Wartime History 1942-6:
894 Squadron formed as a single seater Fighter Squadron at Norfolk Virginia in Jul 1942 with 6 Grumman Martlet IV fighters, arriving in the UK in Jan 1943. The Squadron re-equipped with 9 Seafire IIc fighters in March, operated from HMS Illustrious off Norway in July and during the Salemo campaign in September; re-equipping with 12 Seafire F-III's. In November, 894 Squadron formed 24th Naval Fighter Wing with 887 Squadron.
The 24th NFW operated from Culmhead with 263 Squadron RAF on anti-shipping attacks in the English Channel and on the French coast in April and May, and carried out further operations off Norway from HMS Indefatigable in August and HMS Implacable in October; after re-equipping with 16 Seafire F-III fighters the Wing sailed to join the British Pacific Fleet in November, arriving in Ceylon in December. In January1945 the Wing operated from HMS Indefatigable carrying out attacks on Japanese forces in Sumatra and in the Pacific, from March until the last day of the war, later disembarking in Australia. The Squadron sailed for the UK in January 1946 disbanding on arrival in March.
During the period July 1943 to August 1945, 894 Squadron is credited with having shot down 15 enemy aircraft, shared a further 6 with other Squadrons /Ships and 2 damaged, as well as a considerable number destroyed on the ground in Norway, Northern France, Sumatra, Sakishima Gunto, Formosa and mainland Japan.
15 Jul Assembled at RNAS Stretton, Cheshire England. 21 Jul Greenock, embarked for passage to USA. 30 Jul Arrived Hoboken NJ, USA
15 Aug Squadron formed at NAS Norfolk, VA, USA equipped with 6 Grumman F4F-4B Martlet 1V.
Sep-Nov Squadron Workup.
12-19 Oct 3 aircraft detached to NAS Chicago IL, flying via Pittsburg PA and Toledo OH; ground party by train.
16-18 Oct Deck Landing Practice - USS Wolverine on Lake Michigan.
02 Nov moved to NAS Quonset Point, RI, USA. 5/6 Dec Returned to Norfolk via New York. 8 Dec Embarked HMS Battler (Captain FMR Stephenson RN) with 890 and 892
(Martlet) Squadrons; aircraft hoisted aboard at Norfolk.
..Dec Passage to New York. 21 Dec Passage with Convoy HX220 to UK in bad weather, no flying en-route.
8 Jan Disembarked to RNAS Machrihanish, Argyll; then to leave. 18 Feb Squadron moved to RNAS Hatston, Orkney. 15 Mar Re-equipped with 9 Supermarine Seafire IIc/L.IIc. 2-4 Jun Deck Landing Practice, HMS Argus, in Clyde. 6-8 Jun 2 aircraft detachment for trials with HMS Illustrious in Clyde. 8 Jun Squadron returned to Machrihanish; deck landing practice HMS Illustrious in the Clyde. 2 Jul Embarked HMS Illustrious (Captain RLB Cunliffe RN), with 810 (Barracuda), 878 (Martlet) and 890 (Martlet) Squadrons. 2-20 Jul Workup in Clyde with Flag Officer Carrier Training (Vice Admiral Sir Lumley Lyster KCB CBE CVO DSO); then to Scapa Flow with Home Fleet. 20-22 JulDetachment ashore at Hatston. 24 Jul Passage Scapa Flow to Iceland. 28 Jul Operation Governor, off Norwegian coast, no contact with enemy. 29 Jul Return to Scapa Flow. 2 Aug Arrive Greenock. 5-7 Aug Escorting HMS Rodney (Winston Churchill embarked) to mid-Atlantic. 9 Aug Return to Greenock; joined Force H (Vice Admiral Sir Algernon Willis KCB DSO).
13-17 Aug Passage to Gibraltar with HMS Unicorn.
18-21 Aug Passage to Malta.
