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RAF Coastal Command in Action, 1939-45, Roy C. Nesbit

RAF Coastal Command in Action, 1939-45, Roy C. Nesbit

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RAF Coastal Command in Action, 1939-45, Roy C. Nesbit

RAF Coastal Command in Action, 1939-45, Roy C. Nesbit

Archive Photographs from the Public Record Office

This is an excellent photographic guide to the wartime activities of RAF Coastal Command. Nesbit has divided his book into six chapters, one for each year of the war, most running from July to June of the following year. Each chapter begins with an introduction to the events of the year and the aircraft in use at the time before moving on to the photographs themselves, each of which gets a detailed caption.

Nesbit has made an excellent choice of pictures. We get a good selection of pictures of the aircraft of Coastal Command, including some of the more obscure models, such as the Northrop Float Plane. The heart of the book are the pictures of their operations taken from Coastal Command's aircraft. As a result we get a very good selection of pictures illustrating the main activities of the command, including attacks on German shipping, U-boats and coastal facilities.

Author: Roy C. Nesbit
Edition: Hardback
Pages: 182
Publisher: Sutton Publishing
Year: 1997

RAF Coastal Command in Action, 1939-45, Roy C. Nesbit - History

Royal Air Force (RAF) Officers

Looking for details on a RAF officer not listed here yet?
Just e-mail me, and I might be able to help out.
Of course, any additions, corrections etc. can also be e-mailed.

For detailed biographies of key RAF personnel (Air Commodore and higher) there is already an excellent website: www.rafweb.org
Only RAF officers of ranks below Air Commodore will be shown here in detail. Abbreviations and explanations can be found at the help page.


D.R.S. Bader to V.G.L.D. Byrne
B ader ,
[Sir] Douglas Robert Steuart

Second son of Frederick Roberts Bader (1869?-1922), Maj. IARO, VD, IES, and Jessie Scott-Mackenzie (1876-) [she remarried (1922) Ernest W. Hobbs].
Married 1st (05.10.1933, Hampstead register office formal marriage 05.10.1937, St Mary Abbots church, Kensington) Olive Thelma Exley
Edwards (18.12.1907 - 24.01.1971), daughter of Lt.Col. Ivo Arthyr Exley Edwards (1881-1947), RAF (retired), and Olive Maude Amy Donaldson (1885?-1957) [she remarried (1919) Arthur M. Addison] no children.
Married 2nd (03.01.1973) Mrs Joan Eileen Murray, daughter of Horace Hipkiss.

B arnett ,
Reginald James William

Only son of Mr and Mrs W. Barnett, formerly from Dover and Capel.
Married (19.05.1936, Southsea) Diana Mary Allan (born 27.07.1913, Reigate, Surrey) [her elder sister married F/Lt. J.F.L. Zorn, RAFO] three children.

2. RAF, RFC or RNAS?

The Royal Air Force was formed on 1 April 1918 when the RFC and the RNAS were amalgamated. Officers and men of both services who continued service after this date transferred into the newly formed RAF and were joined by new entrants. From this date onwards the RFC and RNAS ceased to exist.

Someone who served in the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) or Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) as well as the RAF may have service records in more than one place and you may need to consult our guides to RFC officers, RFC airmen, RNAS officers and RNAS ratings for more detail.

Roy Sydney Baker-Falkner, DSO, DSC, MID RN

Roy Baker Falkner photographed at Royal Naval Air Station in Great Britain, 1943. Photo courtesy of Graham Drucker private collection.

A young Royal Navy Lieutenant-Commander, one of the many Canucks who flew with the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm, became a reluctant hero in World War II and remains sadly uncelebrated in his hometown of Victoria, BC.

Roy Sydney Baker-Falkner was born June 3, 1916 in Nottingham, England his father was stationed in Britain with the 79th Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force. The family returned to Canada in early 1918, eventually moving to Saanich on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, to be close to their cousin, a magistrate at Steveston near Vancouver.

