John D.R. Rawlings - Coastal, Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft
Jane's Publishing Company Ltd. | 1982 | ISBN: 0710601875 | 270 pages | PDF | 90.37MB
Although most of the glamour of military aviation has fallen to the fighters and bombers, in fact these types were comparatively late on the scene when nations first went to war in the air. The original military squadrons were formed for the purpose of reconnaissance – to find out what was happening on the battlefield and beyond, to scour the shipping lanes for enemy vessels and especially underwater predators. This task has never ceased – the Royal Air Force has always provided reconnaissance for the British Army, and the naval reconnaissance units, expanded into Coastal Command with all the romance of the big flying boats, became almost an air force in themselves. As the Second World War progressed other aviation tasks emerged: advances in technology led to the photo-reconnaissance force which eventually could cover all enemy territory.Large numbers of aircraft were also used for various transport operations, in some cases maintaining whole armies by air support when they could not be reached by land or sea. RAF transport aircraft have carried out many special tasks since, from participation in the Berlin Airlift to the swift transport of troops and equipment in other emergencies. Many other fascinating duties were and areperformed by the RAF support squadrons including paratroop dropping, special ops,air-sea rescue and various semi-operational tasks.Covers all these additional duties flown by more than two hundred and twenty RAF squadrons over the years.