
Decommissioned on 19 Dec 2013 following training of final Junglie crews. Reformed in May 2015 at RNAS Yeovilton with Sea King HC.4 from 845 NAS, before introduction of Merlin HC.4 into Commando Helicopter Force. Flew a Farewell to the Junglie Sea King on 21 Mar around the south west of England and decommisssioned on 23 Mar 2016 in a ceremony at RNAS Yeovilton.



1965/66 848 sq also had a flt of 4 a/c based at Bario in the highlands, I was there, also in early 65'there was a flt in Aden later moved to Borneo, in all there were 4 flts 'D' Flt normally on board or Sembawang but personnel rotated as req'd

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News of 848 Squadron


Royal Navy Retired Sea King HC.4, 24-Mar-16 : Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm decommissioned 848 Naval Air Squadron and retired the Junglie Westland Sea King HC.4 with a ceremony at RNAS Yeovilton



Locations


YearsLocationICAO/FAA
2015/16RNAS YeoviltonEGDY
1995/13RNAS YeoviltonEGDY
1990/91RNAS YeoviltonEGDY
1982RNAS YeoviltonEGDY
1972/76RNAS YeoviltonEGDY
1971/72RNAS CuldroseEGDR
1967/71SG SembawangWSAG
1966/67RNAS CuldroseEGDR
1965/66SG SembawangWSAG
1965MY Nanga Gaat
1964/65RNAS CuldroseEGDR
1962/63RNAS CuldroseEGDR
1960/62SG SembawangWSAG
1960MT Hal Far
1959/60Worthy Down
1958/59MT Hal Far
1953/56SG SembawangWSAG
1952Gosport

Models

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YearsModels
2015/16Sea King HC.4
1995/13Sea King HC.4
1990/91Sea King HC.4
1982 Wessex     Wessex HU.5
1967/73Wasp
1965/66 Whirlwind     Whirlwind HAS.7
1964/76 Wessex     Wessex HU.5
1959/63 Whirlwind     Whirlwind HAS.7
1958/59 S-55 H-19     Whirlwind HAS.22
1954/55 Whirlwind     Whirlwind HAR.1
1952/56 S-55 H-19     Whirlwind HAS.22








Operations


DatesOperation
jan-91mar-91IQ Operation Desert Shield/Storm
17-apr-8216-oct-82 Operation Corporate
23-nov-7117-dec-71 Indo-Pakistan war contingency
apr-65aug-66MY Konfrontasi
29-jun-6121-jul-61KW Operation Vantage
jan-53dec-56MY Operation Firedog

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