806 Squadron was formed in early 1940 and was equipped with Skuas and Rocs, both outdated as fighters and dive-bombers, the latter hampered by a gunner's turret and most unsuited for modern warfare; however, 806 was fortunate to have at its head the volatile but skillful and aggressive Lt-Cdr Charles Evans, a 30-year-old born-leader with ten years' experience flying with both the RAF and Royal Navy.
With the aid of his equally experienced senior observer, Lt Desmond Vincent-Jones, the young fledgling pilots, mainly straight from training school, were soon receiving expert instruction. Having survived early ops over Norway and Dunkirk, 806 was selected to fly the new fleet-fighter, the underrated Fulmar, with which it went to war in the Mediterranean aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious and won its spurs. The young pilots, led by the CO, wreaked havoc amongst the Italian navy's spotter seaplanes and bombers. This is their story.