824 Naval Air Squadron
Squadron badge
  • 1933–1989
  • 2001 – present
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Navy
TypeFlying squadron
RoleMerlin HM2 crew training
Part ofFleet Air Arm
Home stationRNAS Culdrose
Motto(s)Spectat ubique spiritus (Latin for 'Behold, the wind all around them')
AircraftAgustaWestland Merlin HM2
WebsiteOfficial website
Commander Chris Jones

824 Naval Air Squadron is a Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm squadron based at RNAS Culdrose and currently operating the AgustaWestland Merlin HM2 Operational Conversion Unit. It trains aircrew in Anti-Submarine warfare and Airborne Surveillance and Control.


Fairey Swordfish of 824 Squadron launching from HMS Striker

The squadron was originally formed on 3 April 1933 as a Spotter Reconnaissance squadron.[1] During World War II, the squadron carried out various duties, such as convoy protection, bombing raids, spotting for gunnery bombardments and attacks on enemy destroyers. The squadron took part in the Battle of Taranto on 11 November 1940, where together with aircraft from 813, 815 and 819 squadrons flying from HMS Illustrious, it successfully attacked the Italian Battle Squadron. It was disbanded 10 times between 1934 and 1970, in that time it was equipped with the Fairey Seal, Fairey Swordfish, Fairey Barracuda, Fairey Firefly and finally the Fairey Gannet.[1]

The squadron participated in the Falklands War, later responsible for trials of the Sea King helicopter. The squadron again disbanded in August 1989 and its aircraft were transferred to 819 Naval Air Squadron at Prestwick.[1]

Current use

824 Naval Air Squadron reformed on 2 June 2000 at RNAS Culdrose, equipped with eight AgustaWestland Merlin HM.1 helicopters. In January 2013 824 NAS received its first new HM.2 Merlin aircraft with the squadron fully converted by the end of 2013.

It currently trains Pilots, Observers and Aircrewman on the Merlin HM.2 helicopter in Anti-Submarine Warfare.[2] Once trained the aircrew go to one of the front line Merlin squadrons 814 NAS and 820 NAS.

Aircraft operated

Merlin HM2 of 824 Squadron.

The squadron operated a variety of different aircraft and versions:[3]

Battle honours

824 Naval Air Squadron has received the following battle honours:[4]


  1. ^ a b c 824 Squadron's official history
  2. ^ "824 Naval Air Squadron | Royal Navy". royalnavy.mod.uk. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  3. ^ Sturtivant & Ballance 1994, p. 213.
  4. ^ Fleet Air Arm Battle Honours