Fleet Air Arm losses 1939-45

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sanpifer
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Fleet Air Arm losses 1939-45

Post by sanpifer » 12 Nov 2017 20:10

Hi,

This is my first message in this great forum.

I would study the losses of Fleet Air Arm from 1939 to 1945, but I can't access to detailed sources (books or Internet sites).

For example, I cannot establish how many aircraft were lost inside british carriers.

I know that:

HMS Courageous sank on 17 September 1939 with two squadrons (811 and 822 Sqdn FAA) of Fairey Swordfish aircraft aboard (24 planes), including 36 RAF service crewmen.

HMS Glorious sank on 8 June 1940 with at least 4 Squadrons aboard:
- 6 Swordfish (823 Squadron) and 9 pilots lost.
- 10 Gladiators (263 RAF Squadron) and 10 pilots lost.
- 6 Sea Gladiators (802 Squadron) and 8 pilots lost.
- 7 Hurricanes (46 RAF Squadron) and 8 pilots lost.
41 RAF ground personnel, and 18 were pilots lost their lives.
Some sources says carrier sink with 43 aircraft in all, but that numbers don't match with above 29 aircraft losses.

HMS Ark Royal losses at sinking are unknown.

HMS Eagle was sunk at Pedestal with 16 Sea Hurricane aboard.

HMS Hermes didn't transport any aircraft aboard when she was bombed by japanese naval bombers. All her aircrafts were at land bases.

HMS Audacity 3 Martlets on deck when she was torpedoed at HG-76 convoy. Previously, 1 Martlet was lost when it attacked U-131.

HMS Avenger was sunk at Atlantic on 15 September 1942 transporting 802 and 883 Squadrons with their 12 Sea Hurricanes and pilots.

HMS Dasher losses at internal explosion time are unknown.

802 Squadron had a unfortunate history. 802 Sqdn was aboard Glorious when she was shelled. Later, 802 Squadron suffered new losses aboard Audacity and Avenger when both carriers were torpedoed again. An unluckly career.


To be continued.....
Last edited by sanpifer on 13 Nov 2017 18:13, edited 1 time in total.

sanpifer
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Re: Fleet Air Arm losses 1939-45

Post by sanpifer » 12 Nov 2017 20:46

About victories/losses of Fleet Air Arm, we know that:

Total claims of Fleet Air Arm Squadrons amounted to perhaps 455 victories. The Fleet Air Arm produced 16 aces during the conflict.

In the final accounting, the Fulmar was credited with 122 kills. A total of 40 Fulmars were lost to enemy action. About 16 of these were in air-to-air combat. Only 3 Fulmars were lost to single-seat fighters. Most losses were incurred by the defensive armament of bombers.

In Fleet Air Arm service, Martlet/Wildcat pilots were credited with bringing down 54 aircraft to 4 losses (13.5 to 1): 11 Ju 88, 13 BV 138 ; 10 FW 200; 4 SM.79, 3 Me 109G; 3 Morane 406C; 2 Potez 63; and 1 each G.50, Z.506B, Re.2000, Bloch 174, He 111, He 115, He 177, Ju 290, and H6K. The FAA Hellcat pilots were credited with bringing down 5 aircraft to 1 loss (5 to 1): 2 He 115; 2 Me 109G; and 1 FW 190. The sole F6F loss was in the 8 May 1944 FW 190/Me 109 engagement. FAA F4F/FM's and F6F's, together then, had a score of 62 aircraft shot down with 5 losses (12.4 to 1).

Royal Navy Hellcats, known as Gannets, scored 52 kills: On 8 May 1944, 2 Me 109 and a Fw190 were downed. They also got 2 He 115 seaplanes on 14 May. The remaining kills were scored in the Pacific. 19 of the victories took place during the invasion of Okinawa.

At the end of the war, 18 FAA squadrons were operating the Corsair. In all, out of 18 carrier-based squadrons, 8 saw combat, flying intensive ground attack/interdiction operations and claiming 47.5 aircraft shot down.

I didn't know total kills/losses numbers for Sea Gladiator, Sea Hurricane, Seafires, Martlets (British Wildcat) in Europe/Pacific theaters.

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Re: Fleet Air Arm losses 1939-45

Post by sanpifer » 15 Nov 2017 02:08

Some sources says que HMS Audacity only had 3 Martlets aboard at the night that she was torpedoed. The fourth Martlet was lost previously by U-131. Usually HMS Audacity took on deck 6 or 8 fighters. Only survived two pilots from 802 Squadron (Osprey's book says that survived five airmen).

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Andy H
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Re: Fleet Air Arm losses 1939-45

Post by Andy H » 03 Dec 2017 00:52

Hi Sanpifer

I can tell you that the FAA, both its frontline and training units lost some 801 Swordfish during the war, through all causes from air combat, to landing/take-off accidents to ditching etc.

Regards

Andy H

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Re: Fleet Air Arm losses 1939-45

Post by Skarpskytten » 05 Dec 2017 21:34

Glorious.JPG
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Re: Fleet Air Arm losses 1939-45

Post by Rob Stuart » 05 Dec 2017 23:45

Only 3 Fulmars were lost to single-seat fighters.
This number surprises me, given that four Fulmars were lost over Colombo on 5 April 1942 - two from 803 NAS and two from 806 NAS. I'm not certain, but my presumption would be that all four of them were shot down by Zeros. May I ask which three Fulmars you are referring to here?

