Garvey immediately pushed his unarmed Spitfire over into a tight spiralling dive in a desperate evasive manoeuvre but at least one of the Fw190s was able to pursue him downwards. At the bottom of the turn, at zero feet and throttle wide open Garvey pulled his Spitfire’s nose up to avoid some trees…
While Gerald Anderson didn’t receive a Victoria Cross, nor is his loss particularly commemorated, ultimately the price he paid was fully equal to Robert Gray’s, and was indeed equal to all of those who died and so deserves an equal measure of commemoration. That is why the model below is Gerald Anderson’s Corsair, not Robert Gray’s.
Twenty years before the United States made Saigon’s Tan Son Nhut airport famous as its main point of entry to Viet Nam, the Royal Air Force’s No.273 Squadron found itself temporarily based there as an involuntary but active part of France’s attempt to reestablish its colonial control.
“The flash of her close range weapons stabbed at us, as first one and then another along her length opened up… We were in the centre of an incredible mass of crossfire from the cruisers and battleships and shore batteries.” Lt F. Torrens-Spence, 819 Naval Air Squadron at Taranto
On 27 July 1940, HMS Wren and Montrose raced to aid two stricken minesweepers under attack by German dive-bombers. It was to cost the Wren dear; at least three bombs struck the Wren and she sank soon thereafter. 37 of her crew lost their lives when she went down, fortunately my grandfather wasn’t among them.
…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.