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The Royal Navy Research Archive aims to provide virtual museum, giving access to a range of web materials related to RN ships, establishments, units, and personnel, primarily from the start of World War One through into the 21st century. Content includes articles, short histories and the reminiscences of the men and women who served in the Royal Navy, WRNS, and Royal Marines.

Links marked   are to material  produced by others but hosted by the Royal Navy Research Archive.


Web Sites:


  • The MONAB Story - a history of the mobile airfields of the Royal Navy - nine Mobile Naval Air Bases and one Transportable Aircraft Maintenance Yard operated during the last years of World War 2. Without the contributions of these units and the men who served in them, British forces could not have participated in the final stages of the conflict in the Pacific.
    [Last updated  27 April 2017]

  • Royal Navy Escort Carriers - the histories of the 45 vessels of this type to serve with the Royal Navy - 39 U.S. & 6 U.K. built ships, based on merchant hulls adapted to operate as small aircraft carriers, they saw service in all theatres of the war, operating in a variety of roles.
    [Last updated  19 April 2017]

  • Royal Navy Air Squadrons 1938 - present day **NEW**
    Since 1939 there have been nearly 250 Naval Air Squadrons, including 100 second line training and support squadrons, 137 first line squadrons and 12 Reserve units. Some have enjoyed long serve, some several incarnations, others were short lived but performed a vital role. IN the 21st century there are 19 with one new squadron to commission soon, 809 for the new Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. Squadron histories will be added as they become available.
    [Last updated 03 December 2016]

  • Fleet Air Arm Bases 1939 - present day
    This site covers all Fleet Air Arm establishments, both at home and overseas, including Air Stations, Air Sections, Air Maintenance & Repair Yards, Lodger units at RAF bases,  and training establishments.

    [under reconstruction - last updated 09 September 2016]

  • The British Pacific & East Indies Fleets - the story of the  international mix of men on the Warships, Auxiliaries, Naval air squadrons, and Shore bases involved with the war against the Japanese -  later referred to as the ‘Forgotten Fleets’
    [ Last updated  04 August 2016]

  • HMS SLINGER - John Lawson's pages devoted to the WW2 escort carrier on which he served during WW2
    [Last updated 23 August 2010]


Short Unit Histories & Articles:

More histories & articles...



More reminiscences...



More  people...

Miscellaneous items and photographs:


  • H.M.S. ENTERPRISE delivers Emperor Haile Selassie *NEW**
    A collection of 10 images showing H.M.S. ENTERPRISE delivering Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia and his forty-six person entourage to Haifa on May 8th 1936.

  • HMS OCEAN 1951 - 53
    A collection of photographs, mainly from the private collections of CPO Baker and Able Seaman Hiles, showing the ship and her squadrons from commissioning at Malta to the end of the Korean war. Includes IWM film 'Korean carrier'.

  • BOMB ALLEY by Anon
    A short poem written by a crew member of the destroyer HMS Partridge recalling her experiences with Malta convoy duty in June 1942.

  • Photographs from the album of Petty Officer Cyril Poole
    Cyril served on HMS Berwick in the mid 1930s on the China Station.   He was lost when HMS Wryneck was sunk April 127th 941.

  • Officers of the WW1 Cruiser HMS CONSTANCE taken in 1918

  • A collection of pictures showing HMS WARSPITE on  D-Day

  • Veteran returns to former HMS SIMBANG, 65 years on

    Can you identify places, people and ships? Some will be genuine unidentified pictures, some just for fun but either way we hope you'll join in.
    [Last updated  02 October 2016]


  • RN and RM vessels

  • Support Units

  • Air Squadrons


Short histories of individual vessels or details of flotillas, fleets or Task Forces.

  • Training establishments

  • Naval Barracks

  • Naval Bases

  • Naval Air Stations

  • Lodger Units


The histories of Naval shore bases around the globe, from Air Stations to Naval bases and dockyards.

  • Royal Navy

  • WRNS

  • Royal Marines

  • RN Volunteer Reserve

  • Civilian Staff


The stories of men and women who served at home and abroad in all branches of the RN and RM.


Looking for service records or how to claim medals and badges?

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Contribute your own materials to this archive

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If you have written a book on an aspect of Royal Navy history we would be pleased to review it and add it to the archive - please Click here to read the current reviews and for more information.


Help support the site

If you find this site interesting and informative can you make a small donation? towards its continued upkeep?

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Content last modified:

Thursday April 27, 2017 12:01 GMT



Latest additions & amendments:


Royal Navy Escort Carriers web site relaunch April 2017

Royal Navy Escort Carriers

Redesigned template for better accessibility. Many new pages including information on the building of the ships, and modification work carried out in Canada. Breakdown of ships by builder and significant dates. Details of ship's badges and battle honours explained.

New features added: roll-over text provides additional information in tool tip type pop-out boxes, Audio descriptions for specification sections of all ship histories, full audio description of ship histories being rolled out in stages.

A number of histories and galleries have been updated. Added active links to other pages on the RNRA web sites to help readers find associated articles and histories.


Recent additions

853 Squadron  Added March 2017


RNRA pages

H.M.S. ENTERPRISE delivers Emperor Haile Selassie Added February 2017

Book Review page Updated March 2017



Short Unit Histories & Articles:

Eleven months aboard H.M. Submarine STORM


in the Miscellaneous items and photographs section:



The MONAB Story

H.M.S. NABSFORD Gallery Updated April 2017


Read news and details of all updated content via our Blog page



Latest post: 03 August 2016


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