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729  January 1945 - July 1946

Formation and work-up

No.729 Squadron formed at RNAS Hinstock, Shropshire, on January 1st 1945 as an Instrument Flying Training squadron for service in the Far East, LT. Cdr A) H.R. Law RNVR, in command. The new squadron was an offshoot of 758 Squadron, the Naval Advanced Instrument Flying School, and its seven pilots worked up using Oxfords and Harvards belonging to the squadron. On completion of their work up the squadron personnel departed for India on 16 April 1945, without aircraft, squadron equipment was to be issued in theatre.



Operations in India and Ceylon: May 1945 – July 1946

They arrived at RN Aircraft Maintenance Yard Coimbatore, Southern India, on May 15th, and a small number of Oxfords (4-5) and 1 Harvard were issued. With these they started training in preparation for beginning Instrument Flying training courses. Three weeks later, on June 7th, the squadron moved to RNAS Tambaram, 275 miles North East of Coimbatore. They stayed for only one month before moving again to RNAS Puttalam, on the west coast of Ceylon, on July 10th. The squadron complement had increased to 11 pilots by this time.

When the Japanese surrendered on August 15th 1945 their role was reassessed, the need for large numbers of combat ready pilots had passed and on August 30th 729 moved again, this time to RNAS Katukurunda, further south down the coast.

 There is only one accident recorded for the squadron; on October 12th 1945, Oxford PH136, while being taxied by Sub-Lt R Robson RNVR collided with a tree at Katukurunda, damaging the port wing

 On November 23rd 1945 Lt (A) A.H. Bender RNVR, assumed command of the squadron, which had now reduced to its original complement of 7 pilots. In the New Year an Air-Sea-Rescue flight of 2 Sea Otter amphibians, from 1700 squadron ‘B’ flight, was added to the squadron but this was withdrawn in April. The squadron disbanded at Katukurunda on July 24th 1946.



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Content revised: 26 November 2016


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)







No badge issued




Battle Honours




Aircraft Types


Harvard II May 1945 - Jul 1946

Oxford I May 1945 - Jul 1946

Sea Otter Jan 1946 - Apr 1946



Commanding Officers


Lt. Cdr (A) H.R. Law RNVR 1 Jan 1945

Lt (A) A.H. Bender RNVR 23 Nov 1945

Squadron disbanded 24 Apr 1946


Aircrew and Squadron Personnel


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 Â© 2016 Tony Drury


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