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808 Naval Air Squadron


Above and below: Hellcats of 808 squadron being ranged on the flight deck. Photos courtesy David Collinge



April 1945: The flight deck control officer drops his flag to signal that the leading Hellcat of 808 Squadron should be launched using the accelerator. © IWM (A 29079)


April 1945: A Naval Airman guiding a Hellcat into position on the accelerator in preparation for launch. The Free French Battleship, RICHELIEU, is steaming in company. © IWM (A 29078)


April 10th 1945: Hellcat JW719 (‘K6S’) perched on the Forecastle head after a serious crash on the flight deck during a rehearsal of the flying programme for Operation SUNFISH. Hellcat l JV144 ('K6G') had crashed through the barriers and went over the bows, taking with it JV298 which was in the park and depositing a third on the Forecastle head. Tragically Lt P.A. Sherry RNVR, was lost with his aircraft, but the pilot of JW719, Sub-Lt J.E. Jackson RNVR, was still in his cockpit, and got away with a severe shaking. The incident also claimed the lives of two mechanics working on parked aircraft; they were lost overboard with the two Hellcats.


April 15th 1945 The flight deck crane/bulldozer Pushing Sub-Lt West-Taylor’s crashed Hellcat, JV255 ‘K6K', into position so the Salvage Party can get to work clearing up the mess, in the later stages of Operation SUNFISH. HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH is in the background. © IWM (A 28933)


April 1945: Two Armourers are busy servicing the guns of an 808 squadron Hellcat.  © IWM (A 29041)

April 1945: A Hellcat fighter of 808 Squadron is readied to have its engine run up on the flight deck after being serviced by its maintenance crew. The fitter is climbing into the cockpit to operate the throttle and take the instrument readings; the chockmen are at the undercarriage wheels holding the chocks in position to prevent the aircraft riding them when the engine is flat out, whilst underneath a mechanic is loading a cartridge into the starter mechanism.© IWM (A 29040)

An unidentified Hellcat after it has been brought to an abrupt stop by the ship's crash barrier.


April 1945: a badly damaged Hellcat is jettisoned over the side, any aircraft beyond economical repair was discarded and replacements received on return to port,. © IWM (A 29039)


Too high go round again - The Batsman is waving his bat to indicate to the pilot of this Hellcat fighter that he is too high to make a safe landing. © IWM (A 29038)


May 1945: The Supermarine Walrus amphibian aircraft of 1700 squadron attached to the ship, takes off from KHEDIVE to rescue the crew of a ditched Avenger spotted in their dinghy 30 miles away during Operation DUKEDOM. The white patches on the wings of the aircraft are recognition panels designed to prevent friendly fire incidents. © IWM (A 29251)


May 1945: KHEDIVE (leading either EMPEROR or HUNTER) coming up off the starboard quarter of SHAH, seen looking aft over SHAH’s forward twin Bofors guns during Operation DUKEDOM © IWM (A 30202)



Operation DRACULA May 1945


April 1945: View from the KHEDIVE of the entrance to Akyab Harbour , Burma during thre build up to Operation DRACULA.© IWM (A 29043)


April 29th 1945: KHEDIVE’s Deck Landing Control Officer (crouching in the distance) has just given the ‘cut’ signal to the RAF Air Observation Post Auster which has just flown out to join the ship from Akyab, Burma © IWM (A 28832)


April 29th 1945: KHEDIVE’s flight deck handling party approach the RAF Air Observation Posy Auster as it runs up the flight deck after flying out to join the ship from Akyab, Burma. © IWM (A 28833)

April 29th 1945: Flight deck "reception committee" carrying the Auster's pilot, Captain R. J. Hutt Royal Artillery, on a stretcher to the bridge ladder after successfully landing on KHEDIVE. © IWM (A 28834)


April 29th 1945: Captain R J Hutt, RA, climbing up to report his arrival to the Commanding Officer on the bridge watched by the ‘reception committee’ stretcher party. © IWM (A 28835)



Refuelling at sea


Collision: At 10:45 on May 5th 1945 during Operation DRACULA; the Destroyer VIRAGO collides with KHEDIVE while disengaging on completion of refuelling in heavy seas. Only minor damage was done to both vessels.


Operation DUKEDOM May 7th 1945: On passage to Trincomalee after being released from operations with Force 61, the Cruiser ROYALIST takes up position astern of KHEDIVE ready to receive the oiling hose which is laid out on the flight deck. © IWM (A 29252)



The surrender of Singapore


STALKER and HUNTER lead KHEDIVE and EMPEROR in Keppel harbour, Singapore on September 11th 1945. ROYALIST is already at anchor in the distance on the right.




Unless stated otherwise all photos are courtesy of David Collinge whose father Geoffrey Collinge served on Atheling as an air radio mechanic.


Page last edited: 02 December 2018

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