Alexander Clarke of King’s College London provides our first article on the Fleet Air Arm. He asks whether the Royal Navy’s propeller powered attack fighters during the dawn of the jet age were relics of a world war or a capability overlooked? This essay is a study of Fleet Air Arm Propeller aircraft, focusing on those that entered service from 1946-1958 and their operational records
These words come from the biography of Admiral of the Fleet Sir Caspar John, First Sea Lord 1960-1963, which was written by his daughter compiled from notes he had made. This is the sort of statement which has fed the common misconception of the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) is that after the Second World War was over; it froze and continued to operate the same aircraft it did at the end of the war until it finally began to convert to jet aircraft with the introduction of the Hawker Sea Hawk in 1953. [ii] In reality it didn’t, and neither were jet aircraft immediately appropriated as a panacea – the same year as the Sea Hawk entered service, the turboprop engined Westland Wyvern joined the fleet air arm to replace the Blackburn Firebrand.[iii][iv] Whilst piston engined aircraft continued in use for roles such as airborne early warning – but that is the end of the period.[v]
Figure 1. Three de Havilland Sea Hornets F-20 of 801sq ranged on deck of HMS Implacable with engines running ready for take-off. The single-engined low wing aircraft are Blackburn Firebrands; the high wing plane at the back is a Fairey Barracuda. From the Collection of Sidney Hudson RN vi .
In fact between 1945 and 1958 (when the Wyvern was retired [vii] ), the FAA had taken delivery of Hawker Sea Furys (1947) [viii] , the twin engine De Havilland Sea Hornets (1947) [ix] as well as the Wyvern. Furthermore, whilst the Supermarine Seafire [x] and Fairey Firefly [xi] , their ‘hangar mates’ were clearly World War II aircraft; the Firebrand which had entered frontline service in 1945 [xii] was more post war than war time. Primarily because it was attack fighter which could carry a torpedo (pre-anti-ship missiles) the premier anti-ship weapon of the age. It is for that reason that the Firebrand will join the Sea Fury, Sea Hornet and Wyvern in being evaluated to cast a light over the reality of the propeller FAA of the late 1940s and 1950s. To do all this, to answer the questions it will be necessary to divide this work in two. The first section will examine the aircraft and the story of their service. The second section will examine the ample warfighting experience those aircraft were put through – and whilst it is true notall types saw active service, there is more than enough history to consider. Finally the conclusion will seek to answer the question of the title as well as considering whether they have left any legacy.
The Royal Navy (RN) was forced by events to learn quickly the business of running the FAA; an air arm it had only reclaimed full control of it on the 24th of May 1939, less than 4 months before World War II broke out. Therefore it had to learn the business of aircraft design, of procurement, and specification, during the war; unsurprisingly many of the initial projects were not good. In fact the first aircraft to be examined, the Blackburn B-37 Firebrand, started off in 1940 with a specification for a single seat fighter [xiii] (a major divergence from standard practice, as in 1930s the FAA had gone towards two seater aircraft as standard to accommodate a naval Observer as navigator) primarily outlined as [xiv];
“…a single seater sing engine front gun fighter for operating from carriers as a ship plane.”
However, despite specifying an in production engine xv , and ease of mass production xvi it was not meant to be. The Mk I would never see service; however, the Mk 4 would, with two frontline squadrons (813sq and 827sq [xvii] ), although it would be peace time as they were never deployed to Korea, were too late for World War II and had been replaced in service by the time of Suez. They had a maximum speed of 340mph at 13,000ft, and flexibly well-armed (apart from a torpedo they could carry two 1,000lb bombs and had four 20mm Hispano Cannon), and with a large combat radius (740miles with torpedo and no drop tanks) [xviii] . If such an aircraft had entered service in 1943/4 the Royal Navy wouldhave been a lot less reliant upon American imports [xix] . They didn’t though and this to an extent explains why so few were built [xx], because by the time they were ready there was an aim for a peace dividend to be achieved and plenty of serviceable aircraft available [xxi]. However, this happy state of affairs did not last long as it was soon felt peace was more fragile than hoped, so when the next generation became available the RN was allowed to start buying.
The first of these aircraft was the Sea Fury, an aircraft which was destined to see extensive service during its career and was the last piston-engined fighter in service with FAA first-line squadrons [xxii] . Although again it was an aircraft which had Second World War origins xxiii as well as post war analysis, a prototype having been flown in February 1945. In a way it is progenitor of the modern F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, as it was designed in two versions: one, (simply called) Fury, meant to enter service with the Royal Air Force(RAF) to replace the Tempest in service, and the Sea Fury for the FAA. The Fury was cancelled though, because the RAF had enough war legacy aircraft to see it through [xxiv].
