Traces of World War 2 
FAA - No. 818 Squadron
10/05/1940 - 30/06/1940

      home - latest update 27 February 2008

FLEET AIR ARM 818 SQUADRON - Bomber, Fairey Swordfish

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

The squadron was formed at Evanton at a torpedo reconnaissance squadron with 9 Swordfish Is in August 1939, two months prior to the original planning due to the threat of war, where it embarked on HMS Ark Royal at Scapa to search for shipping off Norway.

In April 1940 the squadron embarked on HMS Furious to defend Norway, and on 11 April attacked 2 German destroyers in Trondheim Fjord.

In May and June 1940, the squadron operated from Thorney and Carew Cheriton under the RAF Coastal Command in the Channel, then embarked on HMS Ark Royal in the middle of the month for the Mediterranean where attacks were made on the Vichy French Fleet at Oran, including attempts to attack the French battleship Strasbourg.
Subsequently attacks were made on Sicily, and on the Italian battleship Littorio on 27 November 1940, and to provide Malta convoy escorts, followed by bombing and mining operations on Leghorn, Genoa, Pisa and La Spezia naval docks in February 1941.


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

21/05/1940: Escort, Norway. 1 Plane lost, 3 WIA

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21/05/1940: Escort, Norway

Aircraft carriers Furious flew off the Gladiator aircraft of the 263 Squadron ashore to Bardufoss airfield, northeast of Narvik. One Swordfish of the 818 Squadron escorting the Gladiators and two Gladiators crashed on a mountainside at Gryllefjord, Seja Island.

Type: Fairey Swordfish Mk I
Serial number: P4216, -?
Operation: Escort
Lost: 21/05/1940
S/Lt J.A. Welply, injured
S/Lt G.P. Simpson, injured
Leading Airman H.H. Simpson, injured
The crew returned to the ship. See this page for a photo of the wreck and crash location

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

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818 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 Sturtivant& T. Ballance, 'The Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm' Published by Air Britain (Historians) Ltd, 1994 ISBN: 0 85130 223 8
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
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 818 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