854 Naval Air Squadron

854 Naval Air Squadron was first formed on 1 January 1944, at Squantum Naval Air Station in the United States. It was disbanded in December 1945, and reformed December 2006 as a helicopter squadron designed for Airborne Surveillance and Control.

854 Naval Air Squadron
Country United Kingdom
BranchFleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy
TypeCarrier Based Squadron
RoleAirborne Early Warning
Garrison/HQRNAS Culdrose
Motto(s)"Audentes Fortuna Juvat"
(Latin: "Fortune Helps the Daring")
ColorsRed and Black
EquipmentSea King ASaC7
EngagementsNormandy 1944, Palembang 1945, Okinawa 1945
Lt Cdr J W L Ling


The squadron was formed during the Second World War in January 1944 equipped with Grumman Avenger IIs to operate as an anti-shipping squadron. In May 1944, it arrived back in the United Kingdom, to become part of No.157 Wing, RAF Coastal Command. It operated over the English Channel to carry out anti-shipping patrols in the run-up to the D-Day Allied invasion of Europe. It left for the Far East in September 1944. The squadron carried out operations on board aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious against Sumatra in December and January 1945. In March and April the squadron attacked targets on the Sakishima Islands. 854 NAS received new Avenger IIIs in July to join the 3rd Carrier Air Group. But shortly afterwards 854 left its Avenger IIIs behind and sailed for the UK, to disband after the war on 8 December 1945.

After a ceremony on 13 December 2006 at RNAS Culdrose, the unit reformed with the Westland Sea King ASaC.7, previously A Flight, 849 Squadron. From March to July 2007 the squadron carried out counter-drug operations on board HMS Ocean, and helped to seize a tonne of cocaine.


854 NAS will merge into its parent unit, 849 NAS to form "849 Naval Air Squadron Normandy Flight".[1]


  • Sturtivant and Ballance (1994), The Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm, Air Britain Publications, 480pp, ISBN 0-85130-223-8.

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