Tuesday, May 21, 2024 Military Aviation » Naval Aviation » UK » Unicorn  

HMS Unicorn

Information gathered from the web site


7-8 September 1943

HMS Unicorn arrived as part of Force ‘V’ which included HM Escort Aircraft Carriers Attacker, Battler, Hunter, Stalker, the cruisers Euryalus, Scylla and Charybdis, the destroyers Cleveland, Holcombe, Atherstone, Liddesdale, Farndale, Calpe, and Polish destroyers Orp Slazak and Orp Krakowiak.

Force ‘V’ was meant to cover the landings on Italy and prevent interference from Italian forces, but as Italy had surrendered on the 8th, the threat had passed but there were still strong German forces in the area.

The carriers had the following squadrons on board, consisting only of Seafires. Between them, the five carriers had 11 squadrons, for a total of 109 aircraft.

Unicorn had embarked three squadrons on board, these being 809, 887 and 897, for a total of thirty aircraft. I have no aircraft details except for those listed below, ironically because they were lost/damaged in accidents.



26.08.43 S. Seafire 897 MB305 Pilot made a heavy landing, causing the tail oleo to collapse and wrinkle the fuselage.
27.08.43 S. Seafire 887 LR689 Pilot smashed into the barrier after the hook bounced, breaking the aircraft’s back.
27.08.43 S. Seafire 887 LR707 Pilot made a heavy landing on the carrier.
29.08.43 S. Seafire 887 LR632 Pilot missed all the arrestor wires and floated into the barrier.
29.08.43 S. Seafire 887 MB117 Pilot missed all the arrestor wires and floated into the barrier.

October 1949

HMS Unicorn arrived with 4 Fireflies and 6 Sea Furies for delivery to AHU (Aircraft Holding Unit) Hal-Far. For this reason, she probably anchored at Marsaxlokk bay.

She had departed the UK on the 1st, and passed through the Suez Canal on the 6th, so her visit to Malta would have been around the 4th.

It would appear that Unicorn, after offloading the above ten aircraft took on at least one Seafire, VR972 being list as going to the Far East in HMS Unicorn on 28.09.49.

Albion Argus Ark Royal R09 Ark Royal R07 Bulwark Centaur Eagle Fearless Fencer Glory Hermes Illustrious R87 Illustrious R06 Indomitable Invincible Ocean R68 Ocean L12 Pursuer Theseus Triumph Unicorn Vengeance Victorous Warrior Misc.
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