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706 (1) April 1945- May 1946

 

Formation and work-up

The core personnel of 706 Squadron assembled in the United Kingdom during January 1945, under the command of Lt. Cdr (A) F. C. Nottingham, DSC RNVR and took passage for Australia on February 2nd 1945.

On their arrival in Australia at the start of March the squadron assembled at RNAS Jervis Bay, New South Wales, then a satellite airfield operated by HMS NABBINGTON, MONAB I (Mobile Naval Air Base I). On March 6th they moved to RNAS Schofields, New South Wales, to operate with MONAB III, HMS NABTHORPE. Here Lt. Cdr. (A) R. E. Bradshaw DSC** RN arrived to take command. 706 officially commissioned on April 10th 1945 as a Crew Pool & Refresher Flying Training School. There is record of a squadron Avenger, JZ280, flown by Sub-Lt D. M. Bayne RNVR, which swung on landing, braked hard and nosed over at RNAS Nowra on March 13th.
 

The personnel of 706 NAS at RNAS Schofields. Click for larger image

 

Operations in Australia

706 squadron was tasked with providing refresher training for aircrew arriving in Australia from the United Kingdom and Ceylon; it also undertook conversion training for pilots changing aircraft types. It was to become a large unit, eventually reaching a total strength of 36 aircraft.  Its Initial equipment comprised of 3 each Avenger, Corsair, Hellcat and Safire, additional aircraft being added as the volume of pilots attending the school increased. Permanent squadron officers totalled 7 at thee unit’s peak, reducing to 5 after V - J Day.
 

There were three flying accidents during June; Sub-Lt J. D. Pywell RNVR braked hard and nosed over in Hellcat FN373 on the 8th, Avenger FN870, flown by Lt D. J. Holmes RNVR suffered engine failure after take-off and managed to return to the runway but made a bad landing on the 16th. Lt H. H. Salisbury RNVR flying in Seafire LR789 found his starboard undercarriage leg was jammed and not fully down on the 26th, but he land safely. On August 9th Lt P. F. McClintock RNVR nosed over in Seafire LR789 after his starboard tyre burst and the aircraft swung to port.
 

Post War operations

The squadron moved to RNAS Maryborough, Queensland, on August 28th to operate with MONAB VI, HMS NABSTOCK. Lt. Cdr. (A) D. M. R. Wynne-Roberts RN assumed command on the 31st and the unit’s equipment strength began to be gradually reduced as surplus aircraft were flown to RNAMY Archerfield, Brisbane, until by mid-October it had only two of each type left. When the new light Fleet Carriers of the 11th Aircraft Carrier Squadron arrived in Australia in August 1945 the squadron received Barracudas in August, and Fireflies in October so the squadron now operated examples of all British Pacific Fleet front-line aircraft.
 

There were three flying accidents while the squadron was based at RNAS Maryborough; On September 8th Lt D. R. Crabtree RNVR was forced to make a forced wheels-up landing in a farmer's backyard after the throttle linkage of Hellcat FN378 became disconnected at the bulkhead. On the 28th of September Avenger JZ617 flown by Lt C. B. H. Barford RNVR suffered and undercarriage collapse landing at Nowra. The following day Sub-Lt N. Williamson RNVR swung on landing at Maryborough in Corsair JT313 and ground looped causing a wing and tailplane to strike the ground.
 

During October it had been announced that a rationalization of RN air stations in Australia would result in several stations closing and some MONABs being reassigned; MONAB VI at Maryborough was to relocate to RNAS Schofields by November 15th replacing MONAB III which was to pay off, and MONAB V, HMS  NABSWICK at RNAS Jervis Bay would replace MONAB I at RNAS Nowra. 706 was to relocate to RNAS Nowra ahead of this. Having completed its downsizing the unit moved to RNAS Nowra on October 24th 1945, and a new commanding officer, Lt. CDR (A) C. A. Fraser RN, was appointed.
 

There were three more flying accidents during closing months of 1945; on November 6th Sub-Lt R. Roberts RNVR and his Observer Sub-Lt M. G. Henry RNVR landing in Firefly MB549 touched down with drift causing the starboard oleo to collapse, the aircraft nosed up and skidded along the runway on its starboard wing. Three days later Sub-Lt G. R. Rodd RNVR swung on landing in a cross wind in Seafire NN399 and the undercarriage collapsed. The squadron suffered its first, and only fatality on December 3rd; Sub-Lt L. Sharples RNVR was killed when his aircraft, Corsair KD864 crashed into the bush 6 miles SE of Nowra and was engulfed in flames. He had been returning to Nowra in formation with two Seafires from a low level cross-country flight and was missed after a scheduled turn.
 

Post War operations

On January 18th 1946 the unit returned to RNAS Schofields (Now HMS NABSTOCK, MONAB VI) when RNAS Nowra began its rundown to closure. It’s now vastly reduced training task continued with only one aircraft crash, five days after arriving back on the station; Sub-Lt G. R. Harrison RNVR ran off the runway landing in Firefly MB629, it then swung to starboard and the undercarriage collapsed.
 

By the start of April 1946 HMS NABSTOCK at Schofields was the only MONAB still in operation in Australia and it was now home to all of the second-line squadrons 702, 706, 723 and 724. These were all disbanded at Schofields on May 31st. HMS NABSTOCK and MONAB VI paid off at Schofields on June 9th 1946 and the airfield was returned to RAAF custody.

 


 

Page under construction

 

 

706 (2) September 1953 - March 1954

 

Formation and work-up


 



 

706 (3) January 1962 - February 1998

 

Formation and work-up

 



 



 

Second-Line squadrons menu | go to the top

 

Content revised: 03 July 2021

Sources used in compiling this account:

Sturtivant, R. & Burrows, M. (1995)'Fleet Air Arm Aircraft 1939 to 1945' Tonbridge Wells, Air Britain (Historians)

Sturtivant, R & Balance, T., (1994)'Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm' Tonbridge Wells, Air Britain (Historians)

 

 

 

 

 

Badge approved 1979

 

 

 

Battle Honours

None

 

Aircraft Types

706 (1)

Avenger I  Mar - Oct 1945

Avenger II  Mar Sep 1945

Avenger III  Feb - Mar 1946
 Barracuda II  Aug 1945 - Mar 1946
Corsair II Mar 1945 - Dec 1945

Corsair IV Dec 1945 - Jul 1946

Firefly 1 Nov 1945 - Jan 1946

Hellcat I Mar - Sep 1945
 Hellcat II Dec 1945 -1946

Seafire III Mar - Nov 1945

Seafire XV 1946

 

Commanding Officers

706 (1)

Lt. Cdr (A) F. C. Nottingham, DSC RNVR Feb 45

Lt. Cdr (A) R.E. Bradshaw DSC** RN 6 Mar 1945
Lt. Cdr (A) D.M.R. Wynne-Roberts RN 31Aug 1945
Lt. Cdr (A) CA Fraser RN 22 Oct 1945

Squadron disbanded  31 May 1946

 

 

 

Aircrew and Squadron Personnel

 

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