Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation


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No 444 (Fleet Reconnaissance)/(Fleet Spotter Reconnaissance) Flight


[Jan 1925 | Feb 1925 | Mar 1925 | Apr 1925 | May 1925 | Jun 1925 | Jul 1925 | Mar 1926 | Jul 1926 | Dec 1926 | Jul 1927 | Jul 1928 | Sep 1928 | Jul 1929 | Jul 1930 | Aug 1930 | Sep 1930 | Oct 1930 | Nov 1930 | Dec 1930 | Jul 1931 | Jul 1932 | Jul 1933 | Jan 1934 | Jul 1934 | Jul 1935 | Jul 1936]

This was formed on 15 January 1925 at RAF Lee-on-Solent equipped with Fairey IIIDs for service with the cruiser HMS Vindictive

January 1925

Source - January 1925 Air Force List

Date Location
15 Jan 1925 RAF Lee-on-Solent

February 1925

Source - February 1925 Air Force List

Date Location
13 Feb 1925 RAF Base Leuchars
xx Feb 1925 RAF Lee-on-Solent

March 1925

Source - March 1925 Air Force List

April 1925

Source - April 1925 Air Force List

Date Location
27 Apr 1925 HMS Vindictive

May 1925

Source - May 1925 Air Force List

June 1925

Source - June 1925 Air Force List

July 1925

Aircraft operated Shore Station/Ship Command/Group
Fairey IIID School of Naval Co-operation, RAF Lee-on-Solent Coastal Area/No 10 Group

 

Rank Name Date Notes
Sqn Ldr Edward J P Burling 27 Apr 1925 Officer Commanding
Fg Off Albert G Thackray 23 Mar 1925  
Fg Off Philip Jones 13 Feb 1925 later A/Cdre

Source - Air Force List July 1925

Date Location
 9 Oct 1925 RAF Lee-on-Solent
15 Oct 1925 HMS Vindictive
24 Nov 1925 RAF Lee-on-Solent
 1 Jan 1926 HMS Vindictive (China Station)

March 1926

Aircraft operated Shore Station/Ship Command/Group
Fairey IIID Hong Kong Coastal Area/No 10 Group

 

 
Rank Name Date Notes
Flt Lt Leonard G Maxton  1 Nov 1925 Officer Commanding, AFC
Fg Off Albert G Thackray 23 Mar 1925  
Fg Off Narborough H D'Aeth  1 Nov 1925 later AVM
Fg Off Philip Jones 13 Feb 1925 later A/Cdre

Source - March 1926 Air Force List

July 1926

Aircraft operated Shore Station/Ship Command/Group
Fairey IIID Hong Kong Coastal Area/No 10 Group

 

 
Rank Name Date Notes
Flt Lt Leonard G Maxton  1 Nov 1925 Officer Commanding, AFC
Fg Off Albert G Thackray 23 Mar 1925  
Fg Off Narborough H D'Aeth  1 Nov 1925 later AVM
Fg Off Philip Jones 13 Feb 1925 later A/Cdre

Source - Air Force List July 1926

December 1926

Aircraft operated Shore Station/Ship Command/Group
Fairey IIID Hong Kong Coastal Area/No 10 Group

 

 
Rank Name Date Notes
Flt Lt Leonard G Maxton  1 Nov 1925 Officer Commanding, AFC
Fg Off Albert G Thackray 23 Mar 1925  
Fg Off Narborough H D'Aeth  1 Nov 1925 later AVM
Fg Off Philip Jones 13 Feb 1925 later A/Cdre

Source - December 1926 Air Force List

July 1927

Aircraft operated Shore Station/Ship Command/Group
Fairey IIID HMS Vindictive China Station

 

 
Rank Name Date Notes
Flt Lt Leonard G Maxton  1 Nov 1925 Officer Commanding, AFC
Fg Off Narborough H D'Aeth  1 Nov 1925 later AVM
Fg Off Hugh R M Nicholl 19 Nov 1926 Lt, RN
Fg Off Charles R V Pugh 19 Nov 1926 Lt, RN
Fg Off Alfred N Waring 19 Nov 1926 Lt, RN

