MRH90

After an absence of more than half a century, the RAN re-commissioned 808 Squadron into the Fleet Air Arm at Nowra on 28 January 2011.

The squadron will comprise six new MRH90 helicopters and take over the role that Sea King helicopters are currently providing in 817 Squadron. 808 squadron was disbanded with Sea Venom fixed wing fighters in December 1958.

The re-commissioning will take place at a new hangar and support facility located in the Naval Air Station, HMAS Albatross.

808 Squadron was first commissioned as a RAN squadron on 25 April 1950 at St Merryn in Cornwall, England, flying Hawker Sea Fury FB IIs. 808 Squadron formed part of the 21st Carrier Air Group (CAG) along with 817 Squadron.

The CAG embarked in the RAN’s new aircraft carrier, HMAS Sydney, in October, and disembarked at Jervis Bay in December.

Along with 805 and 817 Squadrons, 808 formed part of a new Sydney Carrier Air Group for service in Korea and 808 Squadron departed for Korea aboard Sydney on 31 August 1951.

The aircraft of the Sydney CAG then bore black and white markings signifying that they were on operations with the United Nations (UN).

Following Korean operations, the Squadron transferred to HMAS Vengeance and continued carrier-borne operations until it was decommissioned at Nowra on 5 October 1954.

The Squadron was re-commissioned on 23 August 1955 at the Royal Navy Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton in the south of England. Then equipped with de Havilland Sea Venoms, the Squadron participated in the RAN’s new carrier, HMAS Melbourne’s flying trials in England.

Melbourne, along with the squadron, took part in South-East Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO) exercises visiting Singapore, Hong Kong and Manila before returning to Australia to assist with arrangements for the 1956 Olympic Games.

808 Squadron was de-commissioned at Nowra on 1 December 1958 (recommissioned on 28 January 2011).