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Re: Fleet Air Arm losses 1939-45

Post by sanpifer » 06 Dec 2017 00:21

I don't know when and where that 3 Fulmars were lost. I think that losses occurred at Mediterráneas Sea, probably against German or Italian fighters when Fulmars were defending carriers or Malta convoys.

This is my website source:
http://www.armouredcarriers.com/fairey- ... l-history/

"No sooner had the FAA squadrons arrived than the air base at Ratmalana was attacked by Japanese carrier-based aircraft on April 5. As they struggled to take off, four of the six operational Fulmars of 803 and 806 squadron were destroyed and only one Japanese aircraft claimed as a kill."

According that, Fulmars were at land or taking off, not by dogfight against Zeros.

In Spanish website "El HANGAR de WINGS of WAR" we can read:
"Los 6 Fulmar que despegaron no se encontraron en una situación cómoda frente a los Zero. Los Sub-Lts. A.S. Diggens, K.J.M. Pettit, e I. K. White-Smith murieron en combate. Afortunadamente, los pilotos decidieron volar sin acompañantes en sus asientos traseros para ahorrar peso, lo que realmente acabó ahorrando vidas. El cuarto Fulmar derribado era pilotado por el Sub-Lt. J.H.C. Sykes. Probablemente fue el as japonés Kaname Harada quien lo derribó, reclamando un total de 5 derribos durante esta salida. Sykes aterrizó forzoso estrellando el avión, pero pudo salir de él sano y salvo. El Lt. Hordern reclamó el derribo, confirmado, de un Zero."

Here said that 4 Fulmars were downed by Zeros, one of these by Japanese ace Kaname Harada.

Source:
http://elhangardewingsofwar.blogspot.co ... parte.html
Last edited by sanpifer on 06 Dec 2017 20:58, edited 5 times in total.

sanpifer
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Re: Fleet Air Arm losses 1939-45

Post by sanpifer » 06 Dec 2017 00:46

Skarpskytten wrote:Glorious.JPG
It's correct.
HMS Glorious sank on 8 June 1940 with at least 4 Squadrons aboard:
- 6 Swordfish (823 Squadron) and 9 pilots lost.
- 10 Gladiators (263 RAF Squadron) and 10 pilots lost.
- 6 Sea Gladiators (802 Squadron) and 8 pilots lost.
- 7 Hurricanes (46 RAF Squadron) and 8 pilots lost.
41 RAF ground personnel, and 18 were pilots lost their lives.

Rob Stuart
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Re: Fleet Air Arm losses 1939-45

Post by Rob Stuart » 06 Dec 2017 05:01

sanpifer wrote:I don't know when and where that 3 Fulmars were lost. I think that losses occurred at Mediterráneas Sea, probably against German or Italian fighters when Fulmars were defending carriers or Malta convoys.
Okay, in that case what is your source for the claim that "Only 3 Fulmars were lost to single-seat fighters"?
sanpifer wrote:This is my website source:
http://www.armouredcarriers.com/fairey- ... l-history/

"No sooner had the FAA squadrons arrived than the air base at Ratmalana was attacked by Japanese carrier-based aircraft on April 5. As they struggled to take off, four of the six operational Fulmars of 803 squadron were destroyed and only one Japanese aircraft claimed as a kill."

According that, Fulmars were at land or taking off, not by dogfight against Zeros.
But your claim is not that "Only 3 Fulmars were lost in dog fights with single-seat fighters", it's that "Only 3 Fulmars were lost to single-seat fighters". If the three Fulmars you refer to where shot down in the Mediterranean, then we can say that at least seven Fulmars were lost to single-seat fighters - those three plus the four shot down over Ratmalana. The fact that they may have been struggling to take off does not change the fact that they were shot down by single-seat fighters.

In fact, the number of Fulmars lost to enemy fighters was apparently higher than seven. Three Fulmars were lost to German fighters on 30 July 1941, during the attacks on Kirkenes and Petsamo. If you are right to say that the three losses you refer to happened in the Med, then we can say that at least 10 Fulmars were shot down by enemy fighters.

Incidentally, the six Fulmars in combat over Ratmalana were not all from 806 NAS. 803 and 806 each put up three Fulmars and each lost two aircraft.

sanpifer
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Re: Fleet Air Arm losses 1939-45

Post by sanpifer » 06 Dec 2017 14:35

Rob Stuart wrote:In fact, the number of Fulmars lost to enemy fighters was apparently higher than seven. Three Fulmars were lost to German fighters on 30 July 1941, during the attacks on Kirkenes and Petsamo. If you are right to say that the three losses you refer to happened in the Med, then we can say that at least 10 Fulmars were shot down by enemy fighters.
In fact, 3 of 4 Fulmars losses were by fighters Me 109 (2 aircrafts downed at Kirkenes and one at Petsamo).

I really can't understand why "armouredcarriers.com" states that "A total of 40 Fulmars were lost to enemy action. About 16 of these were in air-to-air combat. Only 3 Fulmars were lost to single-seat fighters".

I think too that 3 Fulmars lost is a incomplete figure.

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