Source - Air Force List July 1927

Date Location
 1 May 1928 RAF Lee-on-Solent
  9 Jul 1928 HMS Vindictive

July 1928

Aircraft operated Shore Station/Ship Command/Group
Fairey IIID HMS Vindictive China Station

 

 
Rank Name Date Notes
Flt Lt Leonard G Maxton  1 Nov 1925 Officer Commanding, AFC
Flt Lt Garth R O'Sullivan  2 May 1928  
Fg Off Hugh R M Nicholl 19 Nov 1926 Lt, RN
Fg Off George M Pares  9 Sep 1927 Lt, RN
Fg Off Simon Borrett 18 May 1928 Lt, RN

Source - Air Force List July 1928

Date Location
19 Jul 1928 RAF Lee-on-Solent
30 Aug 1928 HMS Vindictive

September 1928

Aircraft operated Shore Station/Ship Command/Group
Fairey IIID HMS Vindictive China Station

 

 
Rank Name Date Notes
Flt Lt Garth R O'Sullivan  2 May 1928 Officer Commanding, AFC
Fg Off Hugh R M Nicholl 19 Nov 1926 Lt, RN
Fg Off Simon Borrett 18 May 1928 Lt, RN

Source - September 1928 Air Force List

Date Location
 2 Dec 1928 RAF Lee-on-Solent
15 Jan 1929 HMS Vindictive

It was redesignated as No 444 (Fleet Spotter Reconnaissance) Flight in April 1929.

Date Location
 7 Apr 1929 RAF Lee-on-Solent
30 Apr 1929 HMS Vindictive
 6 Nov 1929 RAF Lee-on-Solent

July 1929

Aircraft operated Shore Station/Ship Command/Group
Fairey IIID HMS Vindictive Coastal Area

 

 
Rank Name Date Notes
Flt Lt Garth R O'Sullivan  2 May 1928 Officer Commanding, AFC
Fg Off Edward J E Burt  3 May 1929 Lt, RN
Fg Off Simon Borrett 18 May 1928 Lt, RN

Source - Air Force List July 1929

It was withdrawn from HMS Vindictive in November 1929 when the vessel began a refit.

Date Location
 6 Nov 1929 RAF Lee-on-Solent

July 1930

Aircraft operated Shore Station/Ship Command/Group
Fairey IIID RAF Lee-on-Solent Coastal Area

 

 
Rank Name Date Notes
Flt Lt Garth R O'Sullivan  2 May 1928 Officer Commanding, AFC
Fg Off George M Pares  2 Sep 1929 Lt, RN
Fg Off Robert A Chignell 29 Jan 1930  

Source - Air Force List July 1930

August 1930

Source - August 1930 Air Force List

September 1930

Source - September 1930 Air Force List

October 1930

Source - October 1930 Air Force List

November 1930

Source - November 1930 Air Force List

December 1930

Source - December 1930 Air Force List

In the autumn of 1930 it began providing aircraft for HMS Dorsetshire and HMS Norfolk of the 2nd Cruiser Squadron.

July 1931

Aircraft operated Shore Station/Ship Command/Group
Fairey IIID RAF Lee-on-Solent Coastal Area

 

 
Rank Name Date Notes
Flt Lt Ian R Grant 22 Apr 1931 Officer Commanding, Lt Cdr, RN
Fg Off Sidney T Morgan 26 Aug 1930 Lt, RN
Fg Off Robert A Chignell 29 Jan 1930  

 Source - Air Force List July 1931

In August 1931 it also took on responsibility for aircraft in HMS York of the 2nd Cruiser Squadron and the following month re-equipped with Fairey IIIFs.