24 Aug-2 Sep Detachment disembarked to RNAS Ta Kali, Malta.
7 Sep Depart Malta with Force H (HM Ships Formidable, Illustrious, Nelson, Rodney, Valiant and Warspite; Flag Officer Aircraft Carriers Rear Admiral C. Moody CB) and Force V (Rear Admiral P.L. Vian DSO**); HM Ships Attacker, Battler, Hunter, Stalker and Unicorn. 8 Sep Italy capitulates. 9-15 SepOperation Avalanche - providing fighter cover for Allied landings on mainland of Italy. 9 Sep 16 sorties over Forces H and V, no enemy contacts. 10 Sep 18 sorties over Forces H and V, no enemy contacts. 11 Sep 16 sorties over Forces H and V, no enemy contacts; pm 6 aircraft detach to HMS Unicorn to join 887and 897 (Seafire) Squadrons, HMS Illustrious withdraws to Malta. 12 Sep 6 sorties over beaches, no enemy contacts; pm 4 aircraft land at Paestum, Italy. 13 Sep 7 sorties over beaches, no contact; pm move to 'R' strip, Paestum. 14 Sep 3 sorties over beaches; pm 4 aircraft to Falcone, Italy. 15 Sep 4 aircraft on to Bizerta, Tunisia via Castel Vetrano, Sicily, to join 2 aircraft from HMS Unicorn. 16 Sep 6 aircraft Bizerta to Ta Kali.
16-20 Sep Detachment ashore at Ta Kali.
22- 29 Sep 6 aircraft detachment RAF North Front, Gibraltar.
4 Oct Sail from Gibraltar. 5 Oct Return to Gibraltar. 7 Oct All Seafires transfer to HMS Formidable by lighter. 10 Oct All Seafires return to HMS Illustrious by lighter. 12 Oct Depart Gibraltar for passage to UK. 18 Oct 7 remaining aircraft of Squadron disembarked to RNAS Henstridge, Somerset, via Machrihanish. 21 Oct-6 NovSquadron leave period 25 Oct Formed 24th Naval Fighter Wing with 887 (Seafire) Squadron . 27 Nov First Squadron to re-equip with 12 Seafire F-III's. 2 Dec Squadron Dance, The Hut, Stalbridge.
7 Jan Moved to RNAS Burscough, Lancs, via Ternhill. 6 Feb Moved to RAF Ballyherbert, Co. Down; ground crew by train and ferry.
14-23 Mar Squadron leave period.
17-19 Mar Trials detachment at Machrihanish.
19-26 Mar Trials detachment embarked HMS Indefatigable.
20 Apr 24th NFW moved to RAF Culmhead, Somerset
25 Apr-1 2 May Operation Instep, fighter escort for 263 (Typhoon) Squadron RAF carrying out anti-shipping attacks in English Channel and interdiction raids on Northern France using RAF Bolt Head, Devon as forward base.
25 Apr 8 aircraft on convoy patrols. 26 Apr 06:15, 4 aircraft on shipping recce Guernsey, St Malo and Brehar; 14:15, 8 aircraft (+7 of 887 Squadron) target support of 263 Squadron Morlaix. 27 Apr 06:15, 4 aircraft shipping recce; 10:15, 16 aircraft from Wing target support Morlaix; 16:00, Wing target support Moralaix. 28 Apr 16 aircraft on Air Sea Rescue sorties over landing ships attacked by E-boat, during night. 29 Apr am : Channel patrols; pm 12 aircraft shipping strike Pontusval. 30 Apr 4 aircraft shipping recce Channel Islands, St Malo and Reuchat. I May 4 aircraft shipping recce Channel Islands and Lezanddeux. 2 May Standby, no sorties. 3 May 16 aircraft Wing Support for 263 Squadron Morlaix, target obscured by cloud, no attacks. 4 May Standby, no sorties. 5 May Gale warning, no flying. 6 May pm : Shipping patrols. 7 May 4 aircraft (+ 4 887) St Nazaire via Bolt Head. 8 May Non operational flying. 9 May 11:15, 4 aircraft (+ 4 887) Gael and Rennes, no attacks; 14:00, 4 aircraft Kedain-Bastard airfield, Vannes, Gael and St Malo, heavy flak at Kerlain-Bastard and Vannes; pm: 10 aircraft detachment to RAF Predannack, Cornwall, from Culmhead. 10 May 06:45, 8 aircraft patrol 100 miles South West Lizard after reported JU88s, no contacts; return to Culmhead PM. 11 May 14:30, 8 aircraft (+ 8 887) to Bolt Head then Kerlin Bastard. 12 May 09:30, 4 aircraft to St Malo escorting 263 Squadron on shipping strikes; final operations for Squadron. 15 May 24th NFW returned to Ballyherbert. 23 May Embarked HMS Indefatigable. 30 May Disembarked to RNAS Eglinton, Co. Londonderry. 18 Jul Moved to RNAS Grimsetter, Orkney. 24 Jul 24th NFW embarked HMS Indefatigable (Captain QD Graham CBE DSO RN), with 820 (Barracuda) and 1770 (Firefly) Squadrons. 26 Jul Arrive Scapa Flow. 31 Jul Squadron DLP's 3 Aug Operation Turbine, raid on Gossen airfield, Norway, 6 enemy BF.110 aircraft destroyed on ground and other damage to enemy, heavy flak encountered. 4-7 Aug Scapa Flow.
