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THE FLEET AIR ARM 1909-1945
A Talk by RICHARD SEARLE

 

 

Richard Searle gave the Society a most interesting lecture on what is probably the youngest of the armed services. It was formed in 1909 from a mixture of sailors and soldiers and their earliest aeroplanes were donated by sponsors and looked much like the original Wright Brothers machines.

The pictures and descriptions of the earliest efforts to take off or land on small decks on the top of merchant ships gave one a good idea of the courage of these early pioneers of the Fleet Air Arm.

The part played during the First World War of this fledgling service was fairly small and largely took place over land.

Between the wars progress was slow until the late 30's when the country realised that war was coming.

The realisation that air power was becoming more important spurred the government to produce more aircraft carriers a process that continued throughout the war.
By the end of the war nearly 100 carriers of various sorts, from one aeroplane catapult ships to mammoth aircraft carriers were in service.

The battle of Tarranto was described in some detail as it was probably the most important engagement of the war for the Fleet Air Arm and proved conclusively the value of the Service.

It was a most interesting talk, delivered with a verve that only comes with personal experience.

Shoreham And District
Historical Society
Affiliated to
The Shoreham Society
The Kent History Federation and
The Kent Archaeological Society

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Last Updated

November 17, 2014

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Shoreham And District Historical Society