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The WW2 RAF Fairey Battle Light Bomber
By the outbreak of World War two the Fairey Battle Light Bomber was obsolete but remained in front line service due to the lack of modern fighter bombers to replace it. The Fairey Battle Light Bomber was introduced into RAF service in 1937. It could carry twice the amount of bombs as the Hawker Hart. When confronted with Messerschmitt Bf 109 it just did not have the defensive armament and was totally lacking in speed. It was unsuitable to unescorted daylight bombing missions. No 266 Squadron was one of the first RAF units to be deployed to France when war was declared. It was equipped with Fairey Battle Light Bombers. After suffering huge losses they were recalled back to Britain where they carried on bombing attacks on German occupied Channel Ports. After the Battle of Britain ended in September 1940 they were withdrawn from service and used as a training aircraft in Canada and the UK. The Fairey Battle is best remembered for the heroic mission to stop the advance of the German Blitzkrieg rolling into Belgium and France. Six Battles of No.12 Squadron RAF were given the mission to blow up the two road bridges over the Albert Canal near Maastricht on 10th May 1940. They split into two groups of three but came under a murderous wall of anti-aircraft fire and small arms fire. They were all shot down. The first Victoria Cross awarded to men of the RAF during World War Two was issued that day to Flying Officer Garland and Sergeant Gray posthumously for their part in the action.
There are many International Air Tattoos and air shows like the one at Fairford Air Base, Duxford, Farnborough, Biggin Hill, Cosford, Eastbourne AirShow, Abingdon UK air show, Boscombe Down UK air shows, Greenham Common, Mildenhall air fete where you can have fun with all the family looking at static aviation displays as well as the acrobatics in the air. You can see many of these planes, Supermarine spitfire, tornado, battle of Britain fighters, warbirds, vulcan,, Lancaster, lightning, mosquito, Eurofighter, VC10, DC10 Shackleton, jaguar, typhoon, sabre, super sabre, delta dart, talon, phantom, falcon, thunderbirds, eagle. Learjet, lockheed, Douglas, McDonnell Douglas F-15A Eagle, McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II USMC, Vought F4U-5NL Nite-Corsair, McDonnell Douglas A-4F Skyhawk USMC, Lockheed HC-130H Hercules, Lockheed P-38J Lightning, Curtiss P-40E Warhawk. North American P-51D Mustang, Republic P-47B/D Thunderbolt Razorback, Bell P-39D Airacobra , Northrop P-61B Black widow, Martin B-26B/C Marauder, North American B-25B/C Mitchell, B-24J Liberator, Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, Boeing B-29 Superfortress, Zero, Hawker Hurricane, Junkers Ju 52, Messerschmitt Me 110C, Messerschmitt Bf 109E, Focke Wulf Fw 190A, Panavia Tornado RAF, Grumman A-6A Intruder, Grumman F-14A Tomcat, Douglas F-18A Hornet USN, Lockheed S-3B Viking, Grumman E-2C Hawkeye, Lockheed C-130H Hercules, Lockheed C-5A/B Galaxy to name but a few
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