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Catapult Planes

Discussion in 'Britain at Sea!' started by Jim, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

    Sep 1, 2006
    Likes Received:
    via War44
    New methods of protection for shipping had been put into operation in order to deal with the enemies long range aircraft which attacked ships and reported their movements of shipping to U-boats. Certain ships was fitted with catapults and provided with fighter aircraft which could be catapulted into the air to deal with enemy aircraft shadowing or attempting to attack. After shooting down or driving off enemy aircraft the fighter landed at a shore base, if there was one within range. If not, the pilot had to land in the sea or as close to the ship as possible in order to be picked up. The fighters were piloted in some cases by pilots of the Fleet Air Arm, and in others by pilots of the Fighter Command of the Royal Air Force who volunteered for this special duty. This method of trade defence proved successful, both in averting attacks and in destroying German long-range aircraft. Lieut. Everett, who had been awarded the D.S.O. for bravery, skill and tenacity in many hazardous operational flights in the protection of shipping, was one of the Fleet Air Arm pilots who were being catapulted in fighter aircraft from ships at sea. He was catapulted in his fighter aircraft to deal with a Focke-Wulf Konaor which was approaching a convoy. He crashed the enemy bomber into the sea, but by the time the fight was over he was 45 miles away from his ship. He tried unsuccessfully to bale out and eventually landed in the sea. In a few seconds his fighter sank beneath him, but he was picked up safely. In peacetime he often rode in the Grand National, but he realized that as a water-jump Becher's Brook is not to be compared with the Atlantic


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