The following photographs have been sent to me or I have collected over the years. The bravery, skill and determination shown by the young crews is unparalleled in the annuals of RAF history.
A section of Battles coming into land at Auberive-sur-Suippes. Note the cut down trees used to camouflage dispersal areas and give some degree of cover on an otherwise featureless aerodrome.
A famous photograph of a section of three Battles over the Moronvillers Range.
Bombing up an unidentified Battle. Note behind the Battle the flat featureless landscape.
An almost identical photograph with the addition of the freezing snow and ice. The ground crews suffered terribly as did the Battles during the winter of 1939/40.
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)
Fairey Battle L5235 HA-W the probable victim of Bf109s on the attack against troop columns on May 14th 1940. The pilot, P/O A Imrie survived, his gunner LAC A Taylor was killed.
Fairey Battle K9325 HA-D. Seen here on a German transporter. Shot down on May 11th 940 while attacking a bridge near Liege. The pilot, F/O A Hudson and his two crew survived to become PoW’s.
Fairey Battle L5192 HA-P seen here abandon presumed at Auberive.
Another view of L5235 HA-W with a lone German sentry.
Fairey Battle P2192 HA-E looking rather worse for wear. Once again this is believed to be Auberive airfield.
Fairey Battle HA-K, the serial of this aircraft is unknown. The surrounding area does not appear to the Auberive. This could be one of the squadron Battles lost on operations in May.
The customary posed photograph by German troops. This is believed to be Fairey Battle K9273 HA-R which was abandoned during the withdrawal in May 1940
Three survivors from the horror of May 1940. Left Ted Forrester, Wop/Ag. Harry Jones Wop/Ag to P/O Bazalgette and Peter Stubbs observer aboard P/O Murray’s Battle. Photo taken at a squadron reunion