Fighter All Weather (FAW) of the Fleet Air Arm.

892 Squadron to HMS Hermes 1962/64. Second Commission

  • HMS Hermes 1962 to 1964 2nd Commission
  • Captain  W D O’Brien DSC RN
  • Recommissioned on 24th April 1962 at Portsmouth
  • Sail Portsmouth 26th April 62. Sea Trials. Sqns DLP and Weekend off Weymouth
  • Families Day at Spithead
  • Buccaneer trials in Lyme Bay
  • 892 Sea Vixen Squadron embark
  • 23/24 May 1962. Portsmouth
  • 25th May. Sail to Gibraltar. Day and Night flying off Sardinia
  • Malta  Parlatorio Wharf for SMP
  • 892 Disembark to RNAS Hal Far
  • Sail Malta for N African coast with planeguard HMS Dunkirk for El Adam bombing range
  • Planeguard now HMS Scorpion. Intensive flying period concluded with a long range strike of EL Adem including IFR
  • Official visit to Beirut. Formal salutations and Gun salute
  • RM band beats retreat
  • Leave Beirut to sail west
  • Flyex's off Cyprus (ex Barbican 2) Crete and Malta
  • 26th July ORI passed
  • To Gibraltar for SMP (HMS Centaur in GIB also)
  • Sail GIB in company with HMS Centaur and escorts to exercise with USN and French forces in the Atlantic . USS Forrestal and Enterprise cross decked. Ex Riptide 11/15th August 1962
  • Visit Lisbon 2 days. Anchored Mar da Palha
  • Fast passage to MED via Gibraltar
  • Combined Strike A/S ex HMS Hermes versesHMS  Centaur and French navy carrier Clemenceau
  • Visit Palma. Berthed at Porta-Pi
  • Fast passage to Malta area for 2nd SMP at Malta
  • Flyex.4th September 1962.  Sea Vixen Lost at night. Both crewmembers killed. ID 5
  • 892 disembark to Hal Far
  • Exercise with 5th destroyer Squadron and then EX Falltrap 25/26 September in the Aegean. Bad weather
  • Gibraltar and sail home to Portsmouth
  • 5th October 62 enter Portsmouth at 1010
  • 13 Nov 62 sail Portsmouth
  • 892 Squadron re-embarks
  • Irish Sea off RNAS Brawdy. Flyex. Weaponry. Bad weather  caused a move to the lee of Southern Ireland. Ex Small Ex 14/16 November 1962
  • Missile shoot 892 Sqn shoots down Meteor targets
  • Passage Gibraltar. One day flyex and 2 days in Gibraltar
  • Sail East Med Ex Polkerhand with USN. 27/29 November 1962.
  • Anchored off Malta for stores no leave
  • Anchored off Port Said waiting for northbound congestion of Suez Canal to clear.
  • HMS ARK ROYAL sighted northbound
  • One day flyex off ADEN
  • 2 days SMP ADEN
  • Fast Passage across Indian Ocean with a brief stop to honour the Grave of the previous Hermes off Ceylon
  • Malacca Straits flyex day and night
  • Nearing Singapore 892 disembark RAF Tengah and RAOC base at Keat Kong (Nearby)
  • Alongside in Singapore after 38 days at sea
  • Christmas in Singapore
  • Sailed in New Year 1963 for local flyex and close air support with the RMs
  • Passage to Subic Bay
  • Short flyex and anchor Subic Bay
  • Ex with USS Ranger. Weaponry and Interceptions and cross deck operating. 7/14 January 1963.
  •  2 days alongside at Subic Naval Base
  • Ex Sampan NW Phillipines 21/24 January 1963
    Ex Tussok 28/31 January 1963 off Hong Kong
  • Passage North  for private flyex and to Hong Kong for Chinese New Year
  • Change over of 892 Sqn Senior Pilots from Lt M McCook-Weir to Lt Cdr Campbell
  • Sail Hong Kong. Full power trials. Flyex off Brunei. Labuan Island. 892 fly over  Brunei as a  show of strength. Small detachment 892 Sqn at Labuan
  • To Singapore
  • Flyex  Malacca straits and RNR off Langkawi island
  • Flyex and 2nd Weekend off Langkawi