Around the same time it was reallocated to provide aircraft to HMS Hood and HMS Valiant of the Battlecruiser Squadron of the Atlantic Fleet

July 1932

Aircraft operated Naval Command Command/Group
Fairey IIIF 2nd Battle Squadron, Home Fleet Coastal Area

 

 
Rank Name Date Notes
Flt Lt Alec A Murray 25 Jul 1931 Officer Commanding, Lt, RN
Fg Off Douglas W Mackendrick  4 Jan 1932 Lt, RN

Source - Air Force List July 1932

From December 1932 until December 1933 it operated at least one Seal

July 1933

Aircraft operated Naval Command Command/Group
Fairey IIIF Capital Ships, Home Fleet Coastal Area

 

 
Rank Name Date Notes
Flt Lt Douglas W Mackendrick  4 Jan 1932 Officer Commanding, Lt, RN
Fg Off Francis W N Bassett 22 May 1933 Lt, RN

Source - Air Force List July 1933

In September 1933 it was transferred to the Home Fleet providing aircraft to HMS Barham, HMS Renown and HMS Valiant.

January 1934

Aircraft operated Naval Command Command/Group
Fairey IIIF Capital Ships, Home Fleet Coastal Area

 

 
Rank Name Date Notes
Flt Lt Douglas W Mackendrick  4 Jan 1932 Officer Commanding, Lt, RN
Fg Off Francis W N Bassett 22 May 1933 Lt, RN

Source - January 1934 Air Force List

From February to August 1934 it operated at least one Seagull V.

July 1934

Aircraft operated Naval Command Command/Group
Fairey IIIF Capital Ships, Home Fleet Coastal Area

 

 
Rank Name Date Notes
Fg Off Francis W N Bassett 22 May 1933 Lt Cdr, RN
Fg Off Herbert C Ranald 11 Jan 1934 Lt Cdr, RN
Fg Off John O Mansell 23 May 1934 Lt, RN

Source - Air Force List July 1934

It provided aircraft to HMS Nelson from October 1934.

It began to operate some Walrus Is in January 1935.

Date Location
 5 Jun 1935 RAF Mount Batten

July 1935

Aircraft operated Naval Command Command/Group
Fairey IIIF Capital Ships, Home Fleet Coastal Area

 

 
Rank Name Date Notes
Flt Lt Richard A Peyton  3 Sep 1934 Officer Commanding, Lt Cdr, RN
Flt Lt Edward O F Price 10 Dec 1934 Lt Cdr, RN
Fg Off Herbert C Ranald 11 Jan 1934 Lt Cdr, RN
Fg Off John O Mansell 23 May 1934 Lt, RN

Source - Air Force List July 1935

In August/September 1935 it took over HMS Royal Sovereign and HMS Ramillies from No 447 Flight but lost HMS Barham and HMS Valiant.

In January 1936 HMS Ramillies returned to No 447 Flight but in May it took over HMS Repulse.

It began to operate some Hawker Ospreys in January 1936.

It began to operate some Blackburn Shark IIs and Swordfish Is in March 1936.

July 1936

Aircraft operated Naval Command Command/Group
Fairey IIIF

Hawker Osprey

Blackburn Shark II

Fairey Swordfish I

Capital Ships, Home Fleet Coastal Command

 

 
Rank Name Date Notes
Flt Lt Richard A Peyton  3 Sep 1934 Officer Commanding, Lt Cdr, RN
Flt Lt D C V Pelly 27 Dec 1935 Lt, RN
Fg Off John O Mansell 23 May 1934 Lt, RN

Source - Air Force List July 1936

It was disbanded on 15 July 1936, being absorbed into Nos 702 and 705 (Catapult) Flights.

Re-equipment and movement dates are based on those shown in 'Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm' by Ray Sturtivant

[Jan 1925 | Feb 1925 | Mar 1925 | Apr 1925 | May 1925 | Jun 1925 | Jul 1925 | Mar 1926 | Jul 1926 | Dec 1926 | Jul 1927 | Jul 1928 | Sep 1928 | Jul 1929 | Jul 1930 | Aug 1930 | Sep 1930 | Oct 1930 | Nov 1930 | Dec 1930 | Jul 1931 | Jul 1932 | Jul 1933 | Jan 1934 | Jul 1934 | Jul 1935 | Jul 1936]

This page was last updated on 21/01/18

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