In mid 1929, Baker-Falkner applied to join the Navy at Esquimalt naval base, British Columbia. As the Royal Naval College of Canada at Esquimalt had closed eight years previously, he was transferred to the United Kingdom on a Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship. Along with other RCN cadets, he enrolled for officer training at the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth. In 1934, as a midshipman, he was appointed to HMS Kent, flagship of the China Fleet.

In 1937 he transferred to the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm as a pilot, completing his pilot training with the Royal Air Force. Baker-Falkner earned his pilot’s wings in 1938 with the rank of Sub Lieutenant RN/Flight Lieutenant RAF, and specialized in torpedo reconnaissance. He was appointed to an operational carrier-based squadron in HMS Glorious in the Mediterranean. On the outbreak of war in September 1939, his Fairey Swordfish squadron was actively involved in the search for the German warship Graf Spee in the Indian Ocean.

Baker-Falkner returned to England in spring 1940, and was seconded to a shore-based squadron where he supported the evacuation of troops from Dunkirk and later participated in the Battle of Britain. He was one of the few Canadian naval officers to participate in this battle. He then was seconded to RAF Coastal Command, flying the venerable Swordfish bi-plane in mining missions against the German coastline. For his actions he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

After 15 months of operational duties, in August 1941 Baker-Falkner was attached as a pilot instructor to the Fleet Air Arm air station at RNAS Condor in Arbroath, Scotland, at which time he took part in the Royal Navy information film “Find, Fix and Strike”. He was appointed as commanding officer of 767 squadron in August 1942.

Subsequently in October 1942 he was appointed to the Royal Navy aircraft testing squadron at RAF Boscombe Down as a test pilot, and proved instrumental in testing naval aircraft prior to their operational use by the Royal Navy. Chief amongst these was the dive-bomber Fairey Barracuda. Based on his unique skills with the Barracuda, he was given command of 827 squadron in August 1943, the first Royal Navy unit equipped with this advanced dive-bomber.

Baker-Falkner was soon appointed Wing Leader of No 8 Torpedo Bombing Reconnaissance Naval Air Wing, which consisted mainly of young Australian, British, Canadian and New Zealand Voluntary Reserve aircrews. The Wing joined the carrier HMS Furious in the Orkney Islands off Scotland in February 1944. Baker-Falkner led the Wing on an air strike against enemy shipping in north Norway, supported by the Home Fleet and three Canadian Tribal class destroyers, HMC Ships Iroquois, Haida and Athabaskan.

On March 30 1944, No. 8 Naval Air Wing embarked from Hatston in Scotland to the Fleet carriers HMS Furious and HMS Victorious to lead Operation Tungsten, an air attack on the giant German battleship Tirpitz, anchored in a Norwegian fjord. Coincidentally, the strike force was escorted in part by HMC Ships Algonquin and Sioux. This was Algonquin’s first operation against the enemy.

Baker-Falkner led an audacious low-level dive-bombing attack against Tirpitz on April 3, 1944. The air strike of 121 aircraft, including 40 Barracuda and 40 Wildcats, was a success Baker-Falkner’s Wing shared 14 dive-bombing hits, crippling Tirpitz. This decisive action prevented Tirpitz from posing a major threat in the forthcoming invasion of Normandy by the allies in June 1944. The aircrews returned to Scotland in the unaccustomed full glare of the international media.

In July the Wing was ordered to undertake further operations against Tirpitz. The squadrons boarded the Fleet Carriers Formidable, Furious and Indefatigable and conducted a strike on 17 July, 1944. Baker-Falkner led the strike of some 92 aircraft, but German submarines spotted the advancing armada and surprise was lost. With Tirpitz surrounded by a smoke screen, the aircraft were unable to deliver accurate attacks, and so the mission met with limited success.

On July 18, 1944, with the Fleet threatened by U-Boat wolf packs, Lt Cdr Baker-Falkner was launched on the first anti-submarine patrol. Flying a Barracuda II aircraft with the serial LS556 and the squadron code 5K, he was assisted by his Observer, Lt G.N. Micklem, and his tactical Air Gunner (TAG), PO A.H. Kimberley.

