Traces of World War 2 
FAA - No. 806 Squadron
10/05/1940 - 30/06/1940

      home - latest update 28 February 2008

806 SQUADRON - Dive Bomber, Blackburn Skua and Roc
Fleet Air Arm RN | Coastal Command RAF

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

The squadron formed as a fighter squadron at Worthy Down in February 1940 with 8 Skua and 4 Rocs.

In May 1940 the squadron took part in bombing attacks on Bergen, Norway, and subsequently provided cover during the Dunkirk evacuations at the end of the month.

As the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and its French and Belgian allies fell back on Dunkirk at the end of May 1940 units of the Fleet Air Arm were assigned to the control of RAF Coastal Command to provide support for Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of the BEF. In all 4 Squadrons of Swordfish, 1 squadron of Albacores and two squadrons of Skua/Rocs were involved. The Skua/Roc Squadrons were 801 and 806. At the same time No 2 AACU (Anti Aircraft co-operation Unit, controlled by the RAF) also used at least 1 Skua over Dunkirk.

With Fulmar replacing the Rocs, the squadron embarked on HMS Illustrious for Bermuda, and after returning to the UK re-embarked for the Mediterranean, with additional Sea Gladiators. Over the next few months the squadron shot down 20 enemy aircraft.

In February 1941 the squadron provided defence for Crete, and then embarked on HMS Formidable for further operations in the Mediterranean. The squadron only dis-emabarking at Aboukir and Idku when the ship was badly damaged by enemy bombing in May 1941.


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Operations and losses 10/05/1940 - 31/05/1940
Not all operations listed; those with losses are.

11/05/1940: Bergen, Norway
12/05/1940: Bergen, Norway
14/05/1940: grounded
15/05/1940: Bergen (aborted)
16/05/1940: Bergen, Norway
28/05/1940: Dunkirk, F. 2 Planes lost, 1 KIA, 1 WIA
29/05/1940: Dunkirk, F
30/05/1940: Dunkirk, F

02/06/1940: Dunkirk, F

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11/05/1940: Bergen, Norway

HMS Sparrowhawk (RNAS Hatston):
Acting Captain C. L. Howe unleashes 806 Squadron on Bergen, targeting a newly discovered oil tank farm on Asko Island. At 0510 the Lt.Cdr. C. L. G. Evans, RN led off six Skuas of 806 Squadron, each carrying 1x250lb SAP and 4x20lb Cooper bombs, escorted by three Coastal Command Blenheims of 254 Squadron, RAF, each carrying 8x25lb incendiaries. Several tanks were hit and all aircraft returned safely.

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12/05/1940: Bergen, Norway

HMS Sparrowhawk (RNAS Hatston): Station OC, Acting Captain C. L. Howe, RN again dispatched the Skuas of 806 Squadron on Bergen. At 1000, Lieutenant-Commander C. L. G. Evans, RN led off six Skuas, each with a single 500 lb. bomb, escorted by three Blenheim fighters of 254 Squadron, RAF.

Unknown to all involved, the target a ship, carrying badly needed anti-aircraft artillery to the port and due to arrive at noon, had been identified by ULTRA intercepts. The aircraft attacked at 11.58 hrs , catching the target, escorted by two torpedo boats, entering the fjord, but the two sections underestimated the target's speed and all bombs missed astern. All aircraft returned safely.

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14/05/1940: grounded

806 Squadron at HMS Sparrowhawk (RNAS Hatston) has orders to remain on the ground pending transfer South to operate of the Channel.

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15/05/1940: Bergen, Norway

Nine Skuas of 806 Squadron and three Blenheims of 254 Squadron departed Hatston to raid Bergen, but were forced to return owing to fog.

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

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16/05/1940: Bergen, Norway

At 1100, Lt.Cdr. C. L. G. Evans led 9 Skuas of 806 Squadron, each armed with a single 250 lb SAP and 4x20 lb bombs, off from HMS Sparrowhawk (RNAS Hatston) to attack warships at Bergen. The planned three Blenheim escort from 254 Squadron, RAF failed to join up, but it had no detrimental effect on the mission. Failing to find any warships, the Skuas attacked several oil storage tanks. Damage to German targets was confined to fuel tanks at Kaarven, Florgasaaspynt, Strudshavn.All returned safely.

Sources: British and Other Navies in World War 2 Day-by-Day
and Skuas over Norway

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28/05/1940: Dunkirk, F

On 28th May 806 Squadron operating out of Manston had one Skua shot down into the sea and another was badly damaged with the gunner gunner killed by RAF Spitfires (or French fighters), near Goodwin Sands. The crew of the Skua that was shot down was rescued but the pilot had to have an arm amputated.

Serial number: ?, L6-?
Operation: Dunkirk
Lost: 28/05/1940
Lt (A) C.P. Campbell Horsfall, wounded
Petty Officer Airman L.Clare. wounded
Crew were picked up by a destroyer.

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Serial number: ?, L6-?
Operation: Dunkirk
Damaged: 28/05/1940
Midshipman (A) G.A. Hogg, RNVR - safe
Naval Airman 1st Class [Air gunner] Jack B. Burton, RN D/JX 147764, H.M.S. Rodney, [806 Sqdn.], age 20, 28/05/1940, Minster (Thanet) Cemetery. Died of wounds.
Landed at RAF Detling

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Serial number: ?, L6-?
Operation: Dunkirk
Damaged: 28/05/1940
Lost on take-off. Crew probably safe.

Sources: British and Other Navies in World War 2 Day-by-Day; CWGC and Skua's over Dunkirk.

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29/05/1940: Dunkirk, F

Two Skuas and a Roc of 806 Squadron attacked German bombers that were going after British evacuation ships. They claimed a Ju88 destroyed and another Ju88 damaged, north of Dunkirk near Ostend. This was the only confirmed air-to-air victory for a Roc.

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30/05/1940: Dunkirk, F

Two Skuas and a Roc of 806 Squadron drove off a Heinkel 111 attacking a merchant ship off Dunkirk.

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02/06/1940: Dunkirk, F

806 Squadron engaged two Junkers 88 bombers, damaging both.

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806 Squadron - Fleet Air Arm Archive
Air of Authority
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 Museum
Fleet Air Arm Archive 1939-1945: Prisoners of War
Flying Marines
Lee-on-Solent Memorial (missing FAA members)
Obituary Commander Stan Orr
Prisoners of War captured in Europe 1940
RAF - Campaign Diary - The Battle of France (May-June 1940)
RAF History - Bomber Command
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

Skua's over Dunkirk
Warrior Models 1/48 Blackburn Roc


Peter D. Cornwell, The Battle of France, Then and Now, 2008
Norman Franks, Air Battle Dunkirk
Ross McNeill 'Royal Air Force Coastal Command Losses of the Second World War' (Midland Counties)
Peter C. Smith, 'Skua! - The Royal Navy's Dive-Bomber', pen and Sword Books, ISBN: 1844154556
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 FAA 806 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