The squadron formed at HMS Ringtail on 20th February 1945 from 735 squadrons ‘B’ flight as a radar trails unit. It acted as the control authority in radar matters including A.S.V. (Airborne to Surface Vessel) and A.I. (Airborne Intercept) systems and also the airborne radar training of flying personnel. Equipped initially with Fairey Swordfish Mk’s II and III, Fairey Barracuda Mk’s II and III, Grumman Avenger Mk III and later supplemented with radar equipped Avro Anson Mk I. The squadron moved on to Gosport on the 14th August, where it disbanded on 1st October.
735 squadron was formed at RNAS Inskip (HMS Nightjar) as an A.S.V. training unit on 1st August 1943. Initially the squadron was equipped Fairey Swordfish Mk’s I and II, but these were later replaced with similarly equipped Fairey Barracuda Mks II and III. Avro Ansons where also used for both A.S.H. (Airborne to Surface Homing) and A.S.V. radar training. 735 squadron originally comprised two flights, ‘A’ flight being concerned with radar training and ‘B’ flight engaged in radar trials. The squadron moved to HMS Ringtail in March 1944. Later a ‘C’ flight was added though it acted as a mobile unit giving Rebecca (radar system) training to fighter pilots and was equipped with 3 Grumman Hellcats Mk I and an Avro Anson Mk I. In February 1945 ‘B’ flight broke away and became 707 squadron. The following month ‘C’ flight became 787X flight at Odiham. In November 1945, 737 squadron was absorbed. On the 30th April 1946, the squadron disbanded.
735 Squadron stood in front of an Avro Anson at HMS Ringtail, RNAS Burscough, Feb - April 1946. (Photo courtesy - John Cotton, who is stood back row, second from the left).
735 Squadron stood in front of (and on) a Fairey Barracuda at HMS Ringtail, RNAS Burscough, Feb - April 1946.
(Photo courtesy - John Cotton).
737 Squadron moved to Burscough in April 1945. The squadron received Fairey Barracuda Mk III in August. Other aircraft included Fairey Swordfish Mk II and Avro Anson Mk I. Crews were trained in the use of A.S.V. Mk X and XI radar for anti shipping operations. The squadron disbanded into 735 squadron in November 1945.
The naval advanced instrument flying school as it was known. ‘C’ flight arrived the 3rd March 1944, ‘D’ flight arrived 23rd January 1944 and ‘F’ flight arrived 21st January 1944. Aircraft in this squadron were, Tiger Moths Mk II, Airspeed Oxfords, Vickers Wellington, Stinson Reliant Mk I, Avro Anson Mk I and North American Harvard Mk’s IIb and III. The squadron disbanded on the 14th May 1946.
The squadron moved to HMS Ringtail on 10th January 1946 where it operated a F.R.U. school (Fleet Requirement Unit). The squadron was compromised of Miles Martinet TT Mk I (Target Tug), Fairey Fireflies NF Mk II (Night Fighter), Grumman Wildcat Mk IV, Avro Anson Mk I, De Havilland Mosquito T Mk III (Trainer), Mosquito PR Mk XVI (Photo Reconnaissance) and Mosquito B Mk XXV (Bomber). The squadron moved to Althorn in early May 1946.
On the 6th October 1945 the squadron was transferred to Burscough from HMS Ringtail II (Woodvale) where 10 Supermarine Seafire Mk IIc had joined the squadron. Other aircraft were Miles Martinet, Boulton Paul Defiant and Beech Traveller Mk I. The squadron disbanded on 30th October 1945.
The squadron arrived from RNAS Donibristle (HMS Merlin) in August 1945. The Fairey Firefly NF Mk I’s where fitted with US A.I. radar. Also in the squadron were Grumman Hellcat NF Mk II, Avro Anson Mk I and North American Harvard Mk III. The squadron left HMS Ringtail in January 1946 for RNAS Dale (HMS Goldcrest) and disbanded on 10th September 1946.
On 6th August 1944 the squadron arrived at HMS Ringtail, its task was to visit front line squadrons and keep them up to date in fighter tactics and in the case of T.B.R. squadrons (Torpedo Bomber Reconnaissance) teach them defensive tactics against fighters. For this purpose the squadron was successfully based at RNAS Burscough, RNAS Ballyhalbery (HMS Corncrake) and RNAS Machrihanish (HMS Landrail). Aircraft in this squadron where Supermarine Seafire Mk XV, Bristol Blenheim, Fairey Barracuda Mk II, Grumman Avenger Mk’s I and II, Grumman Wildcat Mk’s V and VI, Grumman Hellcat Mk’s I and II, Fairey Firefly Mk I, Stinson Reliant Mk I, Vought Corsair Mk’s II and III, Fairey Swordfish and De Havilland Dominie Mk I. On 12th November 1944 the squadron left Burscough.
