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Non - British RAF in the Battle of Britain

Discussion in 'Air War in Western Europe 1939 - 1945' started by Kiwi Ace, Feb 11, 2003.

  1. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    Some French flew to England so Im assuming that some flew in their own aircraft but Im not sure what types or how many. Nor even why the more modern types didn't fly to England rather then North Africa.

    "An examination of which units were ordered to North Africa and which were left behind reveals much about the motivation behind the evacuation. The units flown to North Africa were those regular air force squadrons with the most modern and effective aircraft--all of the squadrons equipped with the Curtiss 75A (10), Dewoitine 520 (10), Amiot 354 (8), Bloch 174 (18), Farman 222 (4), Douglas DB-7 (8), and Martin 167 (10), plus most of those with the Lioré et Olivier 451 (12 of 18). Those left behind included all of the air force reserve units--47 observation squadrons and 12 fighter squadrons--and all of the units closely connected with the army (the observation squadrons, the 10 assault bomber squadrons, and 7 night fighter squadrons converted to the ground assault role).31"

    THE FRENCH AIR FORCE
     
  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Actually I think the French were missing planes not pilots, as I recall reading probably in Robert Jackson´s " Air war over France". The French did ask the British to give them planes ( Hurricanes ) but "strangely enough" the offer was turned dow. I´ll check on this later on.
     
  3. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The time being about 11th June 1940

    " By this stage in the battle the French had a surplus of fighter pilots, so Colonel Fournier of the Armée l´Air approached the RAF DCAS, Sholto Douglas, with a proposal that one hundred Hurricanes be turned over to the French to form Hurricane squadrons in the French Air Force, so as to utilise some of their 500 surplus pilots. "

    From Blitzed by Victor Bingham
     
  4. British-Empire

    British-Empire Member

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    You forget that in the 1940's New Zealanders, Australians and Canadians regarded themselves as British too.
     
  5. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    They may have. But you will also notice that the RAF squadron designations were denoted by Country.
     
  6. macrusk

    macrusk Proud Daughter of a Canadian WWII Veteran

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    I'm sorry, but you are incorrect. The Canadians always considered themselves Canadian, not British - regardless of service arm. What they did accept, was that the British had more highly trained senior commanders, and the the Canadians could replenish air crews for the RAF. The Canadian politicians allowed Canadian pilots and air crew to serve in RAF squadrons, as long as they were always designated as Canadian and that there were X (sorry I don't have my book available) RCAF squadrons.

    Last week I had the honour of spending about 45 minutes to an hour with a Canadian member of an RAF bomber squadron. He said that on his plane there was only 1 non-Canadian. As he was only 1 generation away from his English roots, and with a name like St. George, his emphasis on his & their Canadian identity despite being considered to be in the RAF reinforced this to me.

    Sometimes, the politicians fight for Canadian identity in the army in terms of opportunities to gain battle experience and to be identified separately from the British lead to great casualties because the generals and senior commandres were inexperienced and not always as well trained as they could have been. On the other hand, 1 million Canadian service people who fought in World War II and the half-million in Britian have been largely ignored by any but the Canadians (books, movies, international historians) because like the Australians, New Zealanders, and other Commonwealth soldiers they have been lumped in with the "British."

    Personally, I'm very proud of having an English mother, but I am extremely sensitive (hopefully, I am not flaming) about my very Canadian father (several generations worth) and those like him in all the services who were very proud of their own national identity - which they fought for - being stripped from them by the media, historians, and those who have only been exposed to those same media & historians.

    Michelle

    Edit: ooops - I certainly got off topic!:eek:
     
  7. macrusk

    macrusk Proud Daughter of a Canadian WWII Veteran

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    On topic this time:D and perhaps already known by others, but again while doing other research tripped over the The Battle of Britan History Site. The honour roll lists all the pilots who flew in the The Battle of Britain and includes their nationality, their squadron, and if they were killed.

    The Battle of Britain - Home Page

    Michelle
     
  8. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Found a pic in the net on "Shorty" Vernon Keogh

    Keogh was the smallest pilot in the whole of the Royal Air Force, hence the nickname, and was just 4' 10" (approx 1.47m) tall. He had to use two cushions in his Spitfire to see out of the cockpit.

    Vernon Keogh - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  9. esse

    esse recruit

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    Intervene how?

    The British empire were bankrupted mentally and economically, and bled dry. The Americans haven't quite taken to their mantra as *the* super power yet, nor quite understood (perhaps neither did they want to understand -- considering how FDR, Truman, and Eisenhower all misread Stalin's intention and were quite disdain of Churchill's insistence to "meet the Red Army as far east as possible") the power politics of Europe. They were sympathetic with the Poles, but not enough to take on the Red Army. Heck, none of the Western power even dared to refuse the repatriation of the Hiwis, even though they all knew they were sending those people to the slaughter house.

    To be fair, Germany got screwed the most, but as instigator, they don't get to claim victimhood.
     
  10. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Thats a quite straightforward expanation esse. Short, but sweet.
    Welcome to the forums
     
  11. merlin

    merlin Member

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    Two comments occur to me:

    Firstly re; the Poles - an excellent book to keep a look out for is 'The Forgotten Air Force' - sorry can't quote the author.

    Secondly considering the South Africans e.g. 'Sailor' Malan, its a pity that 'Pat' Pattle didn't start his combat career in 11 Group before going to the Western Desert!
     
  12. Jelle1880

    Jelle1880 Member

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    I have recently gotten quite itnerested in this, as my late grandfather once claimed (A long time ago, so I could be mistaken) that he too fled Belgium when Germany invaded.
    He then said he worked as a mechanic for the RAF, but I have no way of finding any information.

    You can find the names of every Belgian pilot in RAF service, but is there a list of non-fighting personnel too ?
    Or would I have to contact the RAF themselves ?
     
  13. alieneyes

    alieneyes Member

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    Hi Jelle,

    There are some excellent sites on the web listing Belgian aircrew and groundcrew and many did indeed escape Belgium when the Germans invaded.

    Have a look here:

    350 (BELGIAN) Squadron

    350 (BELGIAN) Squadron

    350 (BELGIAN) Squadron

    and see if your grandfather is listed.

    Despite how they appear here they are three different links.

    Also here as well:

    Belgians in RAF and SAAF 1940 - 1945

    When you think about it it took great courage to return to fight the enemy who had taken over their country. All the exile air forces had this kind of patriotism. I am aware of RAF flight engineers who had previously been ground mechanics in both the Netherlands and Belgium air forces before escaping the Germans.

    If you can't find your grandfather's name here contact the webmaster at the 350 sqn.be site and ask if his database contains your grandfathers name. A lot of people run these sites as a passion but they must work regular jobs and don't have time to always update their sites.

    Unless you know your grandfather's service number or he had a very unique last name the RAF Records people at RAF Cranwell are not going to be able to help you.

    And they charge 30 quid whether they find him or not. Unless your grandmother is still with us and then as next of kin she would be entitled to what records they may have free of charge.

    Try the "unofficial" way first and especially if you don't have his service number.

    Best of luck.
     
  14. Jelle1880

    Jelle1880 Member

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    Hi alieneyes,

    Thanks for those links.
    I'll browse through them when I have the time.

    Unfortunately he had a very very common name so could be that the name is listed but I wouldn't know if it's him.

    Thanks again.
     
  15. greglewis

    greglewis Member

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    Does anyone know anything about the small number of Irish pilots in the BoB?
     

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