A Corsair of 1841 squadron flown by the senior pilot, Sub Lt HS Mattholie, escorted his Barracuda. Tragically, the weather worsened and Baker-Falkner’s Barracuda and the Corsair failed to find the Fleet and became separated. Baker-Falkner and his crew were lost at sea. Sub Lt Mattholie crash-landed in Norway and was subsequently taken as a prisoner of war. Sub Lt Mattholie’s successor as senior pilot in 1841 squadron was Lt Robert Hampton Gray RCNVR, who was later to posthumously earn the Victoria Cross in the Pacific.

Roy Baker-Falkner was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) on 25 July 1944 and mentioned in dispatches for his “bravery, leadership, skill and devotion to duty while operating from, or serving in HM Ships during successful strikes at enemy shipping off the coast of Norway”.

RAF Coastal Command in Action, 1939-45, Roy C. Nesbit - History

Andrew examined all aspects of the Sunderland's career with Coastal Command, RAF. His work includes reference to the Canadian, Australian and Norwegian Squadrons' operations in Coastal as well as the work of the South Africans and New Zealanders. Also included are details of post war operations such as the Berlin Airlift and there are detailed appendices listing aircraft with brief histories and all known successful attacks on enemy submarines.

The Sunderland, Flying-Boat Queen, Volume III
By John Evans. A4 portrait softback, 74 pages, 180+ photos (9 in colour)
ISBN 1870745 13 2

The Sunderland, Flying-Boat Queen, Volume I
By John Evans. A4 portrait softback, 56 pages, 140+ photos (14 in colour), ISBN 1870745000

Sopwiths to Sunderlands
The Story of No 210 Squadron RAF, 1917-1941
By John Evans. A4 portrait softback, 80 pages, 140+ photos
ISBN 1870745094

Singleton's War
By Gordon SingletonA5 portrait, softback, 64 pages, 28 illustrations. Autobiography of Australian pilot Gordon Singleton, 461 Squadron RAAF

Electronic Airborne Goldfish
By Air Commodore John Clements. A5 portrait softback, 124 pages, 50+ photos & diagrams, extensive text. Traces the life and work of Air Commodore A J B Clements, C Eng FIEE Dip El FIMgt, from humble aircraft apprentice, to wireless operator mechanic, war/post-war air radar flight testing, RRE Malvern, and finally as Air Officer Signals, RAF Flying Training Command. Printed May 2001.
ISBN 1870745116

RAF Coastal Command in Action, 1939-45, Roy C. Nesbit - History

Military Archive Research
by Dr. Stuart C Blank
Member of the Orders and Medals Research Society (OMRS)
Member of the Royal Air Force Historical Society (RAFHS)
Member of the Naval Historical Collectors and Research Association (NHCRA)
Member of the Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS)
Member of the International Bank Note Society (IBNS)
Member of the International Bond and Share Society (IBSS)

Review of
The Strike Wings
Special Anti-Shipping Squadrons 1942-45
By Roy Conyers Nesbit
Pen and Sword (www.pen-and-sword.co.uk )
ISBN 9781781590287
RRP GBP £19.99


During World War 2 the Germans utilised a vital supply route from Scandinavia down to the European coast for their critical iron ore importations. The Nazi war machine required huge quantities of iron ore and this critical supply route was brought to the attention of the Allies.

In November 1942 the RAF acknowledged the importance of this supply route and acted accordingly by forming the special Strike Wings. This book consists of a classic account of this neglected yet critical theatre of air combat. People have heard about Fighter Command, Bomber Command and Coastal Command but not necessarily the Strike Wings which were part of the larger Coastal Command. The volume seeks to re-dress this situation and the author is a veteran of this formation. Thus he gives an interesting first-hand account of developments.

The book is a vivid history of events and it is clearly fascinating. These events were cloaked under secrecy rules but they are now “seeing the light of day”. These air battles were at close quarter and were ferocious. The German’s response to the Strike Wings underlined the extreme importance of these shipping routes to them. They tried fighters, intense and co-ordinated flak batteries, parachute mines and surprisingly, flame throwers. Naturally with this style of combat both sides suffered heavily and casualties mounted.

There are first-hand accounts of these actions and records from both British and German archives have been evaluated. There were nine squadrons in Strike Wing comprising of British and Commonwealth personnel and with a really nice touch the author dedicates the book to their memory.

