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RAF Unit Numbers query?

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RAF Unit Numbers query?

Postby PF on 15 May 2008 17:10

Did the RAF ever use the following numbers series for either Fighter; Bomber Squadrons; or Tactical Units {Allocated but never used}?
No.337-339?
No.348?
No.362-399?
No.443-449?
No.468-484?
No.491-499?
No.599?
No.696-711?
No.826-900?
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Re: RAF Unit Numbers query?

Postby tyskaorden on 15 May 2008 18:51

I will try to answer.

It appears that no Nos. 337-339, 348, 362-399 Squadrons was formed.

The Squadrons in the 400 series was Commonwealth Squadrons (the Canadian Air Command formely RCAF have kept the 400-series designations).
No 443 Sqn was formed in 1944 by renumbering the No. 127 Sqn RCAF upon arrival to the United Kingdom.
No. 444 Sqn a RCAF Sqn formed post-war on 1 September 1947.
No. 445 Sqn a RCAF All-Weather Fighter Sqn formed post-war on 1 April 1953.
No. 446 Sqn a RCAF Surface-to-Air-Missile Sqn formed post-war on 28 December 1961.
No. 447 Sqn a RCAF formed post-war as a Surface-to-Air-Missile Sqn on 15 September 1962. Disbanded on 1 September 1972. Reformed 1 January 1979 to fly the heavylift Chinook helicopters and disbanded upon retriement of the Chinook from Canadian service on 1 April 1991.
No. 448 Sqn was the RCAF Test and Evaluation Sqn was replaced by The Central Experimental & Proving Establishment (now Aerospace Engineering & Test Establishment).
No. 449 Sqn Canadian Air Command Maritime Training Sqn formed 1 April 1968. Disbanded 29 August 1975.
No. 450 Sqn Canadian Air Command Heavy Helicopter Transport Sqn with Chinook.
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Re: RAF Unit Numbers query?

Postby PF on 15 May 2008 19:01

Thanks for Info! :D
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Re: RAF Unit Numbers query?

Postby tyskaorden on 15 May 2008 19:15

It should be noted that the no. 450 numberplate was transferred to Canada post-war. During WWII the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) formed a No. 450 Sqn 16 February 1941 it served as a figther-bomber unit in North Africa and Italy.

No Nos. 468-484, 491-499 and 599 seems to have been formed.

No. 485 Sqn, Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Figher Sqn formed 1 March 1941. Disbanded 26 August 1945
No. 486 Sqn, RNZAF Fighter Sqn formed 7 March 1942. Disbanded 12 October 1945.
No. 487 Sqn, RNZAF Bomber Sqn formed 15 August 1942 and disbanded in September 1945.
No. 488 Sqn, RNZAF Fighter Sqn formed September 1941, served Singapore and Dutch East Indies. Badly depleted by the Japanese it was disbanded 2 March 1942. Reformed in the UK 25 June 1942 and served in Europe until disbanded 26 April 1945.
No. 489 Sqn, RNZAF formed 12 August 1941 in RAF Costal Command and disbanded 1 August 1945.
No. 490 Sqn, RNZAF Anti-Submarine Sqn formed in Freetown, Sierra Leone 28 March 1943 and disbanded 1 August 1945.
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Re: RAF Unit Numbers query?

Postby tyskaorden on 15 May 2008 19:51

No Nos. 696-699 Sqns appears to have been formed.

The 700 to 800 Series where allocated to the Fleet Air Arm Squadrons, these where transfered to the Royal Navy on 14 May 1937. It should also be noted that the 700 series squadrons is used for training and operational conversion unit. Operative squadron was numbered in the 800 series and during WWII 1700 and 1800 series was also used for operational squadrons.

No. 700 NAS (Naval Air Sqn) formed 21 January 1940.
No. 701 NAS
No. 702 NAS formed 15 July 1936 as No. 702 Flight.
No. 703 NAS formed 3 June 1942
No. 704 NAS
No. 705 NAS formed June 1936 from No. 447 Flight operated catapult/crane Swordfish from Battle Cruisers HMS Repulse and Renown disbanded in 1940. Reformed post-war in 1947 to develop Helicopter services onboard ships. Today it is a Helicopter Training Sqn.
No. 706 NAS
No. 707 NAS
No. 708 NAS
No. 709 NAS
No. 710 NAS
No. 711 NAS
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Re: RAF Unit Numbers query?