The Sea Fury was one of the fastest piston engine aircraft ever produced (the F.B. II had a top speed of 460mph at 18,000ft and a range of 700 miles at 30,000ft [xxv] ), it was a fighter though, not a torpedo fighter like the Firebrand, itcould carry bombs; most importantly though it was rugged, reliable, a workhouse. Due to all this it became a foundation from which to build a future (providing the FAA with four xxvi frontline squadrons 801sq [xxvii], 802sq [xxviii], 804sq [xxix] and 807sq xxx ), a benchmark by which other aircraft would be compared. It did this whilst also being enough of a capability that it would justify that capabilities retention in rounds of post war budget reductions [xxxi]. In comparison the De Havilland Sea Hornet was an example of the RN reaching for something more, something different, something better for the FAA.
The Sea Hornet was another generational product of the desire for a long range fighter that the RN had been wanting for many years [xxxii]. To get it the RN had to go to the traditional pre-war source of FAA fighters, RAF light bombers [xxxiii] – in this case it was the Mosquito [xxxiv] or rather the Hornet long range fighter which had been developed from it [xxxv]. With a range of 1,500 miles when carry auxiliary tanks, a maximum speed of 467mph at 22,000ft, and an armament of four 20mm cannon, as well as everything from rockets to 2,000lbs of bombs or mines it was certainly capable of its fighter title [xxxvi] : coming in at not far off the Sea Fury weaponry or speed, not as manoeuvrable but with nearly 500miles more range even when the Sea Fury was carrying its drop tanks [xxxvii]. It was because of these capabilities that the Sea Hornet F.20 was turned by Specification N.21/45 into the N.F.21 two seater night fighter [xxxviii] – by the addition of a radar and a bubble canopy cockpit for the observer. These aircraft only served with two frontline squadrons, 801sq which was equipped with F.20s [xxxix], and 809sq which was primarily equipped N.F.21s but had some F.20s [xl]. It however was not the only fighter produced in this period with two propellers.
The Westland Wyvern, had a set of contra-rotating four bladed propellers connected to its single Armstrong Siddeley Python Turboprop engine or ‘Turbine driven Propeller’ engined. This was very interesting design of engine, as unlike the then traditional piston engine, it used jet technology to power its propeller with a minimal amount of moving parts: it’s naturally very fuel efficient because of this, as well as being an advantage for aircraft needing a high performance take off. The Wyvern was a replacement for the Firebrand, it was a torpedo attack fighter; it was future proofed at practically sketching. In fact when first specified in 1944 whilst it was to be fitted with a Rolls-Royce Eagle engine, included in the specification was:
“The design of the wings and if possible, the tailplane, fin and rudder shall be such that they may be fitted to a different fuselage designed to take a turbine propeller unit”[xli]
This along with the requirement that the design should be produced with a photographic reconnaissance version available for later special orders; is most interesting because the RN are specifying for a future aircraft which is not the next generation, but the next, next generation. Something which had been unheard of for the FAA in the interwar years, yet under the pressure of war, whilst still learning (in many ways [xlii]) how to run it, the RN was thinking and planning for the post war period. This, along with the going through threeengines (the Rolls-Royce Eagle, Rolls-Royce Clyde and eventually the Python [xliii]), goes some way to explaining how it was that the Wyvern was first specified in 1944 but did not enter service till 1953. When it did enter service it replaced the Firebrands with 813sq xliv and 827sq xlv , before two further squadrons 830sq [xlvi] & 831sq xlvii were raised to allow the RN to make full use of the capabilities it provided.
In summation therefore, the RN had procured in the post war years a brace of torpedo attack fighter, a long range fighter and night fighter variant, and high performance fighter bomber – which turned out to be a very good all-rounder. All of these aircraft were propeller powered, whether piston or turbine engine, all were capable of carrying bombs although none was a specific dive-bomber; a type which had been much sought prior WWII [xlviii] and which had achieved a certain notoriety in that conflict. Furthermore, all emphasised being a fighter and being of good performance characteristics: there was a reason for this, a good one, a reason which Desmond Western explains in his work, while (in many ways) providing the besting summing up of the aircraft of this period [xlix] :
From its choice of aircraft the RN, unsurprisingly in the post-war years was preparing to fight another war at sea [l] – unfortunately since 1945 (arguably due to the Cold War effect) there have been no big battles at sea [li]. However, whether on land or sea first line combat aircraft act as a sort of artillery, after all – whether air defence, deep strike or close air support; therefore the performance of the aircraft in the two wars of this period that the RN took an active engagement with, the Korean War and the Suez Crisis can still provide a good evaluation of their capabilities – although of course not as a torpedo bomber.
