…instead, it is modelled in the markings of one of its victors, one whose sacrifice in defeating the evil represented and defended by these aircraft and those who flew them, was without limit of effort or self-sacrifice. It is that above all else which is “cool” and we would do well to remember that.
Operation “Judgement”, carried out exactly 77 years ago on the 4th May 1945, was the final offensive operation mounted by the Royal Navy in World War Two’s European theatre. It resulted in the sinking of two German surface vessels and a submarine for the loss of two FAA aircraft. The war in Europe ended three days later.
On the 25th of September the Battle of Britain was entering its third month. While there may never be complete agreement on the specific the win/loss ratios, it is nevertheless true to say that through August and early September the RAF had barely managed to replace its losses in aircrew and aircraft. Aircraft production had been heavily targeted by the Luftwaffe and the RAF’s operational aircrew losses were only just matched by the training unit output; the exhaustion of both its physical and material reserves was a real and present danger.
UPDATED to include information on F/O James M. Cartmell DFC, pilot of the featured Mosquito MM312.
In just 37 days between 1 May and 6 June 1944, No.140 Squadron, RAF flew 143 PR sorties over France. The foresight they helped provide saved countless lives on D-Day and after. This is the story of how they did it.
“They’re such fighters, if only they can get the stuff to fight with…” spoken by the BBC’s Stanley Maxted at Arnhem – the Tenth Bridge of Operation Market Garden.
Prior to June 13th, 1944 the British had never sent women to a combat zone. On that day, Myra Roberts, Lydia Alford and Edna Birbeck became the first of around 200 “Flying Nightingales” who risked their lives to bring home what would amount to 100,000 wounded men from mainland Europe over the remainder of the war. This is their story.
G-George flew 89 sorties over occupied Europe with No.460 Squadron during a period when most operational Lancasters were shot down before they had even reached 20. In 107,085 total sorties flown by Lancasters, 2,687 went missing. Remarkably, G-George brought its crew home alive from every operation it flew on.
In early 1944 the US Navy assembled an untrained and ill-prepared fighter squadron and shipped it for immediate action in the final stage of Operation Cartwheel. This is the story of the first Fighting Squadron 34.
The Bottisham Four, 26th July, 1944; iconic images that spawned a hundred pages of discussion. Blue or not?
The Photo Recon pilot had no wingman, no flight, no formation. He flew alone in radio silence for hours at a time, navigating on dead reckoning all over mainland Europe; in his unarmed Spitfire he had only its altitude and speed, along with his wits and airmanship as protection.