Postby Andy H on 15 May 2008 20:07

The following information is from RAF Squadrons (A Comprehensive record of the Movement & Equipment of all RAF Sqns and their Antecedents since 1912) by Wing Commander C.G.Jefford

Pg10

Within the RAF number allocation, squadrons were formed on a fairly random basis; however, some sub-blocks were formed in response to a tactical or Admin requirement. For instance: No 275-284 Sqns were Air-Sea Rescue units; Nos 285-291 Sqns were for AA Co-Op training; Nos 295-299 Sqns were Transport units; Nos 540-544 & 680-684 Sqns were PR units for service at home and abroad respectively. In this connection it should be noted that a contingency plan was conceived, when an invasion of the UK was considered to be a strong possibility, which envisaged the use of Fighter OTU’s as operational Sqns. These were to have had the numbers 551-566 which would have created by adding 500 to the existing OTU designations. In the event the plan was never put into effect, although there was some desultory use of some of the numbers by some of the OTU’s for a short period. Despite their lack of formal activation, this block of numbers has never been rerallocated for use by other units.

The final significant sub-block was 651-673. These numbers were used by Army-orientated units formed within the RAF. The first sixteen of these were operational AOP Sqns, whilst the last six, although formed as Glider Sqns in India, never saw action.

Appendix II

The number 599 was allocated to the RAF but was never used, though some Sqns were planned in the 510-599 bracket, they failed to materialise before being overtaken by events.

No 696-711 Sqns. Well the RAF were allocated 674-699 but only 679-684, 691, 692 and 695 have been used. Sqns 700-799 were originally allocated to Fleet Air Arm catapult units but later changed to second-line Naval Sqns

No 826-900 Sqns. Well the numbers 800-899 were allocated to carrier and land based operational squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm, whilst 900-999 were Barrage balloon Sqns

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Re: RAF Unit Numbers query?

Postby tyskaorden on 16 May 2008 11:57

Some more information (where i have managed to get one from the FAA site and Wikipedia).

No. 826 NAS was transfered to the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) May 1947. Renumbered No. 881 Sqn in May 1951 and the No. 826 numberplate was returned to the Royal Navy.
No. 827 NAS
No. 828 NAS
No. 829 NAS formed 15 June 1940, on 9 July 1944 it was amalgamated with No. 831 NAS. Reformed in 1964 and amalgamated with No. 815 NAS in 1993. Reformed again on 21 October 2004.
No. 830 NAS
No. 831 NAS
No. 832 NAS
No. 833 NAS
No. 834 NAS
No. 835 NAS formed 15 February 1942 and disbanded 31 March 1945.
No. 836 NAS formed March 1943.
No. 837 NAS
No. 838 NAS
No. 839 NAS this sqn was not formed.
No. 840 NAS
No. 841 NAS
No. 842 NAS
No. 843 NAS
No. 844 NAS
No. 845 NAS formed 1 February 1943 and disbanded in 1945. Reformed in 1955 to be disbanded again in 1959. Reformed 1962 and was active in Jungle operations during the Confrontation with Indonesia. Today it continues to provide support for the 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines.
No. 846 NAS formed 1 april 1943 disbanded in 1945. It reformed in 1962 and like the No. 845 it operated in Borneo during the 1963-66 Confrontation and today provides support for the 3 Commando Brigade RM.
No. 847 NAS formed in the later years of WWII it has been disbanded and reformed several times since. It was reformed from the 3 Commando Brigade Air Sqn on 1 September 1995.
No. 848 NAS formed in 1943 and served in the Mediterranean and the Pacific until disbanded at the end of hostilites with Japan. Reformed in October 1952 as the first FAA operational helicopter unit. Operated againt Communist Guerillas in Malaya until disbanded in 1956. Again reformed in 1958 it was sent to Kuwait in 1961 and to the Far East in 1964 and was disbanded in 1976. It was reformed for the Falklands War 1982 and the Gulf War 1991. No. 849 was again reformed in 1995 and still continue to be operative.
No. 849 NAS formed in the USA at NAS Squantum, Mass. 1 August 1943 and disbanded in 1945. Reformed in july 1952 as a Airborne early warning unit. It was disbanded in 1978 following the decommissioned of the last fixed wing carrier of the Royal Navy. Reformed in November 1984 following the need for AEW revived in the Falklands War.
No. 850 NAS
No. 851 NAS
No. 852 NAS
No. 853 NAS
No. 854 NAS formed 1 January 1944 as a anti-shipping unit. Disbanded 8 December 1945. Reformed 13 December 2006.
No. 855 NAS
No. 856 NAS
No. 857 NAS formed 1 April 1944 and performed anti-submarine duties before disbanding 20 November 1945. Reformed 13 December 2006.
No. 858 NAS
No. 859 NAS
No. 860 NAS - formed 15 June 1943 by Dutch personel of the Netherlands Naval Air Service. Operated from the Merchant Aircraft Carriers Gadila and Macoma. Post-war it was transferred to Dutch control and still serves in the Neth. Naval Air Service as a frontline Helicopter Sqn.
No. 861 NAS
Nos. 862 to 869 NAS appears not to have been formed.
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Re: RAF Unit Numbers query?

