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Taranto 80

Celebrate this special event with Navy Wings

Wednesday 11 November 2020

Taranto 80

This year is the 80th Anniversary of one of the Fleet Air Arm’s most significant battles, the historic and daring attack by 20 Swordfish aircraft from the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious against the Italian Fleet at Taranto on 11 November 1940.


Unfortunately we have had to cancel this event due to the change in Covid-19 restrictions. We may look to host something similar in the future once we find out what the rules after lock-down and, in particular, if we return to the rule of six.

Traditionally Taranto Night is celebrated with Mess Dinners in HM Ships and Royal Naval Air Stations around the Fleet, but current social distancing restrictions mean that this year’s anniversary celebrations are unlikely to go ahead.

Instead, like the Pandemic Proms, Navy Wings will be hosting a special Taranto 80 celebration on Wednesday 11 November 2020 with guests invited to join the traditional toast to the ‘Men of Taranto’ by Zoom from 19.00.

Taranto 80 celebrations can be held anywhere – in your own home, garden, mess, ship, or village hall.

Join the ‘virtual top table’ with Admiral Sir George Zambellas GCB DSC (President Navy Wings), Rear Admiral Tom Cunningham CBE (Chairman Navy Wings), Rear Admiral Simon Charlier CBE (Chairman FAA Officers Association), Rear Admiral Martin Connell (Rear Admiral Fleet Air Arm) and Commodore Jock Alexander OBE (Chairman Fly Navy Federation) for a short celebration of Taranto 80 between 19.00-19.30.   Admirals Zambellas and Connell will make short speeches followed by a Toast to ‘the Men of Taranto’, whereupon the Zoom conference will cease and you can continue unfettered with your own celebrations.

We would like each table to submit a photo or video to show how they have celebrated this not to be forgotten Taranto Night. The host of the table who submits the most imaginative photo or video that captures the spirit of the evening will receive a special prize from Navy Wings.

Help us ensure that this year’s important 80th anniversary and the indomitable spirit of the men of Taranto is celebrated in style!

Attend the online dinner: £10 donation to Navy Wings

Dress: The Navy Wings table will be in Mess Kit or Black Tie with miniatures and Fleet Air Arm cummerbund. You should dress appropriately for your situation.

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Taranto Night Customs and Traditions

If this is your first Taranto Night dinner or you just need reminding of what is going to happen, we have produced a guide to the customs and traditions of Taranto Night.

Taranto Night Celebrations

The Navy Wings Flight Store has all you need to celebrate and remember the Men of Taranto. You can visit the store via the button below.