|835 Naval Air Squadron|
|Active||17 February 1942 – 1 April 1945|
|Type||Carrier based squadron|
Latin: Semper miseri sumus|
(Translation: "We are always miserable")
|Lt/Cdr. M. Johnstone, DSC, RN; Lt/Cdr(A) J.R. Godley, RNVR|
|Squadron Badge heraldry||Two wing-hilted swords in front of waves in a circle of rope|
Hawker Sea Hurricane|
835 Naval Air Squadron was a squadron of the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm formed originally as a Fairey Swordfish torpedo bomber/reconnaissance unit in February 1942. In June 1943, six Sea Hurricanes were added to the squadron as a fighter flight. The composite unit exchanged these in September 1944 for Grumman Wildcats, serving on until 1 April 1945, when the squadron disbanded.
The history of the squadron begins in Eastleigh near Southampton in Hampshire. There, in January 1942, the first members of the squadron assembled at the Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Eastleigh, also known as HMS Raven. On 29 January they left for Glasgow to board the SS Andalucia Star, which brought them to Jamaica, leaving Glasgow on 4 February and arriving in Kingston on 17 February. 835 Naval Air Squadron officially forming that day at Palisadoes (HMS Buzzard), Jamaica as a torpedo-bomber/reconnaissance Fairey Swordfish squadron. They left Jamaica 12 March 1942, having done some patrols over the seas around Jamaica, going to Norfolk, Virginia, USA where a refitted HMS Furious lay waiting for them to take them aboard They left Norfolk on 3 April 1942 for the UK, arriving 15 April at RNAS Lee-on-Solent (HMS Daedalus), Hampshire. In June 1942 they moved to RNAS Hatston (HMS Sparrowhawk), Orkney, Scotland. It was a time of continuous relocation and 22 September 1942 they moved further to RNAS Stretton (HMS Blackcap), Cheshire, moving on 29 October to RNAS Machrihanish (HMS Landrail), Argyll. November 1942 was spent doing initial Deck Launch Training (DLT) on HMS Activity. and December saw a return to RNAS Machrihanish and a further relocation to RAF Kirkistown, County Down, Northern Ireland, where they stayed till 29 January 1943.
On 29 January, they moved back to RNAS Machrihanish (earning the nickname "Clapham Junction" with the squadron), but the next move was finally to a carrier: the squadron embarked on HMS Battler on 8 April 1943 for convoy duties, but they had to leave on 7 May, returning to RNAS Machrihanish for RP-3 Rocker Projectile training. After a short return to the Battler, followed a move on 15 May to RAF BallyKelly, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland and a further one on 22 May to RNAS Eglington (HMS Gannet). In June 1943, a flight of six Sea Hurricane Mk.IIcs from 804 squadron joined the squadron, which spent part of September and October 1943 operating from HMS Ravager, while part of the Swordfishes served on HMS Argus and the rest of the squadron remained at RAF Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland. After a period ashore at RNAS Eglington, the squadron shortly embarked on HMS Chaser, only to be taken off three weeks later and being transferred to RNAS Abbotsinch (HMS Sanderling) and later again to RNAS Eglington.
On 31 December 1943, the squadron transferred to the escort carrier HMS Nairana, returning ashore at RNAS Hatston and RNAS Machrihanish (HMS Landrail) in January 1944. Most of 1944, however, was spent onboard Nairana, on Atlantic convoy duties and on the Gibraltar Run. The squadron also served in 1944 with a successful submarine Hunter-Killer Group in the North Atlantic under the overall command of Captain Frederick Walker. In May–June 1944, three Ju 290s were shot down. In August 1944, the squadron became involved in the Murmansk Convoys to and from RNAS Hatston, where it faced the most dangerous flying conditions of the war, and attacked two U-Boats and shot down four enemy aircraft. September 1944 saw the arrival of the Grumman Wildcat Mk.VIs, replacing the by now ageing Sea Hurricanes.
On 9 January 1945, Lt-Commander John Godley RNVR—who had previously been in command of 'P' Flight of 836 Naval Air Squadron—became commander of the squadron. Before that, the squadron was led by Lieutenant-Commander Val Jones, a Swordfish Observer. The Senior Pilot of the squadron was Lieutenant Allen Burgham, DSC, MiD, who flew Sea Hurricane Mk.IIcs and later Wildcat Mk.VIs, and was Flight Commander of the Fighter Component. At this time, the squadron was flying 14 Swordfish and six Grumman Wildcat aircraft.