Postby tyskaorden on 21 May 2008 18:09

More info from the Fleetairarmarchive.net:

Image
No. 870 NAS formed in 1951 by renumbering of No. 803 Sqn. This was a Canadian Sqn and with adaption of US Navy prefixes by the RCN flying units it became VF 870 in November 1952. Disbanded in 1954 it was reformed next year and served until finaly disbanded in September 1962.

Image
No. 871 NAS this was also a Canadian unit formed in May 1951 by renumbering No. 883 NAS. Became VF 871in November 1952. Disbanded in March 1959 and its aircraft and personnel transferred to VF 870.

No. 872 NAS - No. 876 NAS doesn't seems to have been formed.

No. 877 NAS formed at Tanga East Africa in April 1943 as a fighter unit with Hurricane IIB. Moved to Port Reitz, Mombasa with the intention to fly longrange fighter patrols. This plan was cancelled and the Sqn was disbanded in December 1943.

No. 878 NAS formed Lee-on-Solent in March 1943 as a fleet fighter unit with Martlet IV. Embarked on HMS Illustrious in June 1943 for patrols around Iceland. I August the Ship and Sqn sat sail for the Mediterranean and was involved in the Allied landing at Salerno. Sqn disembarked at Port Ellen in October 1943 and re-equipped with Martlet V and transferred to Eglington. Disbanded in january 1945.

No. 879 NAS formed at St. Merryn in October 1942 as a fleet fighter unit with Fulmar I and was based at Charlton Horethorn and New Sarum for Army cooperation (AC). I March 1943 moved to Stretton and re-equipped with Seafire Ib then to Andover as part of No. 36 (AC) Wing. Embarked HMS Attacker in July 1943 for Salerno operations. Upon retuning to the UK it absorbed No. 886 NAS. Returning with HMS Attacker to the Mediterranean in April 1944, it was however based at land in Algeria and Italy and operated in support of the Army. Re-embarked on HMS Attacker in July for support of the landings in Southern France, it also operated in the Aegean. Dis-embarked at Dekheila (Cyprus) in December 1944 and re-equipped with Seafire L.IIC and L. III. I April to the Far East and before VJ-day it operated from HMS Attacker against targets in Malaya.

