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
                                                     Squadron Disbanded.