  • Sail for Nicobar islands flyex. Ground attack exercise Ex Jet63 27/February to 18th March 1963
  • Singapore for Dry Dock 5 weeks
  •  892 Disembark to RAF Tengah. Grand Flypast
  • To sea private flyex and anchor off Pulau Tiomen
  • Main Exercise with USN and USS Yorktown day and night flyex. Off Vietnam Ex Sea Serpent 24 April to 8th May 1963.
  • Passage to Manila
  • Anchored with 57 ships of SEATO including RAN Voyager and Vampire.
  • Short flyex and to Hong Kong
  • Passage and flyex enroute to Japan (Okinawa). Bombing Rocking and Interceptions
  • "One of our Vixens dived into the sea during a night sortie and although we steamed fast to the scene and searched the area with the assistance of our escorts, there was no sign of any survivors"
    quote from ships commissioning book.
  • 31st May 1963. Sea Vixen Lost at night.  Both crewmembers killed. ID 7.
  • Typhoon Polly and exercise with Commonwealth forces.
  • Catapult problems. Japan visit cancelled.
  • Anchored off Osaka and returned to Singapore for maintenance via East of Philippines and through the islands and across the Sulu Sea
  • Dry dock at Singapore due a leaking Stern Gland. Repair catapults.
  • Aircraft disembarked by road to RAF Tengah. Gannets free launched. Helos flew off
  • Maintenance completed. Sailed from Singapore to embark Squadrons
  • 28th June 1963. Sea Vixen Lost . Both crewmembers killed. ID8.
  • "A Vixen bolted during DLP and dived out of control into the sea. It was obvious that there was no hope for the aircrew and the search by sea boat and SAR chopper produced only a few pieces of wreckage" quote from ships commissioning book.
  • Private flyex Day and Night and to Langkawi island to RV with HMS ARK ROYAL. Opposition for ARK ROYALs ORI. Embark one Vixen left behind at RAF Tengah
  • 3 days flyex with HMS ARK ROYAL and passage to GAN and Mombasa. Flyexs during passage
  • 14th July 1963 crossed the Equator
  • Entered Mombasa for visit
  • Sailed for Gulf of Aden
  • 2 days flyex. Anchored off Aden
  • Transit towards the Suez Canal
  • Homeward Bound. 12 days to Portsmouth
  • Change of plan.
  • Wait in RED Sea until relieved by HMS Victorious before entering Canal
  • More flyexs in extreme heat conditions
  • HMS Victorious arrives and HMS Hermes is homeward via the canal Gibraltar
    Arrive  Portsmouth Late AUG
  • Short Leave
  • Ex UNISON. Embark Squadrons in Lyme Bay. Ship exercise in English Channel . Anchors off Brixham and Weymouth
  • 6th 12th Sept 1963 Ex Unison
  • Sqdns Disembark Enter Portsmouth 2 weeks
  • Sail Portsmouth. Embark Squadrons
  • Fast Passage to Tobruk
  • Ex Triplex West  1/9th October 1963
  • Ex Poker Hand 2 with USN 10/12 October 1963
  • Visit Barcelona
  • Passage to Portsmouth

Statistics
  • March 63 892 achieved 300 hours, a figure never before achieved by a Sea Vixen Sqn East of Suez
  • Average Sea Vixen pilot hours for the commission were 25 hours per month.
  • CO Lt Cdr Grey (promoted to Cdr) relieved by Lt Cdr I F Blake April 1963 
  • This commission achieved 5464 catapult launches and 5447 arrested Landings

Three Sea Vixens of 892 Sqn lost with total loss of life. Three Pilots and three Observers lost.

Track Chart of the 2nd Commission


HMS Hermes in Procedure Alfa enters Grand Harbour Malta.
HMS Hermes enters the Suez Canal southbound.
HMS Victorious arrives south of Suez. HMS Hermes can now return home to Portsmouth.
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