The Skua became operational on the HMS Ark Royal in November 1938.
At the start of World War II the Nos. 800, 801, 803, and 806 Squadrons were equipped with the Skua.
First German shot down
Lieutenant B. S. McEwen shot down a Dornier Do 18 on September 25, 1939, over the North Sea, to be the first German aircraft shot down by a British aircraft. He was a member of the No. 803 Squadron from the HMS Ark Royal.
On April 10, 1940, flying from Hatston to Bergen, Skuas of the Nos. 800 and 803 Squadrons sank the German cruiser Konigsberg.
No. 801 Squadron was used at the defense of Dunkirk.
Skuas from the HMS Ark Royal were used in the attack on the French fleet at Oran harbor in September 1940.
Withdrawn from service
In August 1941 the Skuas were with drawn from service and were replaced by Fulmars and Sea Hurricanes. The Skua was then used for towing targets.