Royal Navy Research Archive Forums

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length.
Advanced Search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: FAA No. 807 and 808 Squadron - Bismarck.  (Read 3180 times)

Michael Leichsenring

  • New Recruit
  • *
  • Reputation: 0
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 3
FAA No. 807 and 808 Squadron - Bismarck.
« on: 03 June 2023 10:07:51 am »

Greetings All.
I am trying to find out if any Fulmar aircraft from HMS Ark Royal participated at all in the search for the Bismarck, 23-27 May 1941. It is well documented that HMS Victorious' Fulmars from FAA No. 800 Squadron were launched 24/25 May 1941.
However, in his Despatch on the Sinking of the Bismarck (ADM234/509-No.896/H.F.1325) dated 5 July 1941, Admiral Tovey wrote the following:
Quote
60. ... Ten Swordfish were flown off at 0835 on 26th May for the first search, whose western edge was next to the flying boat patrols arranged by the Admiralty. It had been hoped to thicken the search with Fulmars, but the weather conditions rendered this impracticable. The wind was from 320 , force 7, sea rough, sky overcast, visibility 10 - 12 miles; the round down of the Ark Royal was rising and falling 56ft.
Can anyone provide me with a reference(s) detailing whether any of HMS Ark Royal's Fulmars from FAA No. 807 and/or 808 Squadrons participated in the search for the Bismarck, 23-27 May 1941?
Kind regards, Michael.
« Last Edit: 03 June 2023 10:14:18 am by Michael Leichsenring »
Logged

PhiloNauticus

  • Warrant Officer
  • *****
  • Reputation: 9
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 266
  • Valued Member
Re: FAA No. 807 and 808 Squadron - Bismarck.
« Reply #1 on: 04 June 2023 09:21:38 am »


According to the timeline shown on the naval history site, Fulmars did not participate, see:

http://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chrono-04CV-HMS_Ark_Royal.htm
Logged

Michael Leichsenring

  • New Recruit
  • *
  • Reputation: 0
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 3
Re: FAA No. 807 and 808 Squadron - Bismarck.
« Reply #2 on: 04 June 2023 10:52:13 pm »

I have found the 'Naval History' website to be a useful reference. However, I have also found that it can, on occasions, have errors and lacks details. For example, the page for the destroyer HMS Windsor - http://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chrono-10DD-09VW-Windsor.htm - fails to include details of HMS Windsor's participation in the search for the Bismarck. Other sources show that HMS Windsor sailed with the Home Fleet from Scarpa Flow circa 2300hrs on 22 May. And then was detached to refuel in Iceland, together with all the other destroyers, on 24 May. These details are not in the 'Naval History' summary of HMS Windsor.

Assuming that "Fulmars did not participate" in the search for the Bismarck, 23-27 May 1941, then I do not understand how FAA No. 808 Sqn was granted the Battle Honour 'BISMARCK' and FAA No. 807 Sqn was not granted the Battle Honour. If no aircraft were flown then surely neither squadron should be granted the Battle Honour. If by simply having been present onboard HMS Ark Royal, and there having been a clear intent to launch Fulmars which had been thwarted by the weather, then both squadrons should have been granted the Battle Honour. What I don't comprehend is how one squadron was granted the Battle Honour and the other was not.

Can anyone explain this anomaly please?
Kind regards, Michael.
« Last Edit: 05 June 2023 11:29:11 am by Michael Leichsenring »
Logged

Michael Leichsenring

  • New Recruit
  • *
  • Reputation: 0
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 3
Re: FAA No. 807 and 808 Squadron - Bismarck.
« Reply #3 on: 24 June 2023 04:45:07 am »

Greetings All.

On reflecting on this matter, I do see two options that could explain this anomaly.

Firstly, a Fulmar from FAA No. 808 Squadron was in fact launched, on a day earlier in the search, i.e. 25 May.

Secondly, one or more aircrew of FAA No. 808 Squadron flew in a Swordfish during the initial search for the Bismarck, and/or during the subsequent attacks launched against the Bismarck.

Can any Member shed any light on this apparent anomaly please?
Kind regards, Michael.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up