Traces of World War 2 
FAA - No. 816 Squadron
10/05/1940 - 30/06/1940

      home - latest update 4 July 2008

FLEET AIR ARM 816 SQUADRON - Bomber, Fairey Swordfish I

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

The squadron formed aboard HMS Furious in October 1939 with 9 Swordfish for anti-submarine duties for a Canadian convoy.

HMS Furious took part in the defence of Norway in April 1940, the squadron making the first airborne torpedo attack of the war.

With the fall of the Low Countries and evacuation of France, the squadron operated briefly from Jersey then in June 1940 embarked on HMS Furious, the squadron attempting to attack the German battleship Scharnhorst in September 1940.

On 22 September 1940 five aircraft were lost in an attack on shipping at Trondheim, and a month later the squadron bombed fuel storage tanks at Tromso.

The squadron joined RAF Coastal Command in March 1941 for operations on the Dutch and French coasts, and in June embarked on HMS Furious to escort RAF aircraft being ferried to Malta. Returning with HMS Ark Royal until torpedoed on 13 November 1940 when the squadron ceased to exist.


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

12/04/1940: Narvik, Norway. 1 Plane lost
15/05/1940: Shipping strike, Norway. 1 Plane lost

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12/04/1940: Norway

Type: Swordfish Mk I
Serial number: K6002, -?
Operation: Narvik, Norway
Lost: 12/04/1940
Marcus Donati survived landing after the Narvik attack on 12/4/1940. HMS Furious pitched heavily as he landed and he went over the side and survived in the sea for 45 minutes in sea temperatures of 28F until picked up by Hero. (FAA Aircraft 1939-45 Sturtivant/Burrow)

Marcus Donati died 17/01/1941 on S.S. Almeda Star, en route to HMS Goshawk on Trinidad.

from RAF Commands Forum

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15/05/1940: Shipping strike, Norway

Type: Swordfish Mk I
Serial number: ?, -?
Operation: Shipping strike, Norway
Lost: 15/05/1940
S/Lt J.W. Ball - safe
Lt A.S. Marshall - safe
Naval Airman R. Pike - safe
Ditched in Ofotfjord after receiving damage on an attack on German aircraft at Lake Hartvig, near Bjervik. Crew were picked up by destroyer HMS Zulu.

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

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816 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
T.K. Derry (1952), The Campaign in Norway
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)
Prisoners of War captured in Europe 1940
RAF against odds (Time, USA, 27/05/1940)
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
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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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)
Ray Sturvivant, Fleet Air Arm Aircraft 1939-1945, Air Britain Historians Ltd, 1995
Ray Sturtivant & T. Ballance, The Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm Air Britain (Historians) Ltd, 1994. ISBN: 0 85130 223 8

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Abbreviations used in the Royal Air Force
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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
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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 816 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