By Roy Conyers Nesbit
Roy Nesbit's hugely illustrated background of Coastal Command's 217 Squadron - the squadron within which he served - offers a first-hand perception into the dangerous low-level missions the squadron flew opposed to enemy delivery and ports through the moment global struggle. He chronicles the squadron's operations from the outbreak of battle whilst it patrolled in Avro Ansons over the Western ways to the English Channel. Then got here the main excessive interval of its wartime occupation whilst, flying Beauforts, it focused on minelaying and assaults on transport alongside the west coast of German-occupied France. It additionally fastened bold raids on large U-boat bunkers and different enemy installations. the tale of those harmful operations, within which many plane have been misplaced and airmen have been killed, makes up the main memorable part of the narrative. yet Roy Nesbit takes the squadron's tale all over to the later years of the conflict whilst, after a quick or even extra harmful interval flying from Malta with the intention to sink enemy transport within the Mediterranean, it was once dependent in Ceylon and was once re-equipped with Beaufighters for the conflict opposed to the japanese. as well as telling the tale of the squadron and the lads who served in it, the narrative describes the stipulations persisted through the French humans within the ports 217 attacked, and it covers the raids introduced opposed to German coastal bases after the squadron had moved to the a long way East. An Expendable Squadron might be soaking up analyzing for someone who has a distinct curiosity within the heritage of Coastal Command, within the plane 217 Squadron flew, and within the adventure of wrestle flying seventy years in the past.
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Extra resources for An Expendable Squadron : The Story of 217 Squadron, Coastal Command, 1939-1945
However, the maximum endurance of the Anson, which by that time was obsolescent in front-line service, was only six hours. Thus the time the aircraft could spend over the convoys was very limited, since these were met far out to sea, and a succession of Ansons had to meet each convoy. The bombload carried by the Anson was merely two 250lb anti-submarine bombs. These were South-Western Approaches 27 effective against the hull of a U-boat only if they exploded with six feet, an accuracy which was extremely difficult to achieve.
Sixteen civilians were killed and sixty-seven injured. (Archives de Bordeaux, via Geneviève Moulard) South-Western Approaches 49 An Italian submarine (left) alongside a German U-boat, moored in La Pallice harbour. (Archives départmentales de la Charente-Maritime, ref: 62 Fi789, via Geneviève Moulard) Meanwhile, 217 Squadron continued its night bombing attacks against the French ports. On 18 December, another long-range attack was attempted against the docks at Bordeaux. S. Petch, ran out of fuel shortly before reaching the English coast on the return flight.
He refused to obey the order, lost his command, was reduced in rank to Squadron Leader, and told that he faced a court martial. B. King, and continued to fly patrols and convoy escorts. Soon after midday on 11 August, an Anson flown by Pilot Officer Anthony Gordon-Peiniger took off on one of these operations. Some time afterwards it sent out an SOS. A search was mounted but nothing was found and all crew South-Western Approaches 39 members lost their lives. The reason was never discovered but it must have been something unexpected and violent, for the wireless operator had only enough time to send the aircraft’s call-sign and the SOS.
An Expendable Squadron : The Story of 217 Squadron, Coastal Command, 1939-1945 by Roy Conyers Nesbit