ImageImage
No. 880 NAS formed Arbroath in January 1941 as a fleet fighter unit intended for the then still uncompleted HMS Indomitable. In july 1941 embarked on HMS Furious for the attack on Petsamo in the Arctic. In October 1941 the Sqn embarked on the completed HMS Indomitable and sailed for the Far East. May 1942 it participated in the Madagascar landings. Efter participation in the Malta Convoys it returned to the UK in August 1942 and re-equipped with Seafire IIC. October 1942 North African landings on HMS Argus, in March 1943 the Sqn returned to HMS Indomitable. Participated in the Sicily landings July 1943. In September it was at Salerno onboard HMS Stalker. From October 1943 to February 1944 it was stationed at Ballyhalbert and Skeabrae. Later embarked on HMS Furious for operations along the Norwegian coast. On 3 April 1944 the Sqn participated in Operation Tungsten the crippeling of the German Battleship Tirpitz. Part of the Sqn formed a composite figher unit at Drem June-August 1944, rest was based on HMS Furious and continued operations against Tirpitz. October-November 1944 on HMS Implaceable operations over Norway. In March 1945 to the Pacific with the HMS Implacable. Operated against Turk Island and the Japanese homeland, disembarked at Schoefields, Australia 25 August 1945 and disbanded 2 weeks later. Reformed as a Canadian Sqn by renumbering No. 825 NAS in May 1951 becoming VS 880 in November 1952 becoming 880 Maritime Recce Sqn in March 1975. Reduced to zero-strength in 1990 but never officially disbanded.

Image
No. 881 NAS formed at Lee-on-Solent in June 1941 as a fleet fighter unit with Martlet I/II. March 1942 to Indian Ocean on HMS Illustrious. Supporting the Madagascar landings it returned to the UK in 1943. July 1943 HMS Furious operations in Norway. November 1943 re-equipped with Wildcat V and until February 1944 participated in the Gibraltar Convoys onboard HMS Pursuer. On 3 April 1944 it participated in Operation Tungsten. July 1944 to the Mediterranean participating in the Landings in Southern France in August. Later it returned to northern waters and operated along the Norwegian Coast until February 1945. In March 1945 to Capetown anboard HMS Pursuer at Wingfield in Capetown the Sqn re-equipped with Hellcat II. On VJ-day it was still at Wingfield and returned to the UK where it was disbanded in October 1945. Reformed as a Canadian Sqn in May 1951 by renumbering No. 826 NAS, became VS 881 in November 1952. Disbanded in july 1959.
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Re: RAF Unit Numbers query?

Postby tyskaorden on 26 May 2008 12:20

No. 882 NAS, formed at Donibristle July 1941 as a Fleet Fighter Sqn. Embarked HMS Illustrious in May 1942 for the Madagascar Invasion, a part was merged with No. 881 NAS. The remaining part embarked HMS Archer in April 1942 for Floyd Bennett Field NY, USA from where it performed anti-submarine patrols until disbanded September 1942. Reformed the same month and embarked HMS Victorious for North African landings. Then proceeded by the Panama Canal to the Pacific. Returning to the UK the Sqn was disembarked at Eglington i September 1943. In December 1943 embarked on HMS Searcher for Atalntic convoy duties. February-April 1944 operations over Norway then to the Mediterranean supporting the landings in Southern France. February-May 1945 again operations over Norway. June 1945 sailed for Ceylon onboard HMS Searcher, was still at Ceylon on VJ-Day. Then disbanded?

Image
No. 883 NAS, formed in October 1941 as a Fleet Figther Sqn. In Jqanuary 1942 it joined No 14 Group of the RAF, embarking HMS Avenger in June. September 1942 Artic Convoy PQ 18 to the Sovietunion. November 1942 supported landings in North Africa. The Sqn ceased to exist when HMS Avenger was torpedoed while returning to the UK and blew up on 15 November. In 1945 the number was allocated to the RCN and the Canadians began forming the Sqn in September 1945 due to manning problems it was disbanded in February 1946. A second successful attempt was made in May 1947 and the Sqn served until renumbered No. 871 in May 1951.

No. 884 NAS formed at Donibristle in November 1941 as a Fleet Fighter Sqn. Served with the RAF until it embarked HMS Victorious in July 1942 for Malta Convoys returning to Lee-on-Solent in August. In October it reembarked HMS Victorious for the November landings in North Africa. Upon returning to the UK the Sqn rejoined RAF Fighter Command serving until disbanded in July 1943.

No. 885 NAS formed at Dekheila (Cyprus) in March 1941 as a Fleet Figher Sqn. Disbanded in May but reformed at Yeovilton in December 1941. Embarked HMS Victorious in June 1942 for Malta Convoys then spent a time on land before embarking HMS Formidable for operations in the Mediterranean. Returning to the UK it was disbanded at Lee-on-Solent in November 1943. Reformed in February 1944 it was engaged in operations supporting the Normandy landings. Embarking HMS Ruler in December 1944 for the British Pacific Fleet. Disbanding in September 1945.
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Re: RAF Unit Numbers query?

