Cornwall

Anniversary for 820 Naval Air Squadron

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Media captionA Royal Navy squadron which was integral in the attack on the German battleship the Bismarck is celebrating its 80th anniversary

A Royal Navy squadron which was integral in the attack on the German battleship the Bismarck is celebrating its 80th anniversary.

The Cornwall-based 820 Naval Air Squadron was formed in 1933 and is one of the Navy's oldest.

It was involved in World War II, the Falklands War and has recently returned from the Middle East.

In recent years the squadron has also been involved in anti-piracy work off Somalia.

Hundreds killed

Throughout World War II the squadron operated in the Mediterranean, Norway, the Atlantic and the China Seas.

One of its Swordfish aircraft launched a torpedo which damaged the steering of the Bismarck.

The order came from Winston Churchill to destroy the ship, after it had sunk HMS Hood three days earlier.

Hundreds were killed on both sides during the sinking of HMS Hood and the German ship.

During 1958, the squadron made the transition to helicopters and in 1964 moved to the Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose in west Cornwall.

In 1982, it was involved in reclaiming the Falkland Islands and one of its pilots was HRH Prince Andrew.

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