The squadron moved to HMS Ringtail December 1945 to concentrate on refresher and familiarisation courses for Fleet Air Arm ex prisoners of war following their return home. Aircraft in this squadron were, Fairey Firefly, Airspeed Oxford and North American Harvard Mk’s IIb and III. The squadron disbanded on 18th March 1946.
One of the shortest stays, the squadron arrived on 26th February 1946 in their Supermarine Seafire F Mk XV and the next day they flew out to RNAS Yeovilton (HMS Heron) for passage to the Far East, aboard HMS Berwick in April.
The squadron arrived at HMS Ringtail on 9th October 1943 in their Supermarine Seafire Mk LIII, to be trained in amphibious support and combined operations (Army and Navy) and tactical reconnaissance to prepare for the landings in Italy. Training was also undertaken at Andover in November 1943 with the squadron once again returning to HMS Ringtail on 2nd December 1943 and left in January 1944.
The squadron arrived at HMS Ringtail on 6th October 1943 to train in close air support in their Supermarine Seafire Mk L.IIc. This squadron was part of the newly formed 3rd Naval Fighter Wing. They left in January 1944 and later that year took part in operations to support the D-Day landings as part of the 2nd Tactical Air Force.
On 19th December 1943 the squadron arrived in their Supermarine Seafire Mk L.III. They had joined the 4th Naval Fighter Wing. After training had finished they left HMS Ringtail on 29th December 1943.
The squadron arrived at HMS Ringtail using temporary Fairey Barracuda Mk II on the 16th December 1944. On the 1st February 1945 the squadron left HMS Ringtail and was re-equipped with Fairey Barracuda Mk III at RNAS Stretton (HMS Blackcap), and in March the squadron moved to Thorney Island and subsequently the East Coast to try out the new A.S.V. Mk XI radar during anti-shipping patrols in the English Channel with RAF Coastal Command, disbanding in August 1945.
They arrived at HMS Ringtail on 7th September 1944 as a Torpedo Bomber Reconnaissance squadron with 16 Fairey Barracuda Mk II aircraft. After a period of working up they left on 10th November 1944 for RNAS Fearn (HMS Owl).
812 Squadron at HMS Ringtail, 1944.
Back Row (L-R) Aurthur Hennessey, Fred Rouse, Gordon 'Timber' Wynn, Geoff Squire, John Dickson, Miles Crosthwaite, ? Hill, P.O. Tom Casey, Joe Spencer, David Robbins, Vic Hamill, ? McMahon, Gordon Hughes, Burt Churchill.
Front Row (L-R) Harry Saggs, Derrick 'Bambi' Brook, ? Fisher, Bill Broad, Jack Balfour, Tommy Dewsnap, Gordon 'Blood' Wallace, 'Spike' Reagan (Senior Observer), Lt. Cdr. Cedric Coxon (C.O), Peter Poole (Senior Pilot), 'Poppa' Bristow, Les Terry, ? Stansfield, John Cookson, ? Digby, Peter 'Ace' Throssel. (Photo courtesy - John Dickson).
The squadron was based at HMS Ringtail for two periods between 15th – 26th February 1944 and 20th – 30th November 1944. The squadron was made up of Fairey Swordfish Mk’s II and III, Grumman Wildcat Mk V and Fairey Fulmer NF. The squadron took part in Atlantic and Arctic convoy duties.
The squadron had joined the 45th Naval T.B.R. Wing in October 1943 arriving at Burscough on the 18th February 1944 while working up for a tour of duty with the Eastern Fleet. On the 26th February 1944 the squadron of Fairey Barracuda Mk’s II, TR.III (Torpedo Reconnaissance) and II (ASH), Fairey Firefly Mk FR.I (Fighter with ASH detection radar fitted). The squadron arrived back at Burscough after V.J Day on 4th October 1945, finally leaving on 17th December 1945 for RNAS Machrihanish (HMS Landrail).
