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Info on Naval battle off Casablanca?

Discussion in 'Naval War in the Mediterrean, Malta & Crete' started by JJWilson, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. JJWilson

    JJWilson Member

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    Hello everyone! I was hoping someone here could direct me a source, or maybe even answer me off the bat about some questions I have regarding the Naval battle off the coast of Casablanca November 1942? First off I just wanted to point out how surprised I was to read about the sheer scale of this battle. This battle took place as a direct result of Operation torch, the Allied invasion of French Morocco held by the Vichy French. I was shocked to learn that 76 ships on both sides took part in the battle, that is not a small Naval battle by any means (By WW2 standards it's small). My main question regards the involvement of air power during the battle. What aircraft on both the Allied and Axis side were used during the battle? I already know that Carrier borne Wildcats, Dauntless and Avenger aircraft were involved, as for the Vichy French I have no clue what aircraft they used, or the role they played in the battle. Any answers or suggestions for places to look would be greatly appreciated.
    -Wilson
     
  2. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large Patron  

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  3. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Patron  

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  4. JJWilson

    JJWilson Member

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  5. JJWilson

    JJWilson Member

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    Here is some info I learned regarding the air battle thanks to Lou and USMCprice. The USN employed as I said earlier F4F wildcats, SBD Dauntless and TBM Avenger aircraft, as well as PBY Catalinas. The Vichy French had a about a dozen different aircraft in the battle, but only half participated (The others were destroyed by strafing, or were not used). The Vichy air force attemped to launch DB-7 (A-20 Havoc's) and Leo 451 bombers against the invasion fleet, but they were strafed on the ground totaling 10 losses (3 Db-7's and 7 Leo 451's). The Vichy also sent Morane-Sauliner M.S 406 and Curtis H75 fighters against the allies. Both the M.S 406's and H75's faced off with the Wildcats, which did not end well. Multiple dogfights over the 6 day campaign ensued, The USN lost 2 SBD's, 4 Wildcat's, and 1 Avenger to ground fire, another 3 Wildcat's would be shot down by French fighters. Vichy losses totaled 21, 10 on the ground, the other 11 to Wildcat's. I would love to see a Wildcat pilot's story on one of the dogfights, or a French aviator as well, that will take a little more digging :)
     
  6. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    You may wish to look at two books, both with same title, Wildcats over Casablanca, different authors, and separated by about 49 years.

    The first was by Lieut. Malcolm ("Mac") Taber Wordell, USN and Lieut Edwin ("Ed") Norton Seiler, USNR, both participants as F4F pilots, published in 1943. The second was by John W Lambert, published in 1992. The former is a very nice period piece.

    Also check the November-December 1992 issue of Naval Aviation News,see
    1992

    Rich
     
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  7. JJWilson

    JJWilson Member

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    Thank you Rich! I will absolutely be looking at that later today!
     
  8. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    And you can read the ONI combat narrative "The Landings in North Africa" here, albeit one page at a time. I got really bored about 3 years ago and did, indeed, download each page, one at a time, then used Adobe Acrobat to combine them back into one document . . . about 120 Kb.

    The landings in North Africa, November 1942.

    Also S E Morison covers the action in his operational history, Vol. 2, Operations in North African Waters and W Karig covers it in his Battle Report series, Vol 2 The Atlantic War.
     
  9. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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  10. JJWilson

    JJWilson Member

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    Thank you Leonard and Tommy!
     

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