Single Set Fighter Squadron



Battle Honours

Norway 1940-41
Atlantic 1941
North Africa 1942
Normandy 1944
Burma 1945


Aircraft & C.O.s

Aircraft Types:

Sea Gladiator
Nov 39 - Jan 41
Buffalo !
Jul - Sep 41
Whitney Strait
Dec 40 - Mar 41
Martlet !
Mar 40 - Mar 41
Fulmar I & II
Feb 41 - May 42
Sea Hurricane Ib, IIb, IIc
Feb 41 - Jun l43
Hellcat I & II
Aug 43 - Oct 45

Commanding Officers:

Capt RT Partridge RM
30 Nov 1939
Lt. Cdr JC Cockburn RN
11 Dec 1939
Lt. Cdr BHM Kendall RN
18 Nov 1940
Lt. Cdr PH Havers RN
5 Mar 1941
Capt AE Marsh RM
9 Feb 1942
Lt. Cdr (A) AJ Sewell
18 Oct 1942
Lt OR Oakes RM
13 Jul 1943 (Temp)
Lt. Cdr (A) JW Hedges RNVR
29 Jul 1943
Lt. Cdr (A) SG Orr
10 Aug 1943
Squadron disbanded
18 Jun 1944
Lt. Cdr (A) GBC Sangster RNVR
1 Sep 1944
Lt. Cdr (A) DB Law RNVR 20May1945
Squadron disbanded
18 Nov 1945



804 Naval Air Squadron


Early history

No.804 Squadron formed as a shore-based fighter squadron on 30 November 1939, at Royal Naval Air Station Hatston, Orkney with a nucleus of four Sea Gladiator aircraft transferred from No.769 Squadron. These aircraft had been operating a detached unit at Hatston to watch for enemy air activity over Scapa Flow.

In April 1940 the squadron embarked in HMS Glorious for a short operation to provide fighter patrols whilst the ship ferried the Gladiators of No.269 Squadron, RAF to Norway. From May 1940 the squadron provided various detachments embarked in HMS Furious. In October 1940.the squadron was re-equipped with the new American single seat monoplane fighter, the Martlet which they operated until February 1941 when they were phased out in favour of a number of Fulmar IIs and Sea Hurricanes. This equipment change was to enable the squadron to operate from catapult armed merchant ships (CAM-ships), a role which it assumed in May 1941. After a year of this the task was taken over by the RAF when a new Merchant Ship Fighter Unit was formed; No.804 Squadron was then tasked with providing fighter cover for convoys, embarking in HMS Argus for a Gibraltar convoy in July 1942, flying off to operate ashore at RAF North Front until returning to the UK in HMS Furious.

In October 1942 the squadron joined the escort aircraft carrier HMS Dasher, operating six new Sea Hurricanes IIc aircraft to provide air cover during the North African landings in Operation "Torch"; the squadron strength was soon increased to nine aircraft. The Sea Hurricanes were passed to No.835 Squadron at Royal naval Air Station Eglinton, Northern Ireland in June 1943 when 804 was rearmed and regrouped, receiving ten Hellcat Is in August in preparation for joining No. 800 (Hellcat) squadron in No.7 Naval Fighter Wing in October 1943.

On 5 December 1943 804 squadron embarked in HMS Emperor which was tasked with providing air cover for a USA-bound convoy and made a return trip in which the ship acting as a transport. HMS Emperor next joined the Home Fleet and her squadrons took part in several operations against targets in Norwegian waters including providing escorts for attacks on the German battleship Tirpitz. Following action in the Western Approaches during May and June 1944, when Emperor covered D-Day operations, 804 squadron was absorbed into No.800 Squadron on 18 June 1944 to form a single 20 aircraft squadron.


Allocated to the British Pacific Fleet

Primary information sources

Last modified: 28 December 2014