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Fleet Air Arm 807 Squadron Battle Honours Board .
Like the 810 Squadron board we have just listed, this one is again from my own personal collection and is only being offered for sale as we do not have room to display it as it deserves. These items are most certainly of both national importance and historic interest and it is very much hoped an appropriate museum will step forward and take on custody as a testament to all those Naval Air Service personnel who served with distinction in WWII and beyond. This Honours Board features the Squadron badge, the motto 'Quoquo Versus Ferituri' which translates to mean 'Ready To Strike In All Directions'. Below this is listed in relief lettering, picked pout in gold, her Battle Honours for Atlantic 1940, Malta Convoys 1941 - 42, North Africa 1942- 43, Sicily 1943, Salerno 1943, South France 1944, Aegean 1944, Burma 1945, Malaya 1945 and Korea 1950 -53. What a list!
807 Squadron was formed in September 1940 and initially equipped with Fairy Fulmar aircraft. First embarked on HMS Pegasus, where they served until February 1941, after which they transferred to HMS Furious on convoy duties. In April 1941, 807 Squadron joined HMS Ark Royal flying Fulmars and saw action defending the critical Malta convoys between 1941-42 when 'the Fortress Island' was effectively besieged by Axis forces. Unlike 810 Squadron, 807 were still on the 'Ark' when she was sunk and many of the squadron's aircraft were lost in November 1941 although fortunately none of her personnel. Four surviving machines were flown off to Gibraltar and were saved together with their crews.
The squadron was gradually re-equipped with replacement Fulmars, which were joined by Sea Hurricanes and were assigned to HMS Argus. In June 1942 the squadron flew off the carriers HMS Argus and HMS Eagle to cover 'Operation Harpoon'. They then re-joined HMS Furious flying Supermarine Seafires and they took part in Operation Torch, the North African landings. In May 1943 the squadron had been assigned to HMS Indomitable and provided cover for the Allied invasion of Sicily. Indomitable was damaged by a torpedo in July, causing 807 Squadron to transfer to HMS Battler, from which they supported the Allied invasion of Italy. Next they were then posted to HMS Hunter to support 'Operation Dragoon', the landings in the South of France in August 1944. In March 1945 817 joined the Eastern Fleet aboard HMS Hunter and provided cover during the re-occupation of Rangoon, and attacks on enemy shipping in the Andaman Sea.
Post WWII the Squadron was disbanded but was reformed in 1958 at RNAS Lossiemouth. The squadron embarked on the next generation HMS Ark Royal in March 1960 where it remained for the next year, taking part in major exercises and carrying out cold weather trials in the Arctic Circle. In March 1961, 807 transferred from HMS Ark Royal to HMS Centaur. And after seven months in the Middle and Far East 807 NAS disbanded aboard Centaur in Portsmouth on 17 May 1962. Interestingly this Honours Board has written on the back 'Centaur 1291 13.06.62.' So it appears as 'Centaur' was 807 Squadrons last posting the board remained with the ship until she was broken up in 1972 but was fortunately saved at that time, together with the 810 Honours board which we have also just listed for sale. This piece of history is an impressive size measuring 48" x 35" (122 cm x 88 cm) and it is extremely heavy.
Please also check out the associated 807 Squadron Commanders Board we are also listing today. We would very much like the two boards to stay together and to encourage this we will offer a 10% discount to a single customer who buys both. This is a one off opportunity to purchase a unique piece of WWII Naval aviation history that will never be repeated.