GMA joins 810 Squadron TBR (Torpedo-Bomber-Reconnaissance) re-forming under

  Lt R.N.Everett RN at Lee-on-Solent,Hampshire.

On the outbreak of war, 810 squadron was operating from HMS Ark Royal with 12 Swordfish on anti-submarine searches, unsuccessfully attacking a U-boat on 14 September 1939.In April 1940, the ship and her squadrons took part in the defence of Norway, including bombing Vaernes aerodrome, then subsequently sailed with the ship to Gibraltar, and in July took part in operations against the French fleet at Oran when it made an abortive attack on the battleship Strasbourg, and later participated in an attack on the French battleship Dunkerque.In November the squadron provided anti-submarine patrols during convoys and action against the Italian Fleet off Cape Spartivento, and in February 1941 a bombing attack on Tirso Dam, Sardinia and bombing attacks on Leghorn and La Spezia in Italy.


Swordfish of 810 squadron (Ark Royal)

In May 1941 the ship and squadron participated in the Atlantic search for the German battleship Bismarck,  810 and 818 squadrons led the attack which crippled the Bismarck. Two torpedo hits from the combined 810/818 squadron strike force from HMS Ark Royal on 26 May 1941 gave the Fleet the opportunity to sink the Bismarck

A BBC documentary (12 February 2006) on the sinking of the Ark Royal indicated that a single torpedo from a Swordfish damaged the Bismark's  propeller so that it could not make port before being attacked by the RN. The squadron then returned to the Mediterranean for operations against Sardinia, and subsequent convoy work to Jamaica.