February - May 1944
Formation and work-up
In January 1944 12 pilots, four British and eight from the Royal Netherlands Navy assembled at RNAS Eglinton were No.1847 Squadron officially formed on February 1st 1944 as a single seat fighter squadron under the command of Lt. Cdr (A) H Colville -Stewart RNVR. The squadron was issued with 10 Hellcat I aircraft, and was intended for service in an escort carrier.
After familiarisation with the aircraft and equipment the squadron began training in earnest to prepare for active service. Training included navigation exercises, low flying, formation flying and combat tactics. The training period was to cost four pilots their lives; 0n March 27th two Dutch pilots were killed when their aircraft collided in mid-air while changing formation, both planes crashed near Tullybrisland, Co. Londonderry; Sub-Lt J. Blok RNethN & Sergeant S. de Ridder RNethN were both killed. A third Dutch pilot died the following day, Sub-Lt E.H. den Hollander RNethN crashed in Hellcat FN390 at Loughmagarry nr Ballymena, Co Antrim after an oxygen climb. Lt H.G. Knowles was killed on April 22nd when he flew Hellcat FN394 into a hill top in cloud, at Skerry West, nr Martinstown, County Antrim during a low flying exercise.
Absorbed into 1840 squadron
Due to high attrition (25 present aircrew and 40 present
aircraft) the decision was taken to disband the squadron, it
was absorbed into No.1840 Squadron at Eglinton on May 20th
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24 November 2018
Sources used in compiling this account:
Sturtivant, R. & Burrows, M. (1995) 'Fleet Air Arm
Aircraft 1939 to 1945' Tonbridge Wells, Air Britain
Sturtivant, R & Balance, T., (1994) 'Squadrons of the
Fleet Air Arm' Tonbridge Wells, Air Britain (Historians)