Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum  

Go Back   Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum > Discussion > Allied and Soviet Air Forces

Allied and Soviet Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the Air Forces of the Western Allies and the Soviet Union.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 23rd April 2010, 00:34
Pieter H Pieter H is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 264
Pieter H is on a distinguished road
FAA squadron codes early 1940

I am stuck trying to find the Fleet Air Arm squadron codes in april-May 1940.
I think there was on the one hand a systematic coding scheme of an carrier letter, squadron number and individual letter.
So HMS Ark Royal squadrons started with A, followed by the squadon order number. A2 was No. 810 Sqn, A4 was No. 820 Sqn (I think). These codes were then followed by the individual aircraft letter. A2A, A2B, etc.
Simlarly HMS Glorious (G), Furious (U), Hermes (H), Eagle (?) and Illustrious (L).
The list of codes I compiled (without any claims to correctness):
810 A2
820 A4
802 G6
812 G3
825 G5
816 U4
818 U3
814 H3
824 5
806 L6
815 L3
Still missing: 800, 801, 803, 804, 813, 819, 821, 823

So question 1: can someone confirm this was the coding scheme, and if yes what were the squadron codes?

But then there seemed to be a second coding scheme, essentially a number followed by the individual aircraft letter; 2Q, 4A, 4B, 5H, 6L, etc.
What confuses me is that these codes pop up all over the place, and at a certain moment they seem to have been used by multiple squadrons.

So question 2: was there any systemacy behind this second type of coding?

All in all pretty confusing, this FAA coding. Hope someone can bring clarity.

Regards, Pieter
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 23rd April 2010, 12:51
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Lancashire, UK
Posts: 1,502
Graham Boak is an unknown quantity at this point
Re: FAA squadron codes early 1940

The key point is that the codes are not permanently attached to the unit, but to the carrier, and at different times will be carried by different units.

The carrier each had an identifying letter, as you describe. Eagle was E. Formidable was F, but was seen (later) with the symbol of the Greek letter PHI (=F).

The second number identifies the role, and the seniority of the squadron carrying out that role. By 1939 that meant torpedo spotter-reconnaissance 1-5, fighters 6-7, but the earlier numbers had been used for the spotter-recce role only, which is why Swordfish units tend to carry 4 and 5.

The final letter is that of the individual aircraft in the squadron.

The first, carrier identity, code was often omitted because the RN was rarely in a position to operate more than one carrier in any given force. Hence the codes you mention last.

For a full list, you need a copy of the Air Britain book Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm. All the codes you list are correct, 824 being E5.
800 A6, 801 U6 then A7, 803 A7 then S6 then A7 and A8, 804 uncoded with Gladiators, 813 E4, 819 L5, 821 A5, 823 G4

The S code was for shore-based operational squadrons.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 25th April 2010, 00:10
Pieter H Pieter H is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 264
Pieter H is on a distinguished road
Re: FAA squadron codes early 1940

Hi Graham,

Perfect, exactly what I needed.
Thanks a lot!

Pieter
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Friendly fire WWII Brian Allied and Soviet Air Forces 786 6th October 2018 13:04
RAF and RAAF ORBs available on the Web Laurent Rizzotti Allied and Soviet Air Forces 43 23rd October 2015 15:46
RAF losses 5./6. March 1945 JanZ Allied and Soviet Air Forces 13 25th February 2012 13:40
Hurricane & Battle photos, France 1940. Martin Gleeson Allied and Soviet Air Forces 34 3rd October 2010 18:00
79 Squadron RAF codes 1940. Martin Gleeson Allied and Soviet Air Forces 2 12th August 2008 00:07


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 14:19.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004 - 2018, 12oclockhigh.net