In Korea the war moved fast and land bases were either in Japan (too far away) or were not able to support the aircraft [lii] ; and although some RAF pilots would fight flying for the US Air Force (USAF) [liii] – the war was mainly, due to geography, dependent upon naval aviation. Which, as the list of ships qualifying for the Korean War medal testifies too, the RN, its carriers and its FAA were key component for the provision of – from the beginning of the conflict [liv]. Principally therefore, despite the (possibly disputed [lv]) air to air kill by a Sea Fury of a Mig-15 fighter [lvi] stealing the headlines, it was the close air support and strike missions which were of primacy to success. These operations required a tempo of operations which up till then had only been achieved with resources deployed inWorld War II. For example the 13,190ton light carrier HMS Ocean, almost at the end of her 1952 operational tour in Korean waters, managed to launch 123 sorties in a single day [lvii]; to put this feat in context, a modern 110,250ton Nimitz class Super Carrier of the United States Navy was capable in 1997, under exercise conditions, of launching an average of 192 sorties a day for six days [lviii].
Sortie rate whilst important to operators doesn’t mean much on its own though; during HMS Ocean’s first Korea tour (5th of May to 8th of November 1952 [lix]) her air group of Sea Furies and Fairey Fireflies lx flew 5,601 sorties (this included 735 Rocket Assisted Take Off Gear launches), achieving between them a total of 10,340 flying hours [lxi]. In terms of ordnance, those aircraft dropped 420 1,000lb bombs and 3,454 500lb bombs; they fired a total of 17,246 rockets and 824,700 20mm rounds [lxii]. The cost of all this activity was considered light for the time, although to modern ears used to bloodless wars (on NATO/Western side) it might seem so; but only sixteen aircraft were lost to enemy action, as were five of her aircrew [lxiii]. These statistics were not unusual for a tour, and to keep that permanent presence of one aircraft carrier on station, the RN used HMS Ocean, 3 of her sisters HMS Triumph, HMS Theseus lxiv and HMS Glory lxv , as well as HMS Unicorn (and were further supplemented by an RAN aircraft carrier HMAS Sydney [lxvi]); which had the distinction of engaging the enemy more closely than any other carrier during the war – actually engaging an enemy land positions with her 4in guns lxvii . Korea was a long term commitment, and by passing the various support given to counter-insurgency operations in Malaya because it is that not warfighting; the next operation to be examined will be the larger by volume, smaller by time, 1956 Suez Crisis.
The stand out aviation event of Suez was not carried out by fighters, but by helicopters; using Bristol Sycamore lxviii and Westland Whirlwind helicopters [lxix], from the Joint Experimental Helicopter Unit [lxx], and the FAA’s 845sq [lxxi], 45 Commando was air lifted ashore from HMS Theseus into the battle [lxxii]. The fixed wing strike aircraft deployed from the carriers HMS Albion, HMS Bulwark and HMS Eagle were mostly jets [lxxiii]; but HMS Eagle was also carrying 830sq and its 9 Wyverns [lxxiv]. During the crisis they carried out 82 sorties attacking airfields and other targets within the Canal Zone [lxxv]. Again (as in Korea) close air support was the crucial mission (for which the low speed efficiency of the Wyvern’s design made them most suitable for providing), and again the importance of naval aviation for this role was due to fact that the nearest land bases were in Cyprus too far away for RAF fighters to provide continuous air support [lxxvi]. So it was that the RAF Hawker Hunters were left conducting raid support and protecting the Valiant and Canberra Bombers that were crucial for initial strikes [lxxvii]. The fire support provided by aircraft from the carriers throughout the operation, was crucial to the military successes which were achieved; especially for the first waves of parachutists and Royal Marines who had no tanks or artillery at their disposal to provide organic fire support within the ground forces, so were therefore dependent upon the ‘artillery’ from the sea whether coming by air or ship’s gun [lxxviii].