In June 1943 the squadron was re-equipped with Fairey Barracuda Mk II at RNAS Lee-on-Solent (HMS Daedalus). They arrived at HMS Ringtail on 9th January 1944 and left on the 25th February 1944 to embark on HMS Atheling and joined the 11th T.B.R. Wing in southern India. The squadron was disbanded in July 1944 at Katukurunda (India) to enlarge 822 squadron.
823 Squadron at HMS Ringtail, Jan 1944. School House Farm can be seen in the background.
Back row left - right: Hurst, Bowers, Lea, Johnson, Mabin, Hogarth, Jackson, Faulkner.
Middle row left - right: Robbins, Harrison, Black, Partridge, Allen, Hardcastle, Stanley, Sinton, Knight, Siddle, Jameson.
Front row left - right: Kimberly, Peterson, Prentice, Moore, L/C (A) LC Watson, Connor, Crisp, Cleaver, Hill.
The squadron arrived at HMS Ringtail from RNAS Ayr (HMS Wagtail) on 18th December 1945 in their Fairey Barracuda Mk II’s, after service in the Far East. The squadron disbanded on 4th January 1946.
Reformed in July 1945, the squadron of Fairey Barracuda Mk II’s (with A.S.H. radar) arrived at Burscough on 6th November 1945. It was transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy in January 1946, leaving HMS Ringtail in February 1946.
After a successful attack on the German Battleship Tirpitz with the 8th Naval T.B.R. Wing in April 1944 with the loss of 2 aircraft, the squadron of Fairey Barracuda Mk II’s arrived at HMS Ringtail on 20th May 1944. The squadron left on 26th May 1944 for HMS Victorious and went on to attack shipping off Norway. In July 1944 the squadron was absorbed into 831 Squadron.
831 squadron arrived at HMS Ringtail on 20th May 1944 after scoring several hits on the German Battleship Tirpitz the previous month in their Fairey Barracuda Mk II’s (along with 827, 829 and 830 squadrons). The squadron left on 26th May 1944 for HMS Victorious and went on to attack shipping off Norway. 829 squadron was absorbed into 831 Squadron in July 1944. The squadron then went on to the Far East but due to the poor performance of the Barracuda in the tropical climate, the squadron returned to the UK and disbanded in December 1944.
The squadron arrived at HMS Ringtail on 4th July 1944 in their Hawker Sea Hurricane Mk IIc’s after Atlantic Convoy Escort Duty. Fairey Swordfish Mk III’s were added to the squadron while at HMS Ringtail. They left on 13th August 1944 and went on escort duty of North Russian Convoys. The squadron disbanded on 1st April 1945.
The squadron arrived at Burscough on 20th April 1944 while working up in their Grumman Avenger Mk I’s and Grumman Wildcat Mk V’s. They left for patrol duty on the Western approaches on 28th April 1944.
After performing anti submarine patrols with costal command the squadron arrived at HMS Ringtail on 29th November 1944 in their Grumman Avenger Mk I’s and Grumman Wildcat Mk’s V and VI The following day the squadron left for RNAS Yeovilton (HMS Heron) where it was disbanded on 3rd December 1944.
After patrols during the Salerno landings, the squadron joined the 4th Naval Fighter Wing arriving at HMS Ringtail on 29th November 1943 incorporating some of 886 squadron’s aircraft and crew to bring the squadron to 20 Supermairne Seafire Mk’s L.IIc and LR.IIc aircraft. The squadron then moved to RAF Andover on 9th December 1943 and returned to Burscough on 19th December 1943. After working up they left for HMS Attacker on 29th December 1943. On the return of HMS Attacker on 6th February 1944 the squadron arrived back at HMS Ringtail for the last time for another period of working up. The squadron left on 16th March 1944 to rejoin HMS Attacker.
In April 1944 the squadron provided fighter cover for Operation Tungsten attack against the German Battleship Tirpitz in Kaa Fjord, northern Norway, and arrived at HMS Ringtail on 1st May 1944 in their Grumman Wildcat Mk V’s. They left on 11th May 1944 and embarked on HMS Furious. The squadron disbanded in October 1945.
The squadron arrived at HMS Ringtail on 7th October 1943 in their Supermarine Seafire Mk L.IIc’s and Supermarine Spitfire Mk Vb’s (hooked) and subsequently joined the 3rd Naval Fighter Wing while at Burscough. They left on 4th December 1943 before returning once again on 7th February 1944 for special training in spotting and reconnaissance. They left on 24th February 1944. In May 1944, the squadron moved to RNAS Lee-on-Solent (HMS Daedalus) in preparation for D-Day landings.
