Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Canadian Warplanes 4: The Second World War, Fairey Battle

Canadian Warplanes of the Second World War, Fairey Battle

Data current to 29 Nov 2018.

Fairey Battle Mk. I, RCAF.  (RCAF Photo courtesy of the Shearwater Aviation Museum)

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  By the end of 1940 the type had been entirely withdrawn from active combat service, and was relegated to training units overseas, with many serving in Canada .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.

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.

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

Fairey Battle Mk. I, front view.  (RCAF Photo)

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

Fairey Battle, RCAF Air Bomber peering through his bomb sight with the bomb release held in his right hand, 9 Nov 1940.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4327181)

 

Fairey Battle Mk. I, RCAF.  (RCAF Photo courtesy of the Shearwater Aviation Museum)

Fairey Battle Mk. I, RCAF, Lewis gunner, 9 Nov 1940.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4327184)

Fairey Battle Mk. I, RCAF, Lewis Gunner.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4327186)

Fairey Battle Mk. I, RCAF, Browning .303-inch machinegun, rear gunner.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3581787)

Fairey Battle Mk. I, RCAF (Serial No. 15--), Rockcliffe, Ontario.   (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN  No. 3581902)

Fairey Battle Mk. I, RCAF (Serial No. 1315).  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN  No. 358365)

Fairey Battle Mk. I, RCAF (Serial No. 1628), 22 Sep 1941.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN  No. 3581903)

Fairey Battle Mk. I, RCAF (Serial No. 2038), Moncton, Jan 1944.   (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3650789)

Fairey Battle Mk. I, RCAF (Serial No. 1319), 1 Mar 1940.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3581637)

Fairey Battle Mk. I, RCAF (Serial No. 1319), being serviced, 1 Mar 1940.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3581639)

Fairey Battle Mk. I, RCAF (Serial No.

Fairey Battle cockpit, 8 June 1943.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No.  3589767)

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

Fairey Battle Mk. IIT, RCAF (Serial No. R7439), with Cyclone radial engine.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583019)

Fairey Battle Mk. IIT, RCAF (Serial No. R7439), with Cyclone radial engine without gun turret.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583020)

Fairey Battle Mk. IIT, RCAF (Serial No. R7439), with Cyclone radial engine and gun turret.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3586792)

Fairey Battle Mk. IIT, RCAF (Serial No. R7439).  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3586781)

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. 3583077)

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. 358675)

Fairey Battle Mk. I, RCAF (Serial No. 1889), with gun turret, 8 June 1943.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3589768)