702 NAVAL AIR SQUADRON
Motto: - 'Cave ungues felis - Beware the cat's paws'
Role: - Aircrew and Maintainer Training Squadron for Lynx Mk 3 and Mk 8
Base: - RNAS Yeovilton
702 Flight formed on 15 July 1936 to operate aircraft from the ships of the 2nd Battle Squadron. Initially operating the Walrus and Seal from its base at Mount Batten, these aircraft were later replaced by the Swordfish floatplane. Squadron status was granted in 1939, and after briefly being disbanded in 1940, 702 reformed as a Long Range catapult squadron with Seafoxes for duty in Armed Merchant Cruisers for much of World War 2.
On 4 April 1949, 702 reformed at Culdrose as the Naval Jet and Evaluation Training Unit, initially equipped with four Sea Vampires. Two months later it became the first unit to fly the Meteor.
In 1978, 702 was again re-formed, this time as a rotary wing Squadron at RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset equipped with the Westland Lynx helicopter with 2 roles. The first was the responsibility for training all Lynx aircrew and maintainers; the second was parenting the Royal Navy's Frigate and Destroyer fleet with Lynx Flights. In 1981, the parenting duty became the charge of 815 Naval Air Squadron. In 1982, both Squadrons moved to RNAS Portland where they operated successfully before returning to RNAS Yeovilton in 1999.
World War II
Formation and WWII (1936 - 1945)
702 NAS was founded on 15 July 1936 to operate aircraft from the ships of the 2nd Battle Squadron. Operating Supermarine Walrus and Fairey Seal aircraft from its base at RAF Mount Batten initially, later these were replaced by the Fairey Swordfish float-plane. Granted Squadron status in 1939, and briefly disbanded in 1940, 702 Naval Air Squadron reformed as a Long Range Catapult squadron with Fairey Seafoxes for duty in Armed Merchant Cruisers for much of the Second World War.
Naval Jet Evaluation Training Unit
In 1949 the squadron reformed at RNAS Culdrose as the Naval Jet Evaluation Training Unit. Equipped with four de Havilland Sea Vampires, it also became the first unit to fly the Gloster Meteor and was the first unit to achieve jet landings at night on a carrier, embarked in HMS Implacable and HMS Theseus. The squadron was renumbered as 738 Naval Air Squadron in 1952.
Aircrew and Maintainer training squadron (1978 - 2014)
702 was reformed in 1978 and has since operated the Westland Lynx HAS2, HAS3 and HMA8. The squadron is tasked to provide aircrew training and maintenance personnel for the Maritime Lynx, ready for ship's flights. It has a complement of around 160 aircrew and maintainers with approximately a further 20 aircrew and 115 maintainers in training per annum also providing refresher training for an additional 30 aircrew.
In 1981 these roles were split and the parenting duty became the charge of 815 Naval Air Squadron. The following year both squadrons relocated to RNAS Portland for a period of eighteen years before returning to its current location of RNAS Yeovilton in 1999.
702 NAS disbanded at a ceremony held at the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton on 1 August 2014. Its aircraft transferred to 815 NAS and its personnel transferred to either 815 NAS or 825 NAS.
In 2006, ‘A’ Flight 849 NAS was re-badged as 702 NAS using the Sea King ASACS Mk 7.
PREVIOUS AIRCRAFT TYPES
Walrus, Seal, Swordfish, Seafox, Sea Hurricane, Harvard, Oxford, Tigermoth, Avenger, Sea Vampire, Meteor, Vampire, Attacker, Sea Balliol, Sea Prince, Lynx
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