“The Minister without Portfolio questioned the need for a Pacific Fleet of the size contemplated, having regard to the fact that a friendly power, and not a potential enemy, now dominated that ocean. Sir John Cunningham pointed out that although there might be no potential enemy battle fleet, there were plenty of potentially hostile submarines, and a vase area in which there were many very important British interests.” [lxxix]
These words were spoken in 1946, less than a year after fighting a major global war and less than four years before another war broke out in the region – a war which as has been said relied heavily upon naval, and especially carrier based fire support. There is nothing wrong with leaders seeking a peace dividend to reduce the burden placed on their people; but the seeking of it can quickly go from right, to problematic, to disastrous if not enough attention is paid to the longer term, in other words the future, when making those vitally important decisions. Defence is an area where much of what is built might not be needed tomorrow or the next day, or even the day after that: but, it will most likely be needed over the next five years, definitely over the next decade, and much of the equipment will provide decades of service to a nation. Therefore the procurement provides decades of national security.
The fact is it cannot be argued that these aircraft were not the peak of propeller aircraft to serve with FAA, apart from being the last such aircraft to do so; there is the fact they genuinely were good aircraft – yes they had design kinks that require further development, but their record of service excuses that by a long way; especially the Sea Fury and the Wyvern. To the charge of obsolescence though; the answer has to be more complex. Jet aircraft did not suddenly appear and be great immediately; it took time to mature the technology. It took even more time to mature that technology to the level that it was suitable and sustainable for the vicious unforgiving world that is life operating from carrier for an aircraft: in this world landings are controlled crashes on a platform that is moving on six axis simultaneously, whilst take offs are a ride on a rocket bronco.
It’s very easy therefor for damage to be sustained or even fatal accidents to take place; hence the carriers in Korea were so proud of their successful landings. So yes, there is an argument, that they were obsolete in the face of Mig-15s; but these aircraft performed their operational role. Further to this point, the loss rate illustrates that those aircraft were not massacred; suggesting obsolescence is too strong an adjective to truly depict the situation. The final charge is unarguable, during the Cold War the pursuit of capability in an arms race meant that the contribution of these aircraft were ignored in favour of the perspective that they were out matched – as this supported the argument for newer, better, often revolutionary and very expensive aircraft. When the lessons of this period show that what the aircraft capable of accomplishing is just as, if not more, important than what it can do or is.
i (John 1987, 161)
ii (Thetford 1978, 238) – superseding both the Supermarine Attacker (jet) and Sea Fury in service ; a year after it started entering service a discussion in Cabinet would see Winston Churchill (Prime Minister) questioning the utility of carriers in future wars and requesting reductions in the strength of the FAA (TNA – Cabinet Office: 128/27a 1954)
iii (Thetford 1978, 347)
iv (Sturtivant 1984, 212 & 281)
v (Gibson 2011, White, Phoenix Squadron: HMS Ark Royal, Britain’s last top guns and the untold story of their most dramatic mission 2009)
vi (Michael W. Pococok and MaritimeQuest.com 2013)
vii (Thetford 1978, 348)
viii (Thetford 1978, 234)
ix (Thetford 1978, 96)
x (Sturtivant 1984)
xi (Sturtivant 1984)
xii (Thetford 1978, 64)
xiii N.11/40 (Meekcoms and Morgan 1994) there are actually photographs of the prototype and it’s statistics in the 1942 Ministry of Supply ‘book’ of British Aircraft (TNA – Ministry of Supply: 9/1 1942)
xiv (TNA – Design Branch (Air Ministry): 15/541 1940, Meekcoms and Morgan 1994, 285-6)
xv A Napier Sabre (TNA – Design Branch (Air Ministry): 15/541 1940, Gunston 2006) – it was eventually powered in service by a Bristol Centaurus engine
xvi In one of the biggest Cabinet level discussions of Aircraft Production in 1946, Bombers and Civil Aircraft were discussed, fighters, combat air support, and naval aircraft weren’t mentioned (TNA – Cabinet Office: 128/25 1952) a theme repeated almost entirely in discussions in February 1955 (TNA – Cabinet Office: 128/28a 1955)
xvii (Sturtivant 1984, 280)
xviii (Thetford 1978, 65)
xix Which would have been beneficial as it would have meant the FAA would have been less reliant upon Lend-Lease and wouldn’t have had to fight so many battles with the Treasury for new aircraft, and could like the RAF have lived off its war aircraft – instead of having to hand back/throw away so much of its strength: a recurring theme throughout the discussions of these years (TNA – Treasury: 225/1101 1949, TNA – Treasury: 225/1102 1951, TNA – Treasury: 225/1103 1954, TNA – Treasury: 225/1104 1960, TNA – Treasury: 225/1261 1960, TNA – Treasury:225/1319 1956).