The squadron arrived on 8th January 1944 for a period of working up in their Supermarine Seafire Mk’s F.III and L.III. They left on 6th February 1944. Later that year 887 squadron operated from HMS Implacable in the Far East, and shortly before V.J Day the squadron was involved in strikes around Tokyo.
The squadron reformed at HMS Ringtail on 10th June 1944 with 6 new Grumman Hellcat PR Mk II’s (Photo Reconnaissance). After working up the squadron left on 7th September 1944 embarking on HMS Rajah for Ceylon where the squadron was involved in photographic reconnaissance duties.
The squadron arrived at Burscough on 8th January 1944 in their Supermarine Seafire Mk F.III’s after becoming part of the 24th Naval Fighter Wing at RNAS Henstridge (HMS Dipper). After a period of working up they left for RNAS Ballyhalbert (HMS Corncrake) on 8th February 1944.
After taking part in an attack on the German Battleship Tirpitz in April 1944 the squadron in their Grumman Wildcat Mk V’s arrived at HMS Ringtail on 1st May 1944. They left on 2nd June 1944 to board HMS Pursuer and while on board the squadron disbanded and was absorbed by 881 Squadron.
On 10th October 1943 the squadron arrived at HMS Ringtail in their Supermarine Seafire Mk L.IIc’s and Supermarine Spitfire Mk Vb’s (hooked) and joined the 3rd Naval Fighter Wing training in tactical reconnaissance and bombardment spotting work. They left on 29th December 1943 to embark on HMS Stalker.
The squadron arrived at Burscough in their Fairey Firefly Mk I’s on 27th July 1944 after taking part in Operation Mascot on 17th July 1944 (dive-bombing attacks against the German Battleship Tirpitz in Kaa Fjord, northern Norway), during which the squadron attacked gun positions and supply ships. After a short stay they left on 30th July 1944.
On 3rd March 1944, 1771 Squadron arrived at HMS Ringtail from RNAS Yeovilton (HMS Heron), with 12 Fairey Firefly Mk I aircraft (later to increase to 20). The squadron continued working up at Burscough and left at the end of July 1944 moving to RNAS Machrihanish (HMS Landrail) in August. In September 1944 the squadron embarked on HMS Implacable, and the following month was involved in aerial reconnaissance of the new anchorage for the German Battleship Tirpitz near Tromso. In July 1945 Fireflies of 1771 squadron became the first Fleet Air Arm aircraft to fly over mainland Japan attacking various airfields and targets of opportunity.In July 1945, the Fireflies of 1771 Sqdn., based on HMS Implacable as part of the British Pacific Fleet, became the first Fleet Air Arm aircraft to fly over mainland Japan.In July 1945, the Fireflies of 1771 Sqdn., based on HMS Implacable as part of the British Pacific Fleet, became the first Fleet Air Arm aircraft to fly over mainland Japan.
1771 Squadron at HMS Ringtail, Camp II, July 1944.
Airframe Mechanic (A) Dennis Hall is 6th from the right, back row.
RAF Maintenance Officer centre front row detached to the squadron. C.O. Lt. CMR. Ellis is first right of the RAF Officer, he was killed in a deck landing, Jan 1945. (Photo courtesy - Dennis Hall).
Aircrew of 1771 Squadron at HMS Ringtail, Camp II, August 1944.
The squadron formed at HMS Ringtail on 1st May 1944 with 12 Fairey Firefly Mk I aircraft. They began working up, including deck landings on HMS Empress in the Irish Sea. Known as the ‘friendly squadron’ they were renowned for several accidents including a triple aircraft prang while all aircraft were on the runway. They left Burscough in January 1945 embarking on HMS Ruler to join the British Pacific Fleet.
1772 Squadron, HMS Ringtail, 1944.
Back row left - right: Edward 'Teddy' Key, Foret Millar, Geoff Rham, Des Mullen, Rhys Heaven, Harry Garbutt, Glyn Roberts DSC, Thomas 'Glen' McBride, Croose Parry, Ian Darby, Ken Neuschild.
Middle row left - right: Rod 'Steve' Stevens, Knocker White, Johnny O'Driscoll, Monty Baker, Lt. Cdr. Gough CO., Shiner Wright, Mike La Grange, Rollo Moon, Burn O'Neill.
