819 NAS

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Matthew T. Junkin, Jun 22, 2018.

  1. I'm researching activities of the 819 NAS during World War II. Specifically, I am looking for records of operations during February 1945. I have looked at the National Archives website, but it doesn't seem like they have combat reports you can order like they do for the RAF. Although, I may just be looking in the wrong area. Any help or direction would be greatly appreciated.

    I have also seen it written 819 NLS, but I'm not sure what the "N-L-S" means, if it was written that way in error, or if it is a different squadron altogether. Thanks in advance for any interpretation or clarification anyone can provide.
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    timuk likes this.
  3. They may be. Thanks for the link, TD.
  4. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    The War Cabinet Memoranda include a series of quarterly ‘SUMMARY OF NAVAL AIR OPERATIONS’ from 1st November 1943 which are currently free to download. Although CAB 66/66/17, which covers the period 1st February to 1st May, 1945, doesn’t identify specific squadrons it includes the following passage:

    Section II.—Detached Naval Squadrons Operating from Shore Bases.

    5. One squadron of Swordfish and three squadrons of Barracudas operated with Coastal Command during this period. The Swordfish squadron, after a year's excellent service with this Command, operating both from this country and from Belgium, was withdrawn at the end of February. One of the Barracuda squadrons with withdrawn on the 15th March.

    During the period covered by this report, these aircraft have flown 1,094 sorties on anti-submarine patrols and night bombing attacks on the enemy's E / R boats and coastal craft. In the large majority of cases bombing results were unobserved, but successes were claimed against these difficult and elusive targets.

    In addition 17 attacks were made on midget submarines and it is considered that two were sunk and others damaged.

    According to Ray Sturtivant, 819 NAS lost Swordfish Mk.II NF119 in a landing accident 3/2/45 at Knocke (sic), presumably Knokke on the Belgian coast, so Coastal Command’s records may also be worth searching as well.
  5. Thanks for the information and guidance. I have received some of the digitized files from the National Archives for a few Coastal Command Squadrons. Is there any chance you would know if the 819 was involved in any night leaflet drop operations?
  6. dp_burke

    dp_burke Junior Member

    Hello Matthew,

    I wonder if you ever got any 819 Sqn records from TNA, I am looking to see if Denis Hugh Pender an observer, might have been flying missions at that time against Holland/Belgium.
  7. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    Although Matthew hasn’t been back in a while this snippet may be of interest to others.

    I presume that West KAPELLE refers to Westkapelle adjacent to Knokke-Heist, Belgium rather than the one in nearby Walcheren, Netherlands. So these flights at least were flying patrols due west into the Channel, passing through the Scheldt inner artillery zone.

    And to answer Matthew’s question: I doubt that Swordfish would have been risked in leaflet dropping. They were large and slow, and would have been very vulnerable to ground fire, besides which, the allied air forces had any number of more suitable aircraft available.

    Anti-aircraft artillery: barrage balloons and A/A smoke in continental operations: Roll... | The National Archives

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 18, 2021

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