September 1944 - October 1945
The MILES M.25 MARTINET Target Tug. In RN service aircraft
was overall canary Yellow with black anti-glare on the upper engine cowling.
image © IWM (ATP 10842C)
Formation and work-up
Lt. Cdr (A) A.F.E. Payen RNVR in command. Initially equipped with 12 Martinet Target Tugs, a Reliant and a Walrus. The squadron was responsible for providing towed drogue and winged targets for ship and aircraft gunnery practice on both the East and West Coast of Southern India. The squadron HQ reminded at RNAS Tambaram operating two detached sub flights ‘X’ and ‘Y’. Lt. Cdr (A) K.C. Johnson SANF(V) assumed command on October 23rd 1944.
‘X’ flight was established at RAF Juhu on September 7th 1944 for east coast duties, mainly in the Bombay area. Four Swordfish were added in March 1945. On March 22nd the squadron suffered its only fatally, Lt I.S. Myerscough RNVR was killed when his aircraft, Martinet MS860, landed 150 yards short of the airfield perimeter fence at RAF Juhu after circling with his engine trailing smoke; the engine cut out at 20 feet and the aircraft broke in two on impact, caught fire and burnt out. The flight relocating to RNAS Cochin on September 18th 1945 and disbanded there one month later on October 14th.
‘Y’ flight was established RAF Vizagapatam on west coast duties from December 28th 1944 until disbanding on October 14 1945. It is possible that a number of Wildcat were added to the flight in July 1945.
The squadron received its third commanding officer on March 8th 1945 when Lt. Cdr (A) L.G. Morris RN aimed command. After the end of hostilities in August 1945 the need for the FRU had passed and the squadron was disbanded on October 24th 1945.
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09 June 2020
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)