xx In fact in 1943 the type was re-written for the final time when under the auspices of Operational Requirement OR.150, specification S.28/43 was issued, and whilst it had long changed to the Firebrand Torpedo Fighter, this time the wing was being redesigned to improve the pilots and aircraft performance (Meekcoms and Morgan 1994, 318) . In the end of all the aircraft built only 65 were modified to make them flyable as Fighter Torpedo (TNA – Treasury: 225/1101 1949)
xxi (TNA – Treasury: 225/1101 1949), this point is made repeatedly, although it was noted that the stock included “Barracuda, Seafire and others which would be virtually useless for modern combat but which we have been holding in the home of making some use of them for a little longer in the training and ancillary services as a measure of economy”
xxii (Thetford 1978, 234) – the RN/FAA has first line squadrons, which are those which serve in the fleet (usually 800 numbers) and second line squadrons, which are those which are for training, ect (usually 700 numbers) (Sturtivant 1984)
xxiii The origins of which can be traced according to some to a Focke-Wulf 190A-3 that landed in the south of England by mistake in June 1942 (Unlimited Air 2005). Although the Hawker Fury was first specified with F.2/43, in May the following year (Meekcoms and Morgan 1994, 309); originally the RN issued separate specifications, N.7/43, but they were pooled together by a specification, 22/43/H, issued in April/May of 1944 (Meekcoms and Morgan 1994,315).
xxiv (Thetford 1978, 234, TNA – Treasury: 225/1101 1949, TNA – Treasury: 225/1104 1960)
xxv (Thetford 1978, 234-5) – to put in context the last Seafire (the navalised Spitfire) type to enter service the Griffion powered Mk.47 only achieved 452mph at 20,500ft (Thetford 1978, 335)
xxvi Two more 805 Squadron and 808 Squadron would serve with the Royal Australian Navy(RAN) (Sturtivant 1984, 180-3 & 190-1)
xxvii (Sturtivant 1984, 162)
xxviii (Sturtivant 1984, 168)
xxix (Sturtivant 1984, 177-8)
xxx (Sturtivant 1984, 188)
xxxi (TNA – Treasury: 225/1101 1949, TNA – Treasury: 225/1102 1951, TNA – Treasury: 225/1103 1954, TNA – Treasury: 225/1104 1960, TNA – Treasury: 225/1261 1960, TNA – Treasury: 225/1319 1956)
xxxii (TNA – Admiralty: 116/4030 1939, TNA – Admiralty: 186/66 1925, TNA – Admiralty: 186/72 1925)
xxxiii The Fairey Fulmar evolved from a replacement for the Fairey Battle light bomber (Meekcoms and Morgan 1994, 192 & 259, Thetford 1978, 152-7, Friedman, British Carrier Aviation 1988, 170), and arguably the Fairey Firefly evolved from the Fulmar; prior to all this the Hawker Hart light bomber was turned into the Hawker Osprey fighter (Meekcoms and Morgan 1994, 109-10 & 154, Thetford 1978, 226-7, Friedman, British Carrier Aviation 1988, 160-9), and these are just three examples.
xxxiv Which was also the first twin-engined aircraft to land on a British carrier (Thetford 1978,93)
xxxv (Thetford 1978, 96, Meekcoms and Morgan 1994, 323) – specification N.5/44
xxxvi (Thetford 1978, 97)
xxxvii (Thetford 1978, 235)
xxxviii (Thetford 1978, 98, Meekcoms and Morgan 1994, 342)
xxxix (Sturtivant 1984, 162-4)
xl (Thetford 1978, 97, Sturtivant 1984, 192-7)
xli Specification N.11/44 (Meekcoms and Morgan 1994, 326)
xlii (John 1987)
xliii (Thetford 1978, 347, Meekcoms and Morgan 1994, 338, 354, 378 & 382)
xliv (Sturtivant 1984, 212)
xlv (Sturtivant 1984, 280-1)
xlvi (Sturtivant 1984, 290)
xlvii (Sturtivant 1984, 292)
xlviii (Smith 2007)
xlix (Wettern 1982, 74)
l Which considering the Soviet build-up of warships post WWII (TNA – Admiralty: 239/5331960); the desire for a proper fleet to counter them (TNA – Cabinet Office: 128/27a 1954) is understandable and logical: although the Treasury did not agree, and felt in 1946 stated of the five year program of Aircraft Carriers and FAA proposed by the Admiralty “(a) Admiralty intentions may be quite sound but they have no Defence Committee backing so far as I know, (b) If this programme were put to the Defence Committee would it be approved in the face of the fact that we have no naval aggressor to consider” (TNA – Treasury: 225/1101 1949).