There are a number of very interesting chapters and they place the history of Strike Wings into context. One feature about the book that deserves special comment is the excellent Appendices. The first one lists the location (station) of the squadrons, their commanding officers, important dates and type of aircraft used. Appendix 2 gives Kriegsmarine vessels attacked whilst Appendix 3 gives merchantmen losses due to the activities of the Strike Wings.

This stimulating book is highly commended and if you are after a book on these little known Coastal Command squadrons (wing) then there is no need to look any further.

6. First World War, 1914-1918

See section 4 for advice on locating Operations Record Books, though there are far fewer for the First World War than for later conflicts.

6.1 Air Ministry records

The primary record series for First World War air operations is AIR 1. This record series contains an extremely wide variety of documents, not all of them relating to operations. Among the hundreds of subseries which make up AIR 1 are the papers of military officers RFC squadron, wing, brigade and headquarters records some of the early RAF squadron and wing records papers of the Australian Flying Corps and the South African Aviation Corps.

Search AIR 1 using keywords which can include the squadron, brigade or wing number, the name of an officer, the base of operations (for example, Egypt, Salonica or Palestine) and entering 1914-1918 in the date range fields.

Additional Air Ministry operational records are in the following series &ndash click on the reference to search the respective series:

    &ndash Air Ministry correspondence &ndash includes some airship log books &ndash operations records books for squadrons primarily after the First World War but there are a few early squadron records from 1911 to 1918

6.2 War Office and Admiralty records

As the British Army was administered by the War Office and the Royal Navy by the Admiralty, RFC and RNAS records are found among the records of those departments. War Office records at The National Archives are in WO and Admiralty records in ADM.

General reports for the RFC are in series WO 158.

RNAS operational records are in series ADM 137. Use the Admiralty index and digests in ADM 12 to identify potential references in ADM 137. Read our guide on How to find naval correspondence using the ADM 12 indexes and digests for more information.

8.1 Fleet Air Arm

The Fleet Air Arm, formed on 1 April 1924, is the air force of the Royal Navy.

Using the advanced search in our catalogue, search for:

  • Fleet Air Arm Operations Record Books by name and number of squadron in ADM 207 and AIR 27 (for example, for 801 squadron search using the phrase &lsquo801 AND &ldquoFleet Air Arm&rdquo&lsquo)
  • various kinds of operations reports by name of squadron or ship in ADM 199 (for squadrons, try searching by number and the word &ldquosquadron&rdquo or the phrase &ldquonaval air squadron&rdquo)
  • combat reports by squadron name and number in AIR 50
  • flying log books of RAF personnel serving with the Fleet Air Arm in ADM 900 (search using the word &ldquolog&rdquo)
  • operational and technological histories relating to the Fleet Air Arm in the Second World War in ADM 335/1-4 and ADM 335/63-65

No aircraft carrier flying log books are known to have survived.

8.2 Coastal Command

RAF Coastal Command, founded in 1936, was the Royal Air Force&rsquos premier maritime unit, based at Lee-on-Solent in Hampshire. Amongst its most significant roles in the war were the protection of convoys and allied shipping, playing a decisive role in the Battle of the Atlantic.

The other principal theatres of operations were the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Africa.

Click on the following series references to search for records within each respective series using keywords and dates:

  • Headquarters Papers in AIR 15
  • Operations Record Books in AIR 24
  • squadrons and constituent formations in AIR 25, AIR 26 and AIR 27
  • combat reports by squadron name and number in AIR 50

תוכן עניינים

פיקוד החופים הוקם ב-14 ביולי 1936 מתוך גזרת החופים של חיל האוויר המלכותי (שהוקם לאחר מלחמת העולם הראשונה) במטרה לרכז ולנהל את יכולות התעופה הימית של חיל האוויר המלכותי. עד לפרוץ מלחמת העולם השנייה תחומי האחריות של הפיקוד היו מצומצים יחסית וכללו חילוץ ימי, תובלה ותצפית בהגנה על כלי שיט, הלחימה האווירית הימית נותרה ברובה המכריע בתחום האחריות של זרוע האוויר של הצי המלכותי. מסיבה זו, ערב מלחמת העולם הראשונה כלל הפיקוד סך הכל 183 מטוסים בלבד, מהם 135 היו מטוסי אוורו אנסון, מטוס שהיה מוגבל מאוד בחימושו ובטווח הטיסה שלו [1] .

