By Roy Conyers Nesbit
Roy Nesbit's hugely illustrated heritage of Coastal Command's 217 Squadron - the squadron during which he served - provides a first-hand perception into the damaging low-level missions the squadron flew opposed to enemy delivery and ports in the course of the moment global conflict. He chronicles the squadron's operations from the outbreak of struggle while it patrolled in Avro Ansons over the Western techniques to the English Channel. Then got here the main extreme interval of its wartime occupation while, 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, during which many plane have been misplaced and airmen have been killed, makes up the main memorable element of the narrative. yet Roy Nesbit takes the squadron's tale during to the later years of the struggle while, after a quick or even extra risky interval flying from Malta so one can sink enemy transport within the Mediterranean, it was once dependent in Ceylon and used to be re-equipped with Beaufighters for the conflict opposed to the japanese. as well as telling the tale of the squadron and the boys who served in it, the narrative describes the stipulations persevered by way of 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 some distance East. An Expendable Squadron could be soaking up interpreting for somebody who has a distinct curiosity within the historical past of Coastal Command, within the plane 217 Squadron flew, and within the adventure of strive against flying seventy years in the past.
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Additional info for An Expendable Squadron : The Story of 217 Squadron, Coastal Command, 1939-1945
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. Three days later, Wing Commander Guy A. Bolland arrived at RAF St Eval to take over command of 217 Squadron. He was a very capable and popular officer, commissioned in 1931 and with experience of various squadrons at home and abroad. He had also commanded a Coastal Command station. In his own words, he rated the Ansons as ‘quite useless in any wartime role except a limited antisubmarine patrol to protect shipping’.
As with all others in the country, its bell tower was silenced after the outbreak of war – although it was eventually rung with all other church bells in Britain, on Winston Churchill’s orders of 15 November 1942, in celebration of the defeat of the Afrika Korps by the British Eighth South-Western Approaches 25 The crewroom of 217 Squadron at RAF St Eval was situated near the perimeter of the airfield, close to St Eval Church. This was originally Norman, built in the thirteenth century. It fell down in 1700 but was restored by Bristol merchants.
He witnessed with increasing dismay the disintegration of the Allied forces and decided that something must be done to bolster the morale of the French government. 95 Flamingo airliners, converted to VIP transports and with yellow livery, forming part of the RAF’s 24 (Communication) Squadron at Hendon in Middlesex. Escorted by Hurricane fighters, he flew to Paris in one of these on three occasions between 16 and 30 May, meeting the French Premier Paul Reynaud and his military commander Marshal Phillipe Pétain.