li The largest ship sunk by enemy action since 1945 was the Belgrano, sunk by HMSubmarine Conqueror; it also holds the distinction of being the only ship sunk by nuclear submarine and because of its sinking the Argentine navy retreated, so no fleet carrier battle was fought over the Falkland Islands (Clapp and Southby-Tailyour 1997, Woodward and Robinson 1992, paperback edition 2003, Rossiter 2007).
lii (Malkasian 2001, 63)
liii (Hastings 2010, Paul and Spirit, The Air War 2008, Paul and Spirit, British Forces Deployed Units in the Korean War 2008)
liv (TNA Admiralty: 171/166 1952, Malkasian 2001, 23-4 & 60-2)
lv (White 2001) – a dispute based on number of rounds fired seems strange, because a pilot could fire hundreds of shells and be unlucky, and another could fire one or two and be more fortunate – there are too many variables in such a situation to rule out anything without conclusive proof. The officer credited with the kill, (then) Lt P. Carmichael Royal Navy, always considered it a team effort, writing such in his report (TNA Admiralty: 1/23260 1952) did others, Lt. P.S. Davis, A/S/Lt B.E. Ellis and A/S/Lt C.E. Haines), and there is no real necessity to look beyond that without causing unnecessary division and upheaval. What is interesting is the flight’s employment of a Scissor Movement, something not dissimilar to the Thack Weave (Hone 2013, 125-6)which was used by USN/RN pilots in World War II against their faster Japanese opponents. It’s also interesting that after this engagement which had resulted in one shot down, and two damaged, practically the same flight achieved another possible kill the very next day (TNA – Admiralty: 1/23260 1952).
lvi (Thetford 1978, 234, Sturtivant 1984, 168, Wettern 1982, 68)
lvii (Wettern 1982, 68-9)
lviii (galrahn 2009, Center for Naval Anlayses Alexandria VA 1998)
lix each tour was divided up into patrols interspersed by refuel/rearm/replenishment periods (TNA – Admiralty: 1/23260 1952, TNA – Admiralty: 171/166 1952) mostly taken at Kure, in Japan
lx This was a modified and improved version of the aircraft which had seen service during the Second World War (Thetford 1978, 174-9)
lxi (Paul and Spirit, HMS Ocean – First Tour: 5th May, to 8th November, 1952 2008)
lxii (Paul and Spirit, HMS Ocean – First Tour: 5th May, to 8th November, 1952 2008)
lxiii (Paul and Spirit, HMS Ocean – First Tour: 5th May, to 8th November, 1952 2008, TNA – Admiralty: 171/166 1952)
lxiv HMS Ocean was not the only record breaker during her first spell of operations from HMS Theseus no aircraft was ever unserviceable for longer than two hours, and no less than 1,300 deck landings were made without a failure or accident of any kind (Thetford 1978, 175).
lxv (John 1987, 161) , HMS Glory and 14 th Carrier Air Group (812sq Fireflies and 804sq Sea Furies) flew 4,834 operation sorties in the Korean war for the loss of only 27 aircraft (Thetford 1978, 176)
lxvi (Paul and Spirit, HMAS Sydney 2008, Sturtivant 1984, 181, 191 & 234-6)
lxvii (Paul and Spirit, HMS Unicorn – Specifications and a Brief History 2008)
lxviii Which as well as being used by the RAF and various allies, was used by the RAN FAA with 723sq and 724sq (Sturtivant 1984, 51-5)
lxix (Thetford 1978, 351-2)
lxx (Paul and Spirit, The JEHU over Suez 2008)
lxxi (Sturtivant 1984, 312-9)
lxxii (Varble 2003, 66-9, Sturtivant 1984, 313-4, Paul and Spirit, The Helicopter in Suez 2008, Paul and Spirit, By Sea, By Air, The Marines Go In 2008)
lxxiii (Paul and Spirit, British Units invovled in the Suez Crisis 2008) seven squadrons of Sea Hawks and three squadrons of De Havilland Sea Venoms; although there were two flights from 849sq with their Skyraiders there to provide AEW (Sturtivant 1984, 333-40)
lxxiv (Sturtivant 1984, 290)
lxxv (Sturtivant 1984, 290)
lxxvi (Wettern 1982, 131)
lxxvii (Wettern 1982, 130, Paul and Spirit, The Air War over Suez 2008)
lxxviii (Varble 2003)
lxxix Meeting 3 rd of December 1946 (TNA – Cabinet Office: 79/54 1946), Minister Without Portfolio was the Rt.Hon. A.V. Alexander (in the Chair), Sir John Cunningham was the First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff at the time.
