815 NAS

815 Naval Air Squadron

815 Naval Air Squadron provides a versatile and adaptable Wildcat Squadron force to operate anywhere in the world, on any aviation capable ship, to carry out varied operational roles.

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On Deployment

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Wildcat gives military dogs first flight

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815 Naval Air Squadron Latest News

HMS Hurworth shadows second Russian ship through English Channel

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Wildcat helicopter returns to Yeovilton after groundbreaking deployment

Wildcat helicopter returns to Yeovilton after groundbreaking deployment

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Current operation Maritime security

British ships and units, which include the Royal Marines, are committed to operations around the world. Operations focus on maritime security, reassurance and wider regional engagement to build regional maritime capability.

  • Antarctic patrol

    To provide a UK sovereign presence in the British Antarctic Territory.

Providing security at sea

The UK has a responsibility to its citizens and its allies to endeavour to safeguard the high seas. This is why the Royal Navy protects home and international waters – making sure the global trade that Britain and the world depend on can proceed without a hitch.

International partnerships

As the fifth largest economy in the world, the UK has responsibilities towards its allies and partners. But Britain also has global ambitions – namely to protect the seaways underpinning the country’s prosperity. The Royal Navy plays a crucial role in fostering these enduring and lasting alliances with other nations.

Location Global

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Unit History

Formation1939

815 Naval Air Squadron was born as World War 2 began, formed at RNAS Worthy Down on 9th October 1939 with obsolete Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers.

The Greatest Victory1940

Despite its antiquated aircraft, 815 scored the Fleet Air Arm’s greatest victory, crippling the Italian Fleet at Taranto in November 1940 – for the loss of a single Swordfish. 

Cape Matapan1941

815 remained a thorn in the Italian Navy’s side, torpedoing the cruiser Pola at the Battle of Cape Matapan in 1941, sowing the seeds for the routing of enemy ships by the Mediterranean Fleet.

In The Mediterranean1941

Flying Swordfish and Fairey Albacores, 815 NAS continued in North Africa and Sicily. 815 later flew in an anti-submarine role in the Far East and home waters with Fairey Barracudas .

Changing Airframes1958

Through the 1950s the squadron operated Grumman Avengers and, finally, Fairey Gannets, before it converted to helicopters: the Westland Whirlwind in 1958 and from 1961, the capable Wessex.

Tanzania1964

815 took part in operations off East Africa (Tanzania), Indonesia and Aden during the era of the ‘end of Empire’, flying from the carrier, HMS Centaur.

Disbanded1966

In 1966, the squadron disbanded, not returning to the FAA for another 15 years when it recommissioned at RNAS Yeovilton in 1981 with the Lynx HAS Mk2 as the Headquarters Squadron.

In the Falklands1982

It moved to Portland in 1982 and was involved in the Falklands campaign, the Armilla patrol in the Gulf and relief operations off Lebanon, Aden and in the Caribbean.

Offensive Operations1990

Between August 1990 and February 1991 several flights were involved in offensive operations in the northern Gulf, using their Sea Skua missiles to knock out much of the Iraqi Navy.

Battle Honours1991

Kuwait 1991

Merging1993

Parenting of flights was shared with 829 Naval Air Squadron until 1993 when the two merged, making 815 NAS the largest helicopter squadron in the world.

Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers Future

An island nation needs a powerful navy. A simple fact, often forgotten. Go behind the scenes of the new aircraft carrier and discover its true scale and ambition.

Read about the new carrier

Commanding Officer Jamieson Stride

Rank: Commander

Commander Jamieson Stride joined the Royal Navy in 1990, he is now in command of 815 NAS.

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