8-1 0 Aug Operation Turbine, fighter cover for anti-shipping sweep in Norwegian waters including attacks on Tirpitz.
14-21 Aug Further anti-shipping operations.
22 Aug Operation Goodwood, strikes on Tirpitz in Altenfjord, Norway with HM Ships Formidable, Furious, Nabob and Trumpeter, 2 enemy Bv.138 aircraft shot down; HMS Nabob torpedoed and badly damaged by U-354. 24 Aug Operation Goodwood continued. 29 Aug 7 aircraft (+ 7 887 Squadron) diversionary straffing raids on Hammerfest. I Sep Returned to Scapa Flow. 3-13 SepAircrew leave period.
17-20 Sep Workup in North Sea and off Norway.
24 Sep Disembarked RAF Skeabrae, Orkney. 26 Sep-6 OctSquadron leave period. 16 Oct 24th NFW embarked HMS Implacable (Captain LD Mackintosh of Mackintosh DSO DSC RN), with 828 (Barracuda), 841 (Barracuda) and 1771 (Firefly) Squadrons, flying Flag of C in C Home Fleet (Admiral Sir Henry Moore KCB CVO DSO). 19 Oct Recce Norwegian coast.
26-28 Oct Operation Athletic, fighter cover for ant-shipping strikes and mine laying operations in Norwegian waters - Rorvik, Bodo and Lodings..
30 Oct Disembarked to RNAS Lee-on-Solent, Hants, via Hatston and Ouston; groundcrew by rail. 1-9 Nov Embarkation leave.
Early-Nov Re-equipped with 16 Seafire L-III, modified for tropical service; Seafire F-III's to 887 Squadron.
Nov HMS Indefatigable in dry dock, Portsmouth. 21 Nov Embarked HMS Indefatigable, sailed for East Indies. 24 Nov Pass Gibraltar. 26 Nov Algiers, Algeria. 29 Nov Arrive Port Said, Egypt. 30 Nov Passage through Suez Canal. 1 Dec Red Sea; embark 6 Seafires from Dekheila, Egypt. 4 Dec Anchored at Aden. 10 Dec Disembarked to RNAS Katukurunda, Ceylon. 24 Dec 24th NFW (20 aircraft each Squadron embarked HMS Indefatigable with 820 (Avenger) and 1770 (Firefly) Squadrons. 25 Dec Joined 1st Aircraft Carrier Squadron British Pacific Fleet (HM Ships Illustrious, Indomitable, Indefatigable and Victorious; Rear Admiral Sir Philip Vian KCB KBE DSO'*), at Trincomolee, Ceylon.
4 Jan Operation Lentil, Task Force 63 (Vice Admiral Sir Bernard Rawlings KCB) Air strikes against oil installations at Pangkalan Brandon, Sumatra; then to Colombo, Ceylon. 7-16 Jan Trincomolee. 20 Jan Fleet replenishment 22 Jan Planned strike postponed by weather. 24 Jan Operation Meridian 1, air cover for strikes against oil installations at Pladjoe, Sumatra.
26-27 Jan Fleet replenishment.
29 Jan Operation Meridian II, air strikes on oil installations at Soengi Gerong, Sumatra; Squadron destroyed 6 enemy aircraft during counter-attacks on fleet. 31 Jan Crossing the line ceremonies. 4 Feb Replenishment off Fremantle , Western Australia. 10 Feb Disembarked to RNAS Schofields, NSW, Australia, increased to 22 aircraft. 25 Feb Re-embarked HMS Indefatigable. 6 Mar Manus, Admiralty Islands.
13-15 Mar Replenishment at Manus.'
13-16 Mar 18 aircraft detachment ashore at USNAB Pityilu, Manus.
19-23 Mar Replenishment at Ulithi Atoll, Caroline Islands.
26 Mar-20 Apr Operation Iceberg, Task Force 57 strikes on airfields in the Sakishima Gunto in support of Okinawa campaign with US 5th Fleet (Admiral RA Spruance USN).
26-27 Mar CAP operational sorties.
