Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Canadian Warplanes 4: Fairey Battle

Fairey Battle

Data current to 9 Feb 2021.

 (RCAF Photo courtesy of the Shearwater Aviation Museum)

Fairey Battle Mk. I, RCAF.

The Fairey Battle is a British designed single engine light bomber, used as a trainer in the RCAF.  The Battle was powered by the same high-performance Rolls-Royce Merlin piston engine that powered various contemporary British fighters including the Spitfire.  It was, however significantly heavier, with its three-man crew and bomb load.  Although it was a great improvement over the aircraft that preceded it, the Battle was relatively slow and limited in range.  It was only armed with two .303 in machine guns facing the rear, and was found to be highly vulnerable to enemy fighters and anti-aircraft fire.

The Fairey Battle participated in direct combat missions during early stages of the Second World War and earned the distinction of attaining the first aerial victory of an RAF aircraft in the war.  In May 1940 the Battle suffered heavy losses, frequently in excess of 50 percent of aircraft sortied per mission.  By the end of 1940 the type had been entirely withdrawn from active combat service, and was relegated to training units overseas, with many serving in Canada. 

The RCAF received its first batch of eight Battles in August 1939, at RCAF Station Borden, Ontairo A total of 802 Battles were eventually delivered from England, serving in various roles and configurations, including dual-control trainers, target-tugs, and gunnery trainers for both the Bombing and Gunnery schools of the Commonwealth Air Training Plan.  Canadian use of the Battle declined as more advanced aircraft, such as the Bristol Bolingbroke and the North American Harvard were introduced.  Battles remained in RCAF service until shortly after the end of the war hostilities in 1945.  No. 111 and No. 122 Squadrons of the RCAF flew Battles.

Fairey Battle Mk. I (739), (Serial Nos. 1301-1320, 1601-2140, A86-A88, A99, A104, A125, A133, K7608, K7632, K7647, K9244, K9247, K9323, K9399, K9406, K9417, K9476, L4963, L4973, L4987, L5009, L5036, L5041, L5048, L5063, L5115, L5184, L5196, L5197, L5205, L5261, L5265, L5266, L5270, L5292, L5308, L5315, L5331, L5332, L5335, L5352, L5412, L5413, L5427, L5442, L5447, L5476, L5505, L5510, L5530, L5552, L5553, L5554, L5556, L5560, L5569, L5573, N2167, N2173, N2245, P2252, P2304, P2311, P2358, P6495, P6541, P6562, P6564, P6620, P6670, P6672, P6724, P6730, P6731, P6732, P6734, R3958-R3967, R3969, R3990-R3998, R4000, R4013-R4018, R4037, R4039, R4041-R4043, R4046, R4050-R4053, R7360, R7370, R7373, R7374, R7384, R7403, R7405, R7408, R7412-R7448, R7461-R7471, R7473-R7476, R7479, R7480), Mk. IIT (1), (Serial No. R7439), dual control Battle converted from Mk. I, for a total of 740 aircraft.

 (DND Photo)

Fairey Battle doing an engine run-up at RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario, in front of the Base Parachute Section on 22 Apr 1942.  There are three battery carts in front of the aircraft, including one being pulled by a technician.

 (Toronto Star Photograph Archive)

Fairey Battle and a twin-engine Airspeed Oxford Mk. I (Serial No. 1514), provide the background to an RCAF Wings parade at Camp Borden in 1944. These pilots received their flying training under the Commonwealth Air Training Plan.  They were among 133,554 pilots, observers, bomb aimers, navigators and flight engineers from all parts of the Commonwealth produced by the plan.

 (CFJIC, DND Photo via Don Smith)

Fairey Battle Mk. I, RCAF (Serial No), target tug.

 (RCAF Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Fairey Battles, a Fairchild Canada Bolingbroke, an Avro Anson, a CCF Harvard and a Grumman Goose, RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ontario, 14 Apr 1942.

(RCAF Photo)

Fairey Battle Mk. I, RCAF (Serial No. R7384). 

(RCAF Photo)

Fairey Battle Mk. I, front view. 

 (DND Photo)

Fairey Battle Mk. I, front view.  Canada Air and Space Museum, Ottawa, Ontario.

(RCAF Photo)

Fairey Battle Mk. I, RCAF (Serial No. 1649) with target towing yellow and black stripe markings. 

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4327181)

Fairey Battle, RCAF Air Bomber peering through his bomb sight with the bomb release held in his right hand, 9 Nov 1940.  

  (RCAF Photo courtesy of the Shearwater Aviation Museum)

Fairey Battle Mk. I, RCAF. 

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4327184)

Fairey Battle Mk. I, RCAF, Lewis gunner, 9 Nov 1940. 

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4327186)

Fairey Battle Mk. I, RCAF, Lewis Gunner. 

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3581787)

Fairey Battle Mk. I, RCAF, Browning .303-inch machinegun, rear gunner. 

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN  No. 3581902)

Fairey Battle Mk. I, RCAF (Serial No. 15--), Rockcliffe, Ontario.  

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN  No. 358365)

Fairey Battle Mk. I, RCAF (Serial No. 1315). 

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN  No. 3581903)

Fairey Battle Mk. I, RCAF (Serial No. 1628), 22 Sep 1941. 

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3650789)

Fairey Battle Mk. I, RCAF (Serial No. 2038), No. 7 Bombing and Gunnery School at Paulson, Manitoba, Jan 1944. 

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3581637)

Fairey Battle Mk. I, RCAF (Serial No. 1319), 1 Mar 1940. 

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3581639)

Fairey Battle Mk. I, RCAF (Serial No. 1319), being serviced, 1 Mar 1940. 

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No.  3589767)

Fairey Battle cockpit, 8 June 1943. 

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583021)

Fairey Battle cockpit. 

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583019)

Fairey Battle Mk. IIT, RCAF (Serial No. R7439), with Cyclone radial engine.  

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583020)

Fairey Battle Mk. IIT, RCAF (Serial No. R7439), with Cyclone radial engine without gun turret. 

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3586792)

Fairey Battle Mk. IIT, RCAF (Serial No. R7439), with Cyclone radial engine and gun turret. 

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3586781)

Fairey Battle Mk. IIT, RCAF (Serial No. R7439). 

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583077)

Fairey Battle, RCAF, equipped with a Mk. IV Bristol gun turret and camera gun brackets, 9 Nov 1943. 

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo MIKAN No. 358675)

Fairey Battle Mk. IIT, RCAF (Serial No. R7439), Consolidated PBY Canso, Avro Anson Mk. V, RCAF (Serial No. 11631), 13 June 1943. 

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3589768)

Fairey Battle Mk. I, RCAF (Serial No. 1889), with gun turret, 8 June 1943.