Fleet Air Arm


Fleet Air Arm of the RAF

When I first received these photo's I went on a bit of a wild goose chase in respect of my research, but now I am pretty certain I have now solved the mystery.

"The Mystery Bi-planes"

It all started with the identification of the two pictures of the bi-planes, which in turn helped identify a huge proportion of my collection. I first thought that the photo's were all related to WW2 but I now know they are pre WW2. Disappointment?...No, as this has now uncovered some interesting stories. Before I go any further I would like to thank Malcolm Barrass ex Flt Lt RAFVR from the RAF Historical Society who Identified these planes for me, I contacted Malcom through his website at www.rafweb.org. If your researching anything to do with the RAF this site is well worth a look. I hope you find the following of interest.

Fairey IIID's floatplanes

These three planes in the picture are Fairey IIID's floatplanes and were stationed at RAF Kalafrana (Calafrana) Marsaxlokk Bay in Malta, you can cleary see the harbour setting. On the 1st January 1929 481(Coastal Recon)Squadron became 202(Flyingboat)Squadron of which these planes belonged. Kalafrana opened in July 1916 as a Royal Navy Air Service (RNAS) seaplane station. Used between the wars as an RAF base for both shore and ship based seaplanes. It was later used during World War II by the RAF as a flyboat station.

Fairey Flycatchers

These three planes in flight are of Fairey Flycatchers (picture taken by fourth) of the Fleet Air Arm of RAF and were from the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle. They were the standard fleet fighter from 1924 to the early 30's. In May 1924 HMS Eagle disembarked her four Fairey Flycatchers to RAF Hal-Far and they stayed there for the following year. These carrier based aircraft used to practice air gunnery, aerial photography, recon, torpedo trials and other simalar exercises. In the photo's below there are quiet a few aerial photo's from around Malta, which were probably taken by these aircraft

When I first put the following picture on this site I put the description as Royal Engineers but I now think it has something to do with the construction of a hanger at RAF Hal-Far.

HMS Eagle

This is a picture of HMS Eagle in Valletta Grand Harbour Malta of which the Fairey Flycatchers belonged to. She was built by Armstrong Whitworth and laid down on the 20th Feb 1913 she was launched on the 8th June 1918 and commissioned on the 26th Feb 1924, she was sunk on the 11th August 1942 by 4 torpedos from the German U boat U73 while escorting a convoy to Malta in operation "Pedestal". HMS Eagle was based on a Chilean battleship (Dreadnought) She was purchased by the Admiralty from the Chilean Government fro 1,334.358.The pictures below are of the British Mediterranean in and around Malta.

Important delivery

This must have been a very important delivery looking at all the people standing at the quay and the majority are officers. This also is of Malta and I am guessing it was also to do with the construction or supply of materials for the RAF bases on the Island.

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