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Fleet Air Arm - 805 Squadron

805 Squadron was a Royal Australian Navy Fleet Air Arm squadron, which had previously operated as 805 Naval Air Squadron of the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm.

805 Squadron Badge

First formed in 1940, it operating for the duration of World War II in both the Mediterranean and Pacific theatres. 805 Squadron was first formed as a Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm squadron in November 1940 at the RAF aerodrome at Abukir in Egypt.

Operating Fairey Fulmars in a convoy protection role, the squadron operated in the Western Desert until January 1941, when it transferred to Crete. A short time later, it returned to Egypt and re-equipped with Brewster Buffalo fighters.

In June 1941, these were replaced by the Grumman Martlett III.

The squadron disbanded in January 1943. The squadron recommissioned in the UK for service in the Pacific Campaign, equipped with Supermarine Seafires, but saw no further service prior to the end of the war.

In summary then, during its RN service the squadron flew Fairey Fulmar, Brewster Buffalo, Grumman Martlett III and Supermarine Seafire (Strike)

805 Squadron was recreated as a unit of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in 1948, and operated from Australian aircraft carriers until 1982, having the distinction of being the last fast jet squadron in the RAN.

Image: An 805 Squadron A4 Skyhawk landing on HMAS Melbourne in 1980.

In August 1948, 805 Squadron was reformed as a Royal Australian Navy FAA squadron operating Hawker Sea Fury Mk II aircraft. The Squadron formed part of the 20th Carrier Air Group embarked on HMAS Sydney. During September 1951, 805 Squadron deployed to Korea, flying sorties for 64 days.

Three 805 Squadron pilots were killed during the campaign. The battle honour "Korea 1951–52" was awarded to the squadron for this deployment.

Following the retirement of the Sea Fury aircraft, the unit was disbanded on 26 March 1958.

805 Squadron reformed at Nowra on 31 March 1958, equipped with de Havilland Sea Venom FAW.53 all weather night fighters.

805 Squadron later embarked on HMAS Melbourne, as part of the 21st Carrier Air Group. The squadron was again disbanded on 30 June 1963 and its aircraft transferred to B Flight, 816 Squadron.

Image: Kaman SH-2G(A) Seasprite of 805 Squadron.

On 10 January 1968, 805 Squadron reformed, equipped with the McDonnell Douglas A-4G Skyhawk fighter. The VF-805 designation was used to conform with USN squadron naming system during the Skyhawk era, under which 'VF' referred to fixed wing fighter aircraft, denoting the fleet defence role of the squadron's aircraft. The squadron operated from Melbourne until 1982

On 28 February 2001, 805 Squadron was reformed, equipped with Kaman SH-2G(A) Super Seasprite helicopters to be operated from the new Anzac-class frigates. The Squadron completed First of Class Flight Trials aboard HMAS Parramatta, but did not reach operational status due to difficulties with integrating the helicopters' avionic systems.

Following technical problems with the new helicopter, the squadron was relegated to minimal duties in 2005, grounded in 2006, and faced possible scrapping in early 2007.

Efforts to rectify the technical problems were not successful and the project was cancelled in early 2008. As a result, 805 Squadron was disbanded on 26 June 2008.

During its service with the RAN the squadron had flown Hawker Sea Fury Mk II's, de Havilland Sea Venom FAW.53's, McDonnell Douglas A4G Skyhawks and Kaman SH-2 Seasprite helicopters.

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