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'Cat's Eyes' Cunningham passes away.

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by Martin Bull, Jul 23, 2002.

  1. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

    Aug 24, 2002
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    To anyone interested in Gp/Cpt John Cunninghams career, and the story of Britains night-fighter forces I would recommend the book "Night Fighter" by C.F.Rawnsley and Robert Wright. C.F.Rawnsley was John Cunninghams radar operator on 17 of his 20 victories. The book details Cunninghams career and the careers of the other night -fighter crews who flew with them in 604 and 85 Squardrons, a brill read :D

    ps, The armament of the Mosquito night-fighter was just 4x20mm cannon, the 4xMG in the nose were omitted ,replaced by the radar.
    pps, Cunningham never flew on intruder missions over Germany, he served on "Home Defence" squadrons only.
  2. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

    May 13, 2001
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    Well my opinion it is an ok read if you like early war material. have yet to find a good source reference for ops over Germany, Gisela and any other anti German night fighter missions whether over the UK or Germany. 100th group is about the closest and even it could be better with the interviews, pics and some profiles added.
    Am I too picky ?
  3. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

    Jun 20, 2002
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    London, England.
    Thanks, Redcoat and I stand corrected.

    The Mosquito NFXII had the 4x.303 Brownings deleted due to the use of centimetric radar in its nose.
    The earlier NFII, equipped with less sophisticated radar, retained the Brownings. Non-radar-equipped NFIIs were also used, as was the good old FBVI in the NF role.

    I think you're right, Erich - there doesn't seem to be much available in reference form for RAF nightfighter operations. One or two good memoir-type books are out there, though : -

    'Fighter Nights : 456 Sqn RAAF' by John Bennett
    'Pursuit Through Darkened Skies' by Michael Allen DFC**
    In addition to 'Terror In The Starboard Seat' already mentioned.

    There is also the 'official' biography of Cunningham, 'John 'Cats-Eyes' Cunningham' by John Golley which is still in print.

    Looks like there's a gap in the market here, Erich ? [​IMG]
  4. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Jul 31, 2002
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    To remember a great expert!

    John Cunningham established his reputation as a fighter pilot by destroying 20 enemy aircraft, 19 of them at night. He was the first pilot to use radar at night and, to mask the fact that the British had such a facility, the rumour was put about that "Cat's Eyes" Cunningham's success was due to his prodigious appetite for carrots.

    Gp Capt John Cunningham - Obituaries, News - The Independent

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