בסוף 1940 קו החזית התקרב לאי הבריטי ופיקוד החופים התעצם בחשיבותו ובתחומי האחריות שלו נוכח הכיבוש הגרמני של צרפת וארצות השפלה והישגי הלופטוואפה והקריגסמרינה בתקיפת מטרות סחר ותובלה ימיות. כדי להגדיל את יכולת הפיקוד לסייע להגן על מטרות ימיות אסטרטגיות ולתקוף מטרות של האויב, הוא התרחב באופן משמעותי לכדי 554 מטוסים, בהם מטוסים מתקדמים בהרבה מאלו ששירתו בו מספר חודשים לפני כן כגון מטוסי ויקרס ולינגטון (עודפי פיקוד המפציצים), בריסטול בופייטר ואף מטוסי סופרמרין ספיטפייר שהותאמו לסיור וצילום [2] . שנה מאוחר יותר מספר מטוסי הפיקוד גדל ל-633 ולקראת סוף 1941 קיבל הפיקוד טייסת ראשונה של מטוסי קונסולידייטד B-24 ליברייטור בעלי טווח מבצעי ארוך במיוחד ויכולת להגיע לרוב אזורי צפון האוקיינוס האטלנטי, בנוסף למטוסי PBY קטלינה הימיים [3] .

לאורך המלחמה קיבלו אנשי צוות ומשרתים ביחידות הפיקוד יותר מ-2,000 עיטורים, כולל ארבעה עיטורי צלב ויקטוריה, 17 מדליית ג'ורג' ו-82 אות השירות המצוין. אף על פי שלאורך המלחמה ולאחריה פיקוד מטוסי הקרב ופיקוד המפציצים זכו להכרה רבה יותר, הפעילות המבצעית של יחידות פיקוד החופים הוכיחה את עצמה ובתנאים קשים במיוחד.

בסוף מלחמת העולם השנייה הצטמצמו באופן דרסטי מספר המטוסים והיחידות המשרתות תחת הפיקוד לכדי 116 מטוסים בלבד ב-1953 ב-16 טייסות. בתקופה זו המטוס העיקרי ששירת בפיקוד היה האוורו שקלטון עם 64 מטוסים ששירתו במחצית מטייסות הפיקוד באמצע 1953, שני המטוסים הנוספים ששירתו בשאר טייסות הפיקוד היו הלוקהיד P-2 נפטון והשורט סנדרלנד. בשנים הראשונות שלאחר המלחמה רוב טייסות הפיקוד נסגרו ומטוסים רבים הועברו לפיקוד התובלה ואף לקחו חלק ברכבת האווירית לברלין. עם התעצמות האיום של ברית המועצות בשנים הראשונות של המלחמה הקרה, המשימה העיקרית של פיקוד החופים היה תצפית והגנה מפני כלי שיט ובעיקר צוללות של ברית ורשה סביב חופי אירופה והאוקיינוס האטלנטי. בשנת 1953 קיבל הפיקוד לראשונה מסוקים ימיים בצורת מסוק הבריסטול סיקמור.

במהלך שנות ה-50 וה-60 הפיקוד המשיך להצטמצם באופן משמעותי לאור צימצום בתקציב הביטחון, יחידות הפיקוד השתתפו במספר מבצעים נקודתיים ככוחות סיוע בהם מלחמת סיני (מבצע מוסקטר) וכוננות מוגברת במהלך משבר הטילים בקובה. כחלק מהתייעלות חיל האוויר המלכותי ולאור תקציבי הביטחון המצומצמים, ב-27 בנובמבר 1969 פורק הפיקוד וכוחותיו התמזגו לתוך פיקוד התקיפה של חיל האוויר המלכותי שאיגד לתוכו מספר פיקודי אוויר בהם פיקוד מטוסי הקרב, פיקוד המפציצים, פיקוד הקשר, פיקוד הסיוע האווירי ובהמשך גם פיקוד חיל האוויר המלכותי בגרמניה.