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TNA – Admiralty: 116/4030. “Naval Air Policy 1936-39.” ADM 116/4030. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 1939.
TNA – Admiralty: 171/166. “List of Ships; Korean War Medal and Gratuity (Ships Qualifying Dates).” ADM: 171/166. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 2 June 1952.
TNA – Admiralty: 186/66. “Naval War Manual.” ADM 186/66. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 1925.
TNA – Admiralty: 186/72. “Battle Instructions.” ADM: 186/72. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 1925.
TNA – Admiralty: 207/63. “802 Squadron Diary: March 1948 – February 1950.” ADMI: 207/63. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 1963.
TNA – Admiralty: 207/7. “802 Squardron Diary May 1945 – March 1948.” ADM: 207/7. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 1948.
TNA – Admiralty: 213/944. “’Wyvern’ Naval Fighter-Striker. Technical Folder B.114 Issue II.” ADM: 213/944. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), March 1948.
TNA – Admiralty: 239/533. “Supplementary Naval Intelligence Papers relation to Soviet & European Satellite Navies: Soviet Cruisers.” ADM: 239/533. London: United Kingdom, National Archives (Kew), November 1960.
TNA – Cabinet Office: 128/25. “Conclusions of a Meeting of the Cabinet held at 10 Downing Street, S.W.1, on Tuesay, 16th December, 1952, at 11.30am.” CAB: 128/25. London: United Kingdom National Archives(Kew), 16 December 1952.
TNA – Cabinet Office: 128/25a. “Conclusions of a Meeting of the Cabinet held at 10 Downing Street, S.W.1, on Tuesday, 11th November, 1952, at 11.30am.” CAB: 128/25a. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 11 November 1952.
TNA – Cabinet Office: 128/25b. “Conclusions of a Meeting of the Cabinet held at 10, Downing Street, S.W.1, on Thursday, 23rd October, 1952, at 11am.” CAB: 128/25b. London: United Kingdom National Archives(Kew), 23 October 1952.
TNA – Cabinet Office: 128/26. “Conclusions of a Meeting of the Cabinet held at 10 Downing Street, S.W.1, on Tuesday, 27th January, 1953, at 11am.” CAB: 128/26. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 27 January 1953.
TNA – Cabinet Office: 128/27. “Conclusions of a Meeting of the Cabinet held at 10 Downing Street, S.W.1, on Wednesday, 8th September, 1954, at 3pm.” CAB: 128/27. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 3 September 1954.
TNA – Cabinet Office: 128/27a. “Conclusions of a Meeting of the Cabinet held at 10 Downing Street, S.W.1, on Friday, 5th November, 1954, at 11am.” CAB: 128/27a. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 5 November 1954.
TNA – Cabinet Office: 128/27b. “Conclusions of a Meeting of the Cabinet held at 10 Downing Street, S.W.1, on Wensday, 15th December, 1954, at 11.30am.” CAB: 128/27b. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 15 December 1954.
TNA – Cabinet Office: 128/28. “Conclusions of a Meeting of the Cabinet held at 10 Downing Street, S.W.1, on Monday, 31st January, 1955, at 11.30am.” CAB: 128/28. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 31 January 1955.
TNA – Cabinet Office: 128/28a. “Conclusions of a Meeting of the Cabinet held at 10 Downing Street, S.W.1, on Friday, 11th February, 1955, at 11.30am.” CAB: 128/28a. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 11 February 1955.
TNA – Cabinet Office: 128/28b. “Conclusions of a Meeting of the Cabinet held at 10 Downing Street, S.W.1, on Tuesday, 22nd February, 1955, at 11.30am.” CAB: 128/28b. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 22 February 1955.
TNA – Cabinet Office: 128/28c. “Conclusions of a Meeting of the Cabinet held at 10 Downing Street, S.W.1, on Wensday, 2nd March, 1955, at 10.30am.” CAB: 128/28c. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 2 March 1955.
