Military Wiki
860 Naval Air Squadron
NH90 N-175 of 860 Squadron, August 2013
NH90 N-175 of 860 Squadron, August 2013
Active 1943–1964
Country United Kingdom
The Netherlands
Branch Royal Navy
Royal Netherlands Navy
Part of Fleet Air Arm
Naval Aviation Service
Garrison/HQ Naval Air Station De Kooy
Motto(s) Arcens affligo
(Latin: "I defend and strike")
Engagements World War II
Indonesian War of Independence
Battle honours Atlantic 1941-45

860 Naval Air Squadron (860 NAS) was a Naval Air Squadron of the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm during World War II, which was transferred to the Royal Netherlands Navy in 1946.

In British service

860 Squadron was formed in June 1943 at RNAS Donibristle, Scotland, from personnel of the Royal Netherlands Navy, under the command of Luitenant J. van der Tooren. As a torpedo-bomber/reconnaissance squadron, flying the Fairey Swordfish, the squadron moved to Maydown, Northern Ireland, in November 1943. There it was divided into two flights of six aircraft to operate from the merchant aircraft carriers MV Acavus and MV Gadila, and then from Acavus and MV Macoma from June 1944. In June 1945 the squadron was re-equipped with the Fairey Barracuda, and in August it was assigned to the escort carrier HMS Nairana.[1]

In May 1946 the squadron converted to the Fairey Firefly, and in September 1946 was handed over to Dutch control, becoming part of the Netherlands Naval Aviation Service.[2]

In Dutch service

Assigned to the former Nairana, now renamed HNLMS Karel Doorman (QH1), it took part in operations in Java during the Indonesian War of Independence. It operated the Hawker Sea Fury from 1950 until 1956, then the Hawker Sea Hawk from 1957, while based at Valkenburg Naval Air Base, and flying from the second HNLMS Karel Doorman (R81). Disbanded in 1964, it was reformed in October 1966 as an ASW/SAR helicopter squadron operating from Naval Air Station De Kooy and the Van Speijk-class frigates. Equipped with the Westland Wasp, then the Westland Lynx from 1978,[2][3] in early 2008 it converted to the NHIndustries NH90, and in July that year became part of the joint military Defence Helicopter Command.[4]


  1. "Fleet Air Arm 860 Squadron". Squadron Database of the Fleet Air Arm Archive 1939-1945. 2005. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Netherlands Naval Aviation Unit History: No.860 Squadron". Aeroflight. 2008. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  3. "VSQ-860". Helicopter Database. 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  4. Booij, P.J.A.; Hakkaart, J.F.; Striegel, A.J.; van der Vorst, J. (February 2008). "Shaping the Dutch helicopter-ship qualification approach to future needs". National Aerospace Laboratory NLR. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 

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