The UK Fleet Air Arm (FAA) was established in 1924. It was part of the Air Force as a ship-based and deck-based aviation command, and only in the spring of 1939 was it transferred to the direct subordination of the Navy. Their tasks included reconnaissance, fire control, strike operations against warships and merchant ships, and defence against submarines and enemy aircraft.
At the beginning of World War II, the Navy’s air force consisted of 20 squadrons with 232 aircraft, mostly reconnaissance and torpedo bombers. Among the operations carried out by the FAA are the attack on the Italian fleet in Taranto, the sinking of the Bismarck battleship, countering the breakthrough of German ships across the English Channel, and Operation Wolfram against the Tirpitz battleship. Fleet aviation pilots also took part in the Battle of Britain, such as the 804th Squadron, which was armed with Sea Gladiator fighters.