Lieutenant-Commander John Godley served as Squadron Commanding Officer for one Murmansk Convoy in February 1945. 835 Squadron saw further combat doing two coastal anti-shipping raids along the Norwegian coast off Trondheim, before being disbanded on 1 April 1945 at RNAS Hatston, with its fighter flight transferring to 821 Naval Air Squadron. Lt/Cdr. Godley was transferred to command 714 Naval Air Squadron.
|February 1942||February 1943||Fairey Swordfish||MK.I|
|October 1942||June 1944||Fairey Swordfish||Mk.II|
|June 1943||September 1944||Hawker Sea Hurricane||Mk.IIc|
|July 1944||March 1945||Fairey Swordfish||Mk.III|
|September 1944||March 1945||Grumman Wildcat||Mk.VI|
|1 January 1942||29 January 1942||RNAS Eastleigh (HMS Raven), Hampshire|
|29 January 1942||17 February 1942||En route to Jamaica|
|17 February 1942||12 March 1942||Palisadoes (HMS Buzzard), Kingston, Jamaica|
|12 March 1942||2 April 1942||'En route to Norfolk, Virginia|
|3 April 1942||15 April 1942||HMS Furious|
|15 April 1942||June 1942||RNAS Lee-on-Solent (HMS Daedalus), Hampshire|
|June 1942||21 September 1942||RNAS Hatston (HMS Sparrowhawk), Orkney, Scotland|
|22 September 1942||28 October 1942||RNAS Stretton (HMS Blackcap), Cheshire|
|29 October 1942||12 November 1942||RNAS Machrihanish (HMS Landrail), Argyll, Scotland|
|13 November 1942||27 November 1942||HMS Activity|
|28 November 1942||18 December 1942||RNAS Machrihanish (HMS Landrail), Argyll, Scotland|
|18 December 1942||29 January 1943||RAF Kirkistown, County Down, Northern Ireland|
|29 January 1943||8 April 1943||RNAS Machrihanish (HMS Landrail), Argyll, Scotland|
|9 April 1943||7 May 1943||HMS Battler|
|7 May 1943||14 May 1943||RNAS Machrihanish (HMS Landrail), Argyll, Scotland|
|14 May 1943||15 May 1943||HMS Battler|
|15 May 1943||22 May 1943||RAF BallyKelly, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland|
|22 May 1943||4 June 1943||RNAS Eglington (HMS Gannet), County Londonderry, Northern Ireland|
|4 June 1943||28 June 1943||HMS Battler||Detachment at RNAS Eglington, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland|
|28 June 1943||July 1943||RNAS Eglington (HMS Gannet), County Londonderry, Northern Ireland|
|July 1943||30 July 1943||HMS Battler|
|30 July 1943||6 November 1943||RAF Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland|
|9 September 1943||6 November 1943||HMS Ravager||Sea Hurricane flight|
|9 September 1943||6 November 1943||HMS Argus||part of Swordfish flight|
|6 November 1943||27 November 1943||HMS Chaser|
|27 November 1943||16 December 1943||RNAS Abbotsinch (HMS Sanderling), Renfrewshire, Scotland|
|16 December 1943||30 December 1943||RNAS Eglington (HMS Gannet), County Londonderry, Northern Ireland|
|31 December 1943||January 1944||HMS Nairana|
|January 1944||24 February 1944||RNAS Hatston (HMS Sparrowhawk) and RNAS Machrihanish (HMS Landrail)|
|24 February 1944||6 March 1944||HMS [Nairana|
|6 March 1944||8 March 1944||RAF Gibraltar|
|8 March 1944||15 March 1944||HMS Nairana|
|15 March 1944||17 March 1944||RNAS Abbotsinch (HMS Sanderling), Renfrewshire, Scotland|
|17 March||5 April 1944||HMS Nairana|
|5 April 1944||10 April 1944||RAF Gibraltar|
|10 April 1944||17 April 1944||HMS Nairana|
|17 April 1944||13 May 1944||RNAS Abbotsinch (HMS Sanderling), Renfrewshire, Scotland|
|13 May 1944||4 July 1944||HMS Nairana|
|4 July 1944||13 August 1944||RNAS Burscough (HMS Ringtail), Lancashire|
