Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   
Canadian Warplanes 4: Armstrong Whitworth AW.38 Whitley and AW.41 Albemarle

Armstrong Whitworth AW.38 Whitley and 

Armstrong Whitworth AW.41 Albemarle 

Data current to 27 Dec 2020.

 (RAF Photo)

Armstrong Whitworth AW.38 Whitley, flown by RCAF aircrew serving with the RAF, used as a tow-plane for gliders and for dropping paratroops.  The Whitley was in service with the RAF at the outbreak of the Second World War.  It had been developed during the mid-1930s, and formally entered RAF squadron service in 1937.  Following the outbreak of war in Sep 1939, the Whitley participated in the first RAF bombing raid on German territory and remained an integral part of the early British bomber offensive.  By 1943, it was being superseded as a bomber by the larger four-engined heavy bombers such as the Avro Lancaster.  Its front line service included maritime reconnaissance with Coastal Command and second line roles including glider-tug, trainer and transport aircraft.  None have been preserved. 

 (IWM Photo, H22785)

Paratroopers inside the fuselage of a Whitley aircraft at RAF Ringway, in the UK, August 1942.  In 1940, the Whitley had been selected as the standard paratroop transport; in this role, the ventral turret aperture was commonly modified to be used for the egress of paratroopers.  Members of the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion would have been jumping from these aircraft during their training in the UK at RAF Ringway.

 (RAF Photo)

Armstrong Whitworth AW.38 Whitley.

 (RAF Photo)

Armstrong Whitworth AW.41 Albemarle ST Mk. I.

The Armstrong Whitworth AW.41 Albemarle was a British twin-engine transport aircraft that entered service during the Second World War.  It was originally designed as a medium bomber but was used for general and special transport duties, paratroop transport, and glider towing.  Albemarle Squadrons participated in operations over Normandy and the assault on Arnhem during Operation Market Garden.

 (IWM Photo, CH12049)

Armstrong Whitworth AW.41 Albemarle ST Mk. I, RAF (Serial No. P1514), No. 511 Sqn.

 (IWM Photo, CNA3953)

Armstrong Whitworth AW.41 Albemarle ST Mk. I, RAF (Serial No. P1564), No. 511 Sqn.

 (IWM Photo, CH12962)

Armstrong Whitworth AW.41 Albemarleof No. 296 or 297 Squadron RAF, taking off from Brize Norton, Oxfordshire in the UK, towing an Airspeed Horsa Mk. I glider.