Traces of World War 2 
FAA - No. 700 Squadron
10/05/1940 - 30/06/1940

      home - latest update 4 April 2008


History | Operations and losses | Sources | Links | Books | Questions and/or remarks

700 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) was first formed at Hatston (HMS Sparrowhawk) on 21st January 1940, by amalgamating all the 700 series of Catapult Squadrons. It's initial fleet comprised over 40 Supermarine Walrus', 12 Swordfish and 11 Fairey Seafoxes.

During the Second World War, several detachments of 700 Sqn were set up overseas, including in the Middle East and in the Mediterranean.

On 21 June 1940, a Walrus (P5666) of 700 Squadron on the cruiser HMS Manchester found the German battlecruiser Scharnhorst but HMS Manchester did not engage.


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Operations and losses 10/05/1940 - 30/06/1940
Not all operations listed; those with fatal losses are.

16/05/1940: German bombing HMS Resolution, Norway. 1 plane damaged (1 RN KIA, 1 RN DOW, 22 RM WIA, 4 RN WIA)
18/05/1940: ?, Norway. 1 Plane lost, 1 MIA, 1 DOW, 1 WIA

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16/05/1940: ?

Battleship Resolution, anchored at Tjeldsundet, was struck at 1130 by a German bomb that pierced the starboard side of the quarterdeck and dove three decks before exploding in the Marines' messdeck.

One ratings was killed and a second rating died of wounds the next day. Twenty two Marines and four naval ratings were wounded. A further rating was wounded in destroyer Vansittart in the bombing.

A Swordfish of 700 Squadron from the battleship HMS Resolution was also damaged on the 16th. The aircraft was shipped back to the UK in steamer Blackheath, which departed on 7 June.

Source: British and Other Navies in World War 2 Day-by-Day

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18/05/1940: ?, Norway

Serial number: P5647, -?
Operation: ?, Norway
Lost: 18/05/1940
Lieutenant Ronald W. Benson-Dare, RN, H.M.S. Devonshire [700 Sqdn.], age 23, 18/05/1940, missing
Midshipman A D.Corkhill wounded, rescued
Leading Airman William H. Hill, RN FX/55056, H.M.S. Devonshire [700 Sqdn.], age 31, 18/05/1940, Tromso Cemeterty, Norway (died of wounds)
Heavy cruiser Devonshire's 700 Squadron Walrus was shot down by a German He.111 aircraft from 1(F)/122 at Malangsfjord, Rystraumer
Crashed. Ltn Benson-Dare is commemorated on the Lee-on-Solent Memorial.

According to the Norwegian book Flyalarm (2005), the Heinkel belonged to Stabskette X. Fliegerkorps. Pilot was Hauptmann Robert Kowalewski. Also onboard was Maj. Martin Harlinghausen. The book states the month April 1940

Sources: British and Other Navies in World War 2 Day-by-Day; CWGC; Shores and John Foreman, Fledgling Eagles, 1992 (via TOCH Forum); Kjell Sørensen on Luftwaffe Experten Message Board).

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700 Naval Air Squadron - Wikipedia
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database
Australian War Memorial
Bail-outs for 1940
British and Other Navies in World War 2 Day-by-Day
Canadian Virtual War Memorial
Casualty Lists Royal Navy
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Fleet Air Arm Archive 1939-1945
Fleet Air Arm Officers' Association
Fleet Air Arm Museum
Helicopter History Site - 700 Squadron
Prisoners of War captured in Europe 1940
RAF - Campaign Diary - The Battle of France (May-June 1940)
RAF Museum: British Military Aviation in 1940
RAF Order of Battle, France, 10th May 1940
Royal Air Force History Section
The Royal Air Force, 1939-1945
Royal Navy: 700M Operational Evaluation Unit
Royal Navy Historic Flight
The Second World War - a day by day account
The War in France and Flanders, 1939-1940, by Major L.F. Ellis, 1954

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Bjørn Hafsten, Bjørn Olsen, Ulf Larsstuvold and Sten Stenersen, Flyalarm, Luftkrigen over Norge 1939-1945, Sem & Stenersen Forlag AS, ISBN 82-7046-074-5, 2005 (In Norwegian)
Christopher Shores and John Foreman, Fledgling Eagles, The complete account of air operations during the 'Phoney War' and Norwegian Campaign, 1940, Grub Street, 1992
Ray Sturvivant, Fleet Air Arm Aircraft 1939-1945, Air Britain Historians Ltd, 1995

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Discussion Groups
Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum
Luftwaffe Experten Message Board
RAF Commands Forum

Abbreviations used in the Royal Air Force
Code Names & RAF Vocabulary

Air Aces
Airwar over Denmark
Allied World War II Casualties in the Netherlands
Armée de l'Air - Order of Battle, 10th May 1940
Australian Wargraves
Axis History Factbook
De Belgen in Engeland 1940-1945 (in Dutch)
Belgian Aviation History Association Archaeological Team
Biplane Fighter Aces from the Second World War
The Bristol & District Blitz War Memorial - A register of those who lost their lives due to enemy action in Bristol and surrounding districts, 1940-1944
British Aircraft Directory
British Aviation Archaeological Council - Books and research links
Canada's Air Force History
HMS Cavalier
Ciel de Gloire (in French) RAF Squadrons
CWGC Cemeteries Germany
CWGC Cemeteries Netherlands
Czechoslovak airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
Danish WW2 Pilots
Dutch Pilots in RAF Squadrons
Eagles Squadrons (American pilots in the RAF)
Foreign Aircraft Landings in Ireland 1939-1946
'High flight', poem by John Gillespie Magee
An Irish Airman Foresees His Death, poem by W.B. Yeats
Jagdgeschwader 27 (in German)
Luchtoorlog ('Arial War', in Dutch, with many photos)
Land Forces of Britain, the Empire and Commonwealth
The Luftwaffe, 1933-1945
Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum
The National Ex-Prisoners of War Association
Nordic Aviation during WW2
Order of Liberation (in French/English/Spanish) aircraft of WW2
Polish Air Force 1940-1947 Operations Record Books
RAF Battle of Britain
RAF Upwood
RAF WWII 38 Group Squadrons Reunited
De Slag om de Grebbeberg (Dutch)
Test Flying Memorial
Warbird Alley
War over Holland
World War II Aircraft wrecksites in Norway

Aircraft crashes on the North Yorkshire Moors, England
The Lancastershire Aircraft Investigation Team
Luftfahrt-Archäologie in Schleswig Holstein (in German)
North East Diary 1939-1945
Wartime Leicester and Leicestershire

The Aerodrome - Aces and Aircraft of World War 1
WW1 Cemeteries

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This page is dedicated to the men of 700 Squadron.

With special thanks to Kjell Sørensen of

© Bart FM Droog / Rottend Staal Online 2008. Permission granted for use of the data gathered here for non commercial purposes, if this source is mentioned with a link to