|13 August 1944||14 September 1944||HMS Nairana|
|14 September 1944||14 October 1944||RNAS Yeovilton (HMS Heron), Somerset|
|14 October 1944||29 October 1944||HMS Nairana|
|29 October 1944||2 November 1944||Murmansk, Russia|
|2 November 1944||9 November 1944||HMS Nairana|
|9 November 1944||30 November 1944||RNAS Machrihanish (HMS Landrail), Argyll, Scotland|
|30 November 1944||20 December 1944||HMS Nairana|
|20 December 1944||27 December 1945||RAF Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland|
|27 December 1944||5 January 1945||HMS Nairana|
|5 January 1945||22 January 1945||RNAS Machrihanish (HMS Landrail), Argyll, Scotland|
|22 January 1945||29 January 1945||HMS Nairana|
|29 January 1945||5 February 1945||RNAS Hatston (HMS Sparrowhawk), Orkney, Scotland|
|5 February 1945||28 February 1945||HMS Nairana|
|28 February 1945||26 March 1945||RNAS Hatston (HMS Sparrowhawk), Orkney, Scotland|
|26 March 1945||29 March 1945||HMS Nairana|
|29 March 1945||1 April 1945||RNAS Hatston (HMS Sparrowhawk), Orkney, Scotland|
|17 February 1942||15 April 1942||Lt/Cdr. M. Johnstone, DSC, RN|
|15 April 1942||28 June 1943||Lt/Cdr. J.R. Lang, RN|
|28 June 1943||December 1943||Lt/Cdr. W.N. Waller, RN|
|December 1943||9 February 1944||Lt/Cdr(A) T.T. Miller, RN|
|9 February 1944||13 August 1944||Lt/Cdr. E.E. Barringer, RNVR|
|13 August 1944||9 January 1945||Lt/Cdr(A) F.V. Jones, RNVR|
|9 January 1945||31 March 1945||Lt/Cdr(A) J.R. Godley, RNVR|
- Barringer 1995, p. 186.
- Barringer 1995, pp. 3, 10–11.
- Barringer 1995, p. 13.
- Barringer 1995, p. 28.
- Barringer 1995, p. 44.
- Barringer 1995, p. 51.
- Swanson, Graham. "809 Naval Air Squadron and the late Sammy Mearns". www.fleetairarmoa.org. http://www.fleetairarmoa.org/pages/images_pages/page118.htm. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
- Barringer 1995, p. 177.
- "835 Squadron". www.fleetairarmarchive.net. Fleet Air Arm Archive. 2005. http://www.fleetairarmarchive.net/squadrons/835.html. Retrieved 1 April 2011.
- Barringer 1995, p. 181.
- Houterman, Hans; Jeroen Koppes. "Royal Navy (RN) Officers, 1939–1945". www.unithistories.com. World War II unit histories & officers. http://www.unithistories.com/officers/RN_officersW.html. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
- Barringer, E.E. "Alone on a Wide, Wide Sea" London: Leo Cooper, 1995. ISBN 0-85052-278-1.
- Kilbracken, John. Bring Back My Stringbag: Swordfish Pilot at War, 1940–1945. London: Pen & Sword, 1996. ISBN 0-85052-495-4.
- Sadler, George E. Swordfish Patrol. Wrexham, UK: Bridge Books, 1996. ISBN 1-872424-53-8.
- "835 Squadron". www.fleetairarmarchive.net. Fleet Air Arm Archive. 14 June 2005. http://www.fleetairarmarchive.net/squadrons/835.html. Retrieved 1 April 2011.
- "HMS Nairana, Escort Carrier (Became Karel Doorman (1) 1946 (Netherlands)". www.fleetairarmarchive.net. Fleet Air Arm Archive. 2001. http://www.fleetairarmarchive.net/ships/nairana.html. Retrieved 1 April 2011.
- Burgham, Ian. "The Story of "Nicki" as seen by one of her pilots". www.navismagazine.com. http://web.archive.org/web/20030202224021/http:/www.navismagazine.com/demo/nicki/story_of_nicki.htm. Retrieved 1 April 2011.
- Whittick, David. "835 Naval Air Squadron Old Comrades Reunion Web Site". homepage.ntlworld.com. http://homepage.ntlworld.com/david.whittick/. Retrieved 1 April 2011.
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