TNA – Cabinet Office: 128/28d. “Conclusions of a Meeting of the Cabinet held at 10 Downing Street, S.W.1, on Wensday, 15th December, 1954, at 11.30am.” CAB: 128/28d. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 3 March 1955.
TNA – Cabinet Office: 128/28e. “Conclusions of a Meeting of the Cabinet held at 10 Downing Street, S.W.1, on Tuesday, 5th April, 1955, at 12 noon.” CAB: 128/28e. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 5 April 1955.
TNA – Cabinet Office: 129/55. “Egypt: Request for Jet Aircraft – Memorandum by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.” CAB: 129/55. London: United Kingdom National Archives, 21 October 1952.
TNA – Cabinet Office: 129/56. “Korean War Casualties – Memorandum by the Minister of Defence.” CAB: 129/56. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 5 November 1952.
TNA – Cabinet Office: 129/71. “Defence Policy: the Fleet Air Arm – Memorandum by the First Lord of the Admiralty.” CAB: 129/71. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 4 November 1954.
TNA – Cabinet Office: 129/79. “Sale of Aircraft and an Aircraft Carrier to Argentina – Memorandum by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.” CAB: 129/79. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 14 February 1956.
TNA – Cabinet Office: 65/53/5. “Conclusions of a Meeting of the Cabinet held at 10 Downing Street, S.W.1, on Tuesday, 5th June, 1945, at 6.0pm.” CAB: 65/53/5. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 5 June 1945.
TNA – Cabinet Office: 65/53/7. “Conclusions of a Meeting of the Cabinet held at 10 Downing Street, S.W.1, on Monday, 11th June, 1945 at 5.30pm.” CAB:65/53/7. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 11 June 1945.
TNA – Cabinet Office: 79/54. “Chiefs of Staff Committee: Minutes of Meeting held in 1946.” CAB: 79/54. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 1946.
TNA – Cabinet: 106/616. “Taranto: despatch on Fleet Air Arm opertions 1940 Nov.11, by Admiral Sir Andrew B. Cunningham, Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean (Supplement to London Gazette 38023)(H.M. Stationery Office, 1947).” CAB: 106/616. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 1947.
TNA – Cabinet: 120/295. “Coastal Command and the Fleet Air Arm – November 1940-December 1945.” CAB: 120/295. London : United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 1945.
TNA – Treasury: 225/1101. “Fleet Air Arm Provision of Aircraft – April 1946-May 1949.” T:225/1101. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 1949.
TNA – Treasury: 225/1102. “Admiralty, Fleet Air Arm Provision of Aircraft – July 1949-October 1951.” T:225/1102. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 1951.
TNA – Treasury: 225/1103. “Admiralty, Fleet Air Arm Provision of Aircraft – October 1951-November1954.” T: 225/1103. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 1954.
TNA – Treasury: 225/1104. “Admiralty, Fleet Air Arm Provision of Aircraft – October 1956-March 1960.” T: 225/1104. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 1960.
TNA – Treasury: 225/1261. “Admiralty, Fleet Air Arm Provision of Aircraft and Associated Equipment “N.A.39” – July 1958-December 1960.” T: 225/1261. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 1960.
TNA – Treasury: 225/1319. “Admiralty: Fleet Air Arm Provision of Aircraft – December 1954-Agust 1956.” T: 225/1319. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 1956.
TNA – Aero Department: 6/13820. “Areo Departmental Note – Performance No.83; Notes on the design fo the Blackburn N.11/40 (Firebrand).” AVIA: 6/13820. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), December 1941.
TNA – Air Ministry: 10/5077. “Pilot’s Notes for Sea Hornet F.20 – Prepared by Direction of the Minister of Supply (2nd Edition).” AIR: 10/5077. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 1950.
TNA – Design Branch (Air Ministry): 15/541. “Design Branch Specification N11/40, Single Seater, Single Engine, Front Gun Fighter for Fleet Air Arm (Firebrand I).” AVIA: 15/541. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), June 1940.
TNA – Ministry of Defence: 4/60. “Chiefs of Staff Committee: Minutes of Meetings 16-33 (03 Feb 1953 – 09 Mar 1953).” DEFE: 4/60. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 09 March 1953.
TNA – Ministry of Supply: 9/1. “British Types: Aircraft Data Sheets and Photographs.”
SUPP: 9/1. London: United Kingdom National Archives (Kew), 1942.
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