By Roy Conyers Nesbit
Roy Nesbit's hugely illustrated background of Coastal Command's 217 Squadron - the squadron within which he served - offers a first-hand perception into the dangerous low-level missions the squadron flew opposed to enemy delivery and ports in the course of the moment international conflict. He chronicles the squadron's operations from the outbreak of warfare whilst it patrolled in Avro Ansons over the Western ways to the English Channel. Then got here the main excessive interval of its wartime profession whilst, flying Beauforts, it focused on minelaying and assaults on transport alongside the west coast of German-occupied France. It additionally fastened bold raids on large U-boat bunkers and different enemy installations. the tale of those risky operations, during which many airplane have been misplaced and airmen have been killed, makes up the main memorable element of the narrative. yet Roy Nesbit takes the squadron's tale all the way through to the later years of the struggle whilst, after a quick or even extra risky interval flying from Malta for you to sink enemy transport within the Mediterranean, it used to be established in Ceylon and was once re-equipped with Beaufighters for the conflict opposed to the japanese. as well as telling the tale of the squadron and the lads who served in it, the narrative describes the stipulations continued through the French humans within the ports 217 attacked, and it covers the raids introduced opposed to German coastal bases after the squadron had moved to the a ways East. An Expendable Squadron could be soaking up examining for an individual who has a different curiosity within the background of Coastal Command, within the plane 217 Squadron flew, and within the adventure of wrestle flying seventy years in the past.
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Extra info for An Expendable Squadron : The Story of 217 Squadron, Coastal Command, 1939-1945
These months were called ‘The Happy Time’ by the U-boat men. ’ In November, the aircrews of 217 Squadron were still occupied with testing their new Beauforts, but operational sorties took place in daylight on a couple of days. On the 10th, a Beaufort made an unsuccessful hunt for a reported U-boat. On the 29th, three Beauforts hunted without success for a reported enemy destroyer but instead were tackled by Messerschmitt Bf 109s. Fortunately they were still over the sea and were able to escape by skimming over the surface at extreme low level, at which the RAF pilots were adept and which thwarted the South-Western Approaches 47 diving tactics of the Germans.
Günther Heinrich) The U-boat bunker in Brest was situated in the far west of the dockyard, covering an area 300 metres in length and 177 metres in depth. The height was 18 metres, which included a reinforced concrete roof with an average thickness of 4 metres. There were fifteen chambers, lettered A to E and then numbered 1 to 10. These were of different lengths. A to C could each house three U-boats while D to E could each house two. All the numbered chambers housed only a single U-boat but this could be hauled up a slipway into dry dock.
It seems that the German gunners did not realise that they were being attacked at night by venerable aircraft with cruising and maximum speeds about 50mph less than the average for RAF bombers, and did not adjust their deflection shooting accordingly. By October, the Luftwaffe had switched almost entirely to night bombing of Britain. It was the beginning of the ‘Blitz’ against cities, towns and ports. The area around RAF St Eval also had to endure numerous attacks, when the German bombers seemed to drop their bombs on ETA (Expected Time of Arrival) after obtaining a visual ‘fix’ on the coastline.