What did the FAA do for us in WW2?

Discussion in 'The Fleet Air Arm' started by alfred_the_great, Oct 8, 2013.

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  2. The FAA provided a great deal of the Air Cover in North Africa, had a significant part in sinking the Bismarck, effectively reduced the Tirpitz from a battleship into a coastal floating battery before she was finally sunk, loaned 50 pilots to the RAF for the battle of Britain and 4 FAA squadrons participated in it too, sunk a great deal of Rommel's supply line ships in the Med (See 830 Sqdn and Rommel's Convoys) provided Air Cover for the landings in Italy, FAA A/S patrols significantly reduced the U-Boat threat to US-UK convoys. Participated in D-Day and onwards, provided a huge carrier force effort in the far East against the Japanese (You won't hear much about it as the Yanks like to think of it as 'Their' war and at one stage called 'Victorious' USS Robin, which was a bit of a piss-take). I'm sure I can recall some more after a (very) late breakfast; hope this gives you enough to consider for the present Alfred?
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  4. alfred_the_great; did you actually subscribe to that Site? Anyway, the question seems to have been set in a very American way. If arses aren't actually being kicked and names not being taken, the need for a Formation is called into question.

    The Taranto attack was a brilliant and headline catching operation (it clearly inspired the Japs) but if every Arm involved in the War was judged against its "big shows", much of it would look like an anticlimax or even decline. The contemporary and subsequent operations were summed up pretty well by sardeeps. I would see the big and continuous contribution made by the FAA was being an ever present tool in the box that the Axis had to think of, plan against and adjust for in everything it did on and near the sea. I'd say that was pretty useful. By the same token, one could ask what use Fighter Command's "day" Squadrons were after the Battle of Britain had effectively ended (standing by for standard banter/venom from the usual suspects); or the RN's battleships after the BISMARK had been consigned to the deep. OK, hypothetical similar questions and we probably all know why they did remain useful.
  5. Tom Ricks has probably asked far harder (and more intelligent) questions over Iraq and Afghanistan than 90% of British authors.
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  6. I am an American, and I was rather surprised to see such a rhetorical question posted. The FAA was very important to the overall effectiveness of the fleet and fought well in all theaters in which they were engaged. In the Pacific for example, the RN provided fast carrier task forces during the bloody Okinawa campaign and also conducted raids on mainland Japan. We learned a great deal from the Royal Navy, and many of the features seen on modern carriers we owe to the Royal Navy.
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  7. The FAA was still critical in the Pacific. Besides adding support to the US Carrier groups, they struck at Japanese oil fields in Southeast Asia, denying critical oil and gas supplies.
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  8. Very true, Tomcat...Having the Royal Navy fast carriers in the Pacific allowed the US Navy to concentrate on the final push on mainland Japan. The Royal Navy carrier raids on the Dutch East Indies oil fields, refineries cut-off the last remnants of oil to Japan. The Royal Navy also participated in raids on Japan also, including Kure if I am not mistaken...
  9. yup in fact, despite the rivalry by senior American Admirals over an RN task force, many realised that British carrier action contributed much to Japan's downfall. In SEA, had the atomic bombs not been dropped, the RN carriers were ready to support the retaking of Malaya, Singapore and the Dutch East Indies.
  10. At least 56 FAA pilots took part in the battle of Britain, 7 were Killed in action + 2 seriously wounded who never flew again.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2013
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  11. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    Before all you Jacks have group hugs and a love in can I just drop in the name, Lt. Col Hay and remind my floating and flying friends that at least 8 RM Majors acted as Commanders (Flying) during the war. :) Not bad for a small Corps.
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