בשנת 2004 נחנכה אנדרטה לאומית רשמית ראשונה לפיקוד במנזר וסטמינסטר לציון 60 שנה לשיא הלחימה באוקיינוס האטלנטי [4] .

מבנה הפיקוד השתנה לאורך המלחמה וכלל להקים של חיל האוויר המלכותי וטייסות בעיקר של חיל האוויר המלכותי. בדומה למסגרות אחרות ברחבי הכוחות הבריטים במלחמת העולם השנייה, גם בפיקוד החופים שירתו טייסות של חילות האוויר אחרים מאיחוד העמים הבריטי בהם חיל האוויר המלכותי האוסטרלי וחיל האוויר הדרום-אפריקאי, טייסות מבעלות ברית שנכבשו על ידי גרמניה הנאצית בהם צ'כוסלובקיה ופולין וגם טייסות מזרוע האוויר של הצי המלכותי הבריטי.

בתחילת המלחמה ב-3 בספטמבר 1939 כלל הפיקוד ארבעה להקים: להק 15, 16, 17 ו-18. להק 17 היה להק אימון ובשאר הלהקים שירתו סך הכל 19 טייסות.

ב-6 ביוני 1944 ערב הפלישה לנורמנדי פיקד הפיקוד על שישה להקים ושתי מפקדות אזוריות, אלו היו:

Luftwaffe: The Illustrated History of the German Air Force in World War II by John Pimlott

2013-09-30Arming the Luftwaffe: The German Aviation Industry in World War II. 2018-01-30 Blood and Fears: How America's Bomber Boys of the 8th Air Force Saved World War II. 2018-01-27 With Wings As Eagles: The Eighth Air Force in World War II. 2018-01-27 Battle Colors, Vol. 3: Insignia and Tactical Markings of the Ninth Air Force in World War II. 2018-01-27 Battle Colors: Insignia and Aircraft Markings of the Eighth Air Force in World War II, Vol. 1: VIII Bomber Command. 2012-05-12Battle Colors: Insignia and Aircraft Markings of the Eighth Air Force in World War II (Volume II - Fighter Command ) (Repost). 2012-05-12Battle Colors Volume III: Insignia and Tactical Markings Of The Ninth Air Force In World War Two (Repost).

Luftwaffe : The Illustrated History of the German Air Force in WW II. by John Pimlott. Select Format: Hardcover. ISBN13: 9780760305164.

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Download PDF book format. Choose file format of this book to download: pdf chm txt rtf doc. Download this format book. Luftwaffe : the illustrated history of the German Air Force in WWII John Pimlott. Book's title: Luftwaffe : the illustrated history of the German Air Force in WWII John Pimlott. Library of Congress Control Number: 98002581. Rubrics: World War, 1939-1945 Aerial operations, German. Download now Luftwaffe : the illustrated history of the German Air Force in WWII John Pimlott. Download PDF book format. Download DOC book format. by. ISBN: 9788842544845 ISBN: 8842544841 Publication & Distribution: Milano.

Details (if other): Cancel. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Wehrmacht: The Illustrated History of the German Army in World War II is the pictorial record of the legendary German army in World War II action. This full history begins with images of the training, equipment, and mass rallies held in the mid-1930s and follows the story through to the end in Berlin in 1945. Includes the lighting campaign in Poland, the battles against the Wehrmacht: The Illustrated History of the German Army in World War II is the pictorial record of the legendary German army in World War II action.

Luftwaffe: The Illustrated History of the German Air Force in WW II ?: ? 176 p. Most of the unpublished photos advertised are of ground scenes or of personnel, the other photos are all very well known. History of the German Night Fighter Force 1917-1945 New York: Jane's, 1980 284 p. ISBN 0-531-03707-X. The best work on the night fighters yet published, particularly good on the aircraft and tactics used. But tracing the multitude of organizational changes of the night fighter units is impossible.

Watch the video: WW2 - RAF Coastal Command Attacks (May 2022).