Traces of World War 2 
FAA - No. 804 Squadron
10/05/1940 - 30/06/1940

      home - latest update 6 March 2008

804 SQUADRON - Fighter, Gladiator Mk II
Royal Navy, Fleet Air Arm

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

No 804 Squadron formed as a shore-based fighter squadron on 30 November 1939, from a nucleus of four Sea Gladiators of No 769 Squadron which had been detached to Hatston five days earlier to counter enemy air activity over Scapa Flow.

804 Squadron served on HMS Glorious during the first Norwegian Campaign of April-May 1940.

On 27 April, the Fleet Air Arm redoubled it efforts to provide air cover over Åndalsnes (Norway) and air combats were frequent throughout the day. In the morning two Do215s of 1(F)/ObdL and an He111 of 1(F)/122 undertook reconnaissance to the north, spotting the warships of Admiral Well’s force, including the carriers identified as HMS Ark Royal and HMS Eagle.

HMS Glorious' Sea Gladiators got their first chance against the Luftwaffe at 09:35, when three 804 Squadron aircraft and one from 802 Squadron were scrambled, catching the 1(F)/122 Heinkel ten minutes later. The intruder was low over the water some 20 miles from the fleet. Lieutenant Smeeton led the section (including Sub Lieutenant Roderick Russell Lamb of 804 Squadron) down to attack, the Heinkel making off at top speed and gradually drawing away from the biplanes, although it was seen by Lamb to touch the wave-tops three times.
The bomber had been badly damaged, and force-landed well to the north-west of Trondheim, 65% damaged, the crew claiming that they had shot down one of the Sea Gladiators.

804 Squadron was transferred left HMS Glorious on 9 May to allow more Skuas and some Swordfish to be taken on board. Three slightly damaged Sea Gladiators where then flown to Campbelltown but the other six landed on HMS Furious to become this carrier’s fighter complement.

Lieutenant (Pilot) Richard Smeeton (RN) took part in the second Norwegian campaign of May 1940 on board this carrier.

In the end of May, the carriers returned to Scapa Flow on their return from Norway and here on 23 May the 804 Squadron went ashore to provide the defence of the Orkneys once more, flying in to Hatston again.

In April 1940 the squadron embarked in the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious to provide fighter patrols whilst the ship was ferrying the Gladiators of No 263 Squadron, RAF to Norway. From the following month various detachments embarked in HMS Furious until re-equipping with twelve Martlet Is in October 1940.


Hatston 23 May 1940
HMS Furious (Dt6) 5-8 September 1940
HMS Furious (Dt3) 20-23 September 1940
HMS Furious (Dt4) 11-19 October 1940
Skeabrae 10 October 1940
Hatston 19 October 1940
Skeabrae 28 October 1940

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

31/05/1940: ?, UK. 1 Plane lost, 1 KIA
26/06/1940: ?, UK. 1 Plane lost, 1 KIA

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31/05/1940: ?, UK

Type: Gladiator
Serial number: ?, ?
Operation: ?
Lost: 31/05/1940
Sergeant (Pilot) Leslie W.C. Sturges, RAFVR 740147, 804 Sqdn., age 26, 31/05/1940, Kirkwall (St. Olaf's) Cemetery, Orkney, UK
Crashed at Hatston

Sources: British and Other Navies in World War 2 Day-by-Day and CWGC.

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26/06/1940: ?, UK

Type: Gladiator
Serial number: ?, ?
Operation: ?
Lost: 26/06/1940
Lieutenant (A) Henry C Maudslay, RNVR , H.M.S."Sparrowhawk", [804 Sqn], 26/06/1940, Wick Cemetery, UK (air crash)
Destroyer Ashanti departed Scapa Flow at 09.40 hrs to search for a Gladiator of 804 Squadron down two miles southeast of Pentland Skerries. The search was unsuccessful and the destroyer returned to Scapa Flow at 14.10 hrs.

Sources: British and Other Navies in World War 2 Day-by-Day and CWGC.

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Battle of - 804 Squadron
BBC - Gloster Gladiator
British and Other Navies in World War 2 Day-by-Day

Commonwealth Biplane fighter aces - Richard Smeeton
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Fleet Air Arm in the Battle of Britain
Naval History Net - Casualty List Royal Navy
Royal Air Force - 804 Squadron
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
The Second World War - a day by day account

War over Holland


Ray Sturvivant, Fleet Air Arm Aircraft 1939-1945, Air Britain Historians Ltd, 1995


Discussion Groups
Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum
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
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
Håkans aviation page (from Sweden, in English)
'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 aircraft of WW2
Polish Air Force 1940-1947 Operations Record Books
RAF Battle of Britain
RAF Upwood
De Slag om de Grebbeberg
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 804 Squadron.

© 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