Postby tyskaorden on 26 May 2008 12:48

No. 886 NAS, formed at Donibristle in March 1942 as a Fleet Fighter Sqn. Served with RAF Fighter Command. Embarked HMS Attacker in June 1943 and it September it supported the Salerno landings. Upon returning to the UK it was landbased supporting the Normandy landing preparations. In July 1944 it was merged with No. 885 NAS.

Image
No. 887 NAS, formed at Lee-on-Solent in May 1942 as a Fleet Fighter Sqn. April 1943 embarked HMS Unicorn for Malta Convoy, also supported the Salerno landings in September. July 1944 from HMS Indefatigable operations against the German Battleship Tirpitz in Norway. October 1944 embarked HMS Implacable then again HMS Indefatigable for operations in the Pacific. Attacked oil refineries at Palembang, Sumatra in January 1945. Rested Schoefileds, Hawaii june 1945 then again HMS Indefatigable for operations against Tokyo Bay returning to the UK in March 1946.

No. 888 NAS, formed at Lee-on-Solent in November 1941 as a Fleet Fighter Sqn. February 1942 embarked HMS Formidable for Madagascar landings. 1943 North Africa landings, Sicily landings and Salerno landings. Disbanded November 1943. Reformed at Burscough in June 1944 then operated in the Far East.

No. 889 NAS, formed in March 1942 from the RN Fighter Flight at Fuka South, North Africa. Operated in Syria and North Africa until disbanded in February 1943. Reformed in Ceylon in April 1944 after the loss of the Sqn CO Lieutenant Commander DAE Holbrook the Sqn was disbanded in July 1944. Reformed in June 1945 intended for the British Pacific Fleet but following VJ-Day it was disbanded in September.
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Re: RAF Unit Numbers query?

Postby tyskaorden on 29 May 2008 18:53

No. 890 NAS formed as a Fighter Sqn at Dartmouth, NS Canada June 1942 then to NAS Norfolk, Virginia a detachment served on USS Charger. September 1942 to UK, January to June 1943 served shorebases to embarked HMS Illustrious for Patrols Iceland and Norway. In September supported Salerno landings. October 1943 to RAF Fighter Command, based at Port Ellen and Eglington. February 1944 embarked HMS London for Ceylon and served in Eastern Waters until disbanded in August 1944.

No.891 NAS, formed as a Fighter Sqn at Lee-on-Solent June 1942. Embarked HMS Dasher in October for North African landings. Re-embarked in January 1943. On March 27 a explosion onboard HMS Battler in the Clyde led to huge losses in lives including a detetchment of the Squadron which led to the disbanding of the Sqn in April. Reformed at Eglington in june 1945 with 16 Hellcat II(NF) it was again disbanded in September.

Image
No. 892, NAS formed at NAS Norfolk, VA the USA in July 1942, then serving on HMS Battler from Decemebr 1942 to January 1943. Then embarking on HMS ARcher in February 1943 serving on convoy duty until April. Disbanded in August 1943 the personnel transferred to no. 819 NAS. Reformed in April at Eglington as a Night fighter unit with 16 Hellcat II(NF) and was undertaking Night fighter training at Drem at VJ-Day.

No. 893 NAS, formed at Donibristle in june 1942 as a Fighter Sqn. In October the Sqn was embarked on HMS Formidable for the North African landings and later was active supporting Sicily and Salerno landings. Then to Northern Waters the Sqn protected Artic Convoys to the Sovietunion. Upon returning to the UK in November 1943 it was disbanded. Plans for reforming the Squadron was not acted upon.
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Re: RAF Unit Numbers query?