28-30 Mar Fleet replenishment.
31 Mar-2 AprCAP. I Apr Kamikaze hit on HMS Indefatigable, minor damage (Squadron pilot Sub Lt WG Gibson and AEO Lt L. Teff killed); USMC invasion of Okinawa. 3-4 Apr Fleet replenishment. 5-7 Apr CAP. 6 Apr Kamikaze hit on HMS Illustrious. 8-9 Apr Fleet replenishment.
11 Apr Planned strikes on Formosa delayed by weather.
12-13 Apr Operation Oolong, strikes on Formosa airfields.
14-15 Apr Fleet replenishment; HMS Formidable joins fleet, HMS Illustrious departs.
16-17 Apr Operational sorties on lshigakijima and Miyakojima.
18-19 Apr Fleet replenishment.
20 Apr Operational sorties; at dusk BPF and Fleet Train departs.
23 Apr-I May Replenishment and repairs to flight Deck at San Pedro Bay, Leyte,-, Philippines,.
4-24 MayOperation Iceberg II, further strikes on Sakishima Gunto airfield 4 May HM Ships Formidable and Indomitable hit by Kamikazes. 4-5 May Further strikes on Ishigakijima and Miyakojima. 6-7 May Fleet replenishment. 8 May Planned attacks delayed by weather. 9 May Further attacks on shore targets; HM Ships Formidable and Victorious hit by Kamikazes.
1 0-1 1 May Fleet replenishment.
12-13 May Further attacks on shore targets.
14-15 May Fleet replenishment.
16-17 May Further attacks.
18-19 May Fleet replenishment.
20 May Further attacks. 22 May HMS Formidable departs to Sydney. 23-25 Final strikes on Shakishima 25 May Operations complete at dusk, BPF departs for Sydney. 4 Jun Disembarked to Schofields after 62 days at sea; reduced to 16 aircraft; 2 periods of local leave. 30 Jun 24th NFW joined with 820 (Avenger) and 1772 (Firefly) Squadrons to form 7th Carrier Air Group. 7 Jul 7th CAG embarked HMS Indefatigable. 12 Jul Replenish at Manus. 20 Jul Joined Task Force 37 (HM Ships Formidable, Implacable, Indefatigable and Victorious) with US 3rd Fleet (Admiral WF Halsey USN) for Operation Olympic. Strikes against mainland of Japan and warships in coastal waters. 24 Jul Attacks on airfields at Skikoku and targets in Inland Sea. 25 Jul Strikes limited by weather, attacks on targets in Inland Sea. 26-27 JulFleet replenishment. 28-30 JulShipping strikes. 31 Jul-7 AugStandoff from Ops. 6 Aug Atom Bomb - Hiroshima. 8 Jul Typhoon disrupts planned attacks. 9 Aug Atom Bomb Nagasaki, strikes on Onagawan, CO shot down and became POW. 10 Aug Further strikes. 11 Aug Replenishment from TF 118 Fleet Train; HM Ships Formidable, Implacable and Victorious depart to Australia; 12 Aug HMS Indefatigable joins Task Group 38.5 (US 3rd Fleet Carrier Group, Vice Admiral JS McCain USN) US Ships Essex, Randolph and Wasp. 13 Aug Further overland strikes. 14 Aug Replenishment. 15 Aug VJ-day; top cover for overland strikes on Tokyo, including last dogfight of WWII; 24 NFW shoots down 8 enemy for loss of 2 aircraft. 15 Aug-2 SepCAP and TacR off Japan with Task Force 38. 5-9 Sep Anchor Tokyo Bay; Lt Cdr Crossman returns.
14-15 Sep Anchored at Manus.
18 Sep Disembarked to Schofields. Oct HMS Indefatigable in dock, Sydney. 23 Nov Embarked HMS Indefatigable for visit to New Zealand. 27 Nov-1 DecVisit to Wellington, New Zealand. .-.. Dec Visit to Auckland, New Zealand. 22 Dec Disembarked to Schofields.
31 Jan Embarked HMS Indefatigable for passage to UK. 8 Feb Replenish Fremantle, WA. 18 Feb Replenish Algola Bay, Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
19-20 Feb Cape Town, South Africa; fly-past; Embark 50 Lend Lease aircraft from Wingfield.
24 Feb Lend-lease aircraft dumped at sea. . Mar Pass Ascension Island. 15 March 1946Disembarked to RNAS Gasport, Hampshire England