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April - August 1945


Formation and work-up

The personnel for 1853 Squadron assembled at Townhill Camp in February 1945, and sailed for the USA to form and train. The squadron officially formed on April 1st 1945 at USNAS Brunswick as a single seat fighter squadron under the command of Lt. Cdr (A) J.R. Schuiling RNethN. The squadron was issued with 18 Corsair IVs.

After familiarisation with the aircraft and equipment the squadron began training in earnest to prepare for active service. Training included navigation exercises, low flying, formation flying and combat tactics. The squadron moved to USNAS Norfolk  on April 30th and moved again on May 21st to US Naval Auxiliary Airfield at Bar Harbour, Maine to begin practicing ADDLs (Aerodrome Dummy Deck Landings) in preparation for the real thing at sea, they returned to Brunswick on June 2nd

The first few months of flying was a difficult time for the new pilots, many of whom were on their first operational squadron; there were 4 aircraft accidents recorded during the initial work up period. On April 15th there was a landing incident involving two Corsairs; while practicing ‘stream landing’ Sub-Lt V.J. Tilly RNVR in KD860 ran into KD774, flown by Sub-Lt E. Kirkham RNVR, on the runway at Brunswick. On the 29th Sub-Lt G.K. Brewin RNVR had a lucky escape during a low flying exercise, the starboard wing and tailplane of his aircraft KD754 hit a treetop near Brunswick.

 This was a short return to their formation station however as they returned to Norfolk on June 6th to carry out three days of DLT (Deck Landing Training) on the training carrier the USS CHARGER, operating in Chesapeake Bay. There were two flying incidents during this training on June 8th, one fatal; Sub-Lt D. G. Pacy had a barrier crash in KD753 and was unhurt but Sub-Lt E.J. Whiteway RNVR in KD308 tried to go around again but his port wheel hit No.2 barrier, the aircraft skidded over how, and overturned in the water, he did not escape before it sank. The squadron remained at Norfolk until the 15th before returning to Brunswick to continue training. The squadron remained at Norfolk until the 15th before returning to Brunswick to continue training.

There were two further flying incidents during the final stage of the squadron’s work up; on June 28th Sub-Lt W.P.A. Goodman RNVR taxying out in KD796 swung his tail sharply and hit the folded wing of another squadron aircraft, both were extensively damaged. Sub-Lt L.H. Amos RNVR while taxying for take-off in KD803 on July 1st KD803 suffered a dartboard undercarriage collapse.

On completion of working up at USNAS Brunswick 1853 squadron flew to USNAS Floyd Bennett Field on July 12th on route to USNAS Norfolk where they arrived the following day to await passage to the UK. The squadron personnel and aircraft embarked in the escort carrier HMS RAJAH on July 24th, alongside in the Norfolk Naval Operating Base. RAJAH had arrived at Norfolk on July 23rd to embark a ferry load of American airframes for delivery to the UK. The Corsairs of 1853 were towed through the streets from the Air Station to the quayside and were hoisted on board the carrier. RAJAH sailed on July 28th bound for the Clyde, arriving there on August 5th.

Arrival in the UK and Disbandment

The squadron disembarked to RNAS Machrihanish on August 6th to await a decision on their future; the squadron was earmarked to join the 4th Carrier Air Group which was planned to form with.846 (Avenger) squadron and Nos.1837 and 1853 (Corsair) squadrons for service in HMS ILLUSTRIOUS. 

When the Japanese surrendered on August 15th 1945 the 4th Carrier Air Group became unnecessary and the squadron was disbanded at Machrihanish on August 15th.


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Content revised: 26 September 2021


Primary information sources

Additional sources:






No badge issued



Battle Honours


Aircraft Types

Corsair IV Apr 1945 - Aug 1945


Commanding Officers

Lt. Cdr (A) J.R. Schuiling RNethN 1 Apr 1945
Squadron disbanded 29 Au1945


Aircrew and Squadron Personnel

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