Postby tyskaorden on 18 Jul 2008 13:44

No. 894 NAS, formed as a fighter Sqn at Norfolk NAS in the USA in August 1942. In December it embarked HMS Battler for the UK, then to HMS Illustrious for operations off Iceland and Norway. In August 1943 it sailed for Malta and latter participated in the Salerno landings, then to 24th Naval Fighter Wing at Henstridge with 12 Seafire F.III. In April the Sqn was involved in anti-shipping operations in the English Channel. In July 1944 it embarked HMS Indefatigable for operations against the German Battleship Tirpitz in Norway. At the end of 1944 it set sail for the Pacific and in January 1944 participated in the attack on the Palembang oil refineries on Sumatra. Later it was to attack the Japanese home Islands prior to VJ-Day.

No. 895 NAS, formed as a fighter Sqn at Stretton in November 1942. It remained shorebased until disbanded at Turnhouse in june 1943, it's personnel was used to form Nos 816 and 842 Sqns.

No. 896 Sqn, formed at NAS Norfolk in September 1942 as a fighter Sqn with 6 Sea Martlets IV. In February 1943 it embarked HMS Victorious for operations in the Pacific. After operations in the Coral Sea and the Solomons it returned to the UK in September 1943. In February 1944 it was on Malta Convoy duty disbanding in June 1944. Reformed at Wingfield, Cape Town in January 1945 with 24 Hellcat FB. II. Then to HMS Ameer and HMS Empress for operations in the Indian Ocean and Bay of Siam. After VJ-Day it supported the occupation of the Malaya peninsula.

No. 897 NAS, formed at Stretton in August 1942 but disbanded already the following month. Was reformed in December 1942, embarking HMS Unicorn in August 1943 for the Salerno landings. In October 1943 to 3rd Naval Fighter Wing at Burscough, embarking HMS Stalker from December 1943 to February 1944. In March 1944 re-equipped with Spitfire L.Vb at Lee-on-Solent and provided support for the Normandy landings. In July 1944 it merged with No. 855 Sqn and ceased to exist.
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Re: RAF Unit Numbers query?

Postby tyskaorden on 18 Jul 2008 14:38

No. 898 NAS, formed at NAS Norfolk, USA in October 1942 as a fighter Sqn. Embarking HMS Victorious in February 1943 for operations in the Pacific. Returning to the UK in September 1943 becoming part of the 7th Naval Fighter Wing. Embarking HMS Searcher in December 1943 for Atlantic Convoy duties. In April 1944 it was involved in the operation against the Battleship Tirpitz and continued operations off the Norwegian Coast until June 1944. Then participated in a Gibraltar Convoy and later was merged with No. 882 NAS in July 1944. In January 1944 the Sqn was reformed at Wingfield, Cape Town and later went to Ceylon.

Image
No 899 NAS, formed at Hatston in December 1942. Then embarked HMS Indomitable for the Mediteranean, designated to support the Siciliy landings the Sqn had to disembark at Gibraltar when the ship was struk by a torpedo. In August 1943 it embarked HMS Hunter for the Salerno landings, then transferred to HMS Implacable and HMS Khedive. Took part in the landings in southern France and later in operations against Crete and Rhodes. In February 1945 to Schoefield in Australia to act as a Seafire pool and later became a Operational Training Sqn, training RAAF pilots for naval duties as a nucelus for a RAN Fleet Air Arm. The Sqn was disbanded at Schoefield on 27 September 1945 and reformed 7 November 1955 with 12 Seahawk FGA6 jets at RNAS Brawdy. Embarking HMSEagle 16 April 1956 it was heavily involved in Operation Musketeeer (the Suez Campaign) during October. Returning to the UK in January 1957 it was disbanded again. No. 899 NAS was resurrected on 1 February 1961 at RNAS Yeovilton with five Sea Vixen FAW 1 and on HMS Eagle its was dispatched to the Far East in 1964-65. In November 1965 it is was involved in the Biera Patrol blockade following the Rhodesia UDI crisis. In 1967 the Sqn again onboard HMS Eagle was covering the British withdrawal from Aden. A Sea Vixen of teh Sqn was the last aircraft to leave carrying the British Flag. Following the decision to scrap the RN Aircraft Carriers the Sqn was again disbanded in 1972. In 1980 the Sqn was reformed as the Sea Harrier training unit and in 1982 it provided pilots and Aircraft to Nos. 800 and 801 Sqns during the Falklands War. After many years training Sea Harrier pilots No. 899 NAS disbanded yet again on 23 March 2005.
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