Front row left - right: Maurice Goodsell, Jimmy Haslam, Stu Jobbings, Jackie Ramsden, Sammy Samuelson, Eric Bramhall, Johnny Coles, Johnny Palmer, Don Banks, Pete Kingston. (Photo courtesy - Marion Street).
1772 Squadron reunion at RNAS Yeovilton, c1997.
Left - right: Wally Pritchard, Rhys Heaven, unknown 1, unknown 2, Gordon Macrow, unknown 3, Stu Jobbins, Sammy Samuelson, unknown 4, Edward 'Teddy' Key, Joe Scott, unknown 5, Ian Darby, Johnny Palmer, Johnny O'Driscoll, George Trollope, unknown 6, unknown 7, Geoff Rham.
(Photo courtesy - Marion Street).
The squadron formed at HMS Ringtail on 1st January 1945 as a night fighter squadron, with the secondary role of day reconnaissance with 6 Fairey Firefly Mk I aircraft which were replaced in May 1944 with 12 Fairey Firefly NF Mk I (fitted with ASH detection radar). The squadron worked up including extensive trials of the AN/APS.4 (ASH) radar detection system for use in night fighter squadrons. They left Burscough on 24th June 1945 to join the British Pacific Fleet.
1790 Squadron pictured at HMS Ringtail 1945, in front of a Firefly.
Back row left - right: Lt. Tallboys, S/Lt. Abraham, S/Lt. Bell, Lt. Chalker, S/Lt. Pearce, S/Lt. Heenan, S/Lt. Phillips, S/Lt. Harrision, Lt. Lee, Lt. Jones, Lt. Inkster.
Middle row left - right: Lt. Griffiths, Lt. Millar, Lt. Lyons, Lt. Thornley, Lt. Cdr. Kneale, Lt. Frazer, Lt. Toynbee, Lt. Dunworth, Lt. Shacklady.
Front row left - right: Lt. Ranscombe, Lt. Pickthall.
The squadron arrived at HMS Ringtail in August 1945 in their Fairey Firefly NF Mk I aircraft. After a few days of deck landing training on HMS Puncher the squadron was no longer required after V.J. Day and disbanded at Burscough on 23rd September 1945.
The squadron arrived at HMS Ringtail on 11th August 1944 with Curtiss SB2C Helldiver Mk I aircraft from the USA after being trained by the US Navy. The squadron had completed a severe dive bombing course at USNAS Vero beach, Florida. In October 1944 they were briefly posted to RNAS Machrihanish (HMS Landrail) where deck landing training was carried out from HMS Speaker. On returning to HMS Ringtail it was indicated that the Helldiver was unsatisfactory for its intended duties (after several accidents, including aircraft failing to pull out of dives), the squadron was disbanded at Burscough in December 1944.
1820 Squadron Pilots and Observers at Camp III, HMS Ringtail, 1944.
Back row left - right: Goss, Everet, Ewan Jones, Duffel, Cornabe, Gentle, Coombes, Orr, Freddie, Thompson.
Front row left - right: Elder, Pearson, Shellswell, Fenwick, Swayne, Walters, Neville, Dickenson, Sidwell.
(Photo courtesy - Ewan Jones).
The squadron arrived at HMS Ringtail on 10th January 1944 and joined the 47th Naval Fighter Wing. After a period of working up in their Vought Corsair Mk II’s the squadron left on 3rd February 1944 for RNAS Stretton (HMS Blackcap). On the 3rd April 1944 the squadron provided cover for operation Tungsten, a successful dive bombing attack on the German Battleship Tirpitz.
On 1st February 1944 the squadron arrived at HMS Ringtail in their Vought Corsair Mk II’s for a brief rest period and leave. The squadron moved on to RNAS Stretton (HMS blackcap) on 12th February 1944.
The squadron arrived at Burscough in their Vought Corsair Mk II’s on 1st February 1944 for leave. After a brief stay the squadron left on 26th February 1944 to join HMS Atheling for Ceylon.
The squadron formed at HMS Ringtail on 1st March 1944 with 10 Grumman Hellcat Mk I aircraft. Many of the squadron pilots were from the Royal Netherlands Navy. After a brief working up period the squadron moved to RNAS Stretton (HMS Blackcap) on 13th March 1944.
Fairey Firefly F Mk I,
Fairey Swordfish Mk II,
Avro Anson Mk I,
(Information and photos have been collected over several years from Navy records and personnel stationed at HMS Ringtail - © Michael Dawson).