Netherlands Naval Aviation Unit History
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Netherlands
Naval Aviation

Unit History


No.860 Squadron
Role: Fighter-pilot training

First formed 15 June 1943 at Donibristle, UK as 860 (Dutch) squadron, Fleet Air Arm. Tasked with providing 3 aircraft flights of Swordfish for the merchant aircraft carriers 'Acavus' (as O flight, embarked between January 1944 and April 1944), 'Gadila' (as S flight, embarked between February 1944 and 15 May 1945) and 'Mascoma' (as O flight, embarked 2 June 1944 to 19 October 1944 then renamed F flight, embarked between October 1944 and 21 May 1945). 19 July 1943 moved to Hatston, then to Dunino the following month, and to Machrihanish on 3 November. Converted from Swordfish I to mark II version. Transferred to Maydown 6 December 1943.
30 June 1945 took over Barracudas of 822 sqn. Successively based at Ayr, HMS Nairana, Fearn and then Saint Merryn. 9 May 1946 started converting to Firefly. September 1946 deployed to HrMS Karel Doorman and handed over to Dutch naval control. Disembarked at Morokrembagan, Java, and participated in war of independence. Disbanded 18 March 1950.
Reformed 15 July 1950 with Sea Furys & crews from GVO. Normally embarked on HrMS Karel Doorman. 15 June 1956 aircraft passed to 3 sqn and disbanded.
Reformed 18 September 1957 with twenty-two Sea Hawk FGA.50 at Valkenburg. Regularly deployed on HrMS Karel Doorman and also formed 'Sealords' aerobatic team. Disbanded 30 October 1964. Commissioned again 4 October 1966 with Westland Wasp HAS.1 (AH-12A) at De Kooij for ASW role. Supplied flights of one helicopter to each of Koninklijke Marines's six frigates. October 1978 began conversion to the Westland Lynx. During the 1970s new Lynx flights worked up at RNAS Portland, UK, prior to deployment aboard each ship. Still supplies Lynx helicopters for the Dutch surface fleet of over 20 frigates and support ships. When the unit badge is applied to helicopters, the unit identity is often presented as 'VSQ-860' in the US Navy style.


Air Bases:
Base Duration
Donibristle15 June 1943 to 19 July 1943
Hatston 19 July 1943 to Aug 1943
Dunino 15 Aug 1943 to 3 November 1943
Machrihanish 3 November 1943 to 6 December 1943
Maydown 4 December 1943 to 30 June 1945
Machrihanish14 May 1944 to 21 May 1944
Ayr3 September 1945 to 30 October 1945
HMS Nairana30 October 1945 to 15 November 1945
Ayr15 November 1945 to 19 April 1946
Fearn19 April 1946 to 7 May 1946
Saint Merryn7 May 1946 to 27 July 1946
HrMS Karel Doorman27 July 1946 to October 1946
Morokrembagan, JavaOctober 1946 to 18 March 1950
HrMS Karel Doorman 15 July 1950 to 15 June 1956
Valkenburg 15 July 1950 to 17 January 1951
Saint Merryn17 January 1951 to 19 June 1951
HMS Illustrious19 June 1951 to 5 July 1951
HMS Indomitable5 July 1951 to 18 July 1951
Saint Merryn18 July 1951 to 7 September 1951
HMS Indomitable7 September 1951 to 4 December 1951
Valkenburg 4 December 1951 to 30 August 1952
HMS Illustrious30 August 1952 to 24 September 1952
Valkenburg/Karel Doorman 24 September 1952 to 15 June 1956
Valkenburg/Karel Doorman 18 September 1957 to 30 October 1964
Lossiemouth6 May 1963 to 15 May 1963
De Kooij 4 October 1966 to Present
Portland14-21 June 1974
Portland13-24 September 1974
Portland30 October 1974 to 1 November 1974
Portland7-17 February 1975

Aircraft Used:
Type Qty Service Badge Example Serials
Swordfish I 15 June 1943 - Nov 1943 V4431
Swordfish II Nov 1943 - June 1945 LS437 (S2)
Swordfish III March 1945 - June 1945 NS187
Barracuda II 30 June 1945 - Apr 1946  
Barracuda III 30 June 1945 - Apr 1946 RJ773
Firefly F.I 9 May 1946 - 18 March 1950 6-27
Sea Fury FB.50 15 July 1950 - 25 June 1956 6-33, 10-9
Sea Hawk FGA.50 18 Sept 1957 - 30 Oct 1964 6-71, 6-66
Wasp HAS.1 4 Oct 1966 - Dec 1980 240/EV, 243/K, 242/IS
Lynx SH-14B Oct 1978 - Present 270/KN, 272/CB
Lynx SH-14C Oct 1980 - Present 281/PH

Unit Insignia:
Figure 1
 

References:

  • To be added


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First Created: 3 November 2007 - Last Revised: 3 November 2007
Copyright © 2007 John Hayles.     e-mail: john@aeroflight.co.uk