No. 162 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

No. 162 Squadron (RAF) during the Second World War

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No.162 Squadron went through two incarnations during the Second World War, first as a radar calibration squadron in the Middle East and second as a Mosquito squadron in the Light Night Striking Force.

The squadron was reformed at Kabrit on 4 January 1942 around a detachment of Wellingtons from No.109 Squadron. For the first few weeks of its existence the squadron was referred to as the Signals Squadron until its number was officially allocated.

The squadron had a mix of roles. A flight of Blenheims was provided for radar calibration, while the Wellingtons were used to locate enemy radar stations and to jam enemy tank radios. These duties meant that the squadron had to operate in small detachments from a large number of airfields.

The squadron had a short period on bombing operations, starting on 24 May 1942 during Rommel's last advance, up to the Egyptian border at El Alamein. During the second battle of El Alamein the squadron was used over the battlefield to jam enemy tank radios.

After El Alamein the squadron returned to its calibration duties. The Blenheims were replaced with Baltimores from September 1943, and in March 1944 the squadron was given the Wellington D.W.I Minesweepers of No.1 GRU. The squadron was disbanded on 24 September 1944 and its duties were taken over by No.26 AACU.

The squadron reformed on 18 December 1944 at Bourn as a Mosquito squadron in the Light Night Striking Force and spent the rest of the war carrying out night raids over Germany.

In July 1945 the squadron transferred to Transport Command and operated a mail service to bases in Europe, before being disbanded on 14 July 1946.

January 1942-March 1944: Vickers Wellington IC
March-July 1942: Bristol Blenheim IV
July 1942-March 1944: Bristol Blenheim V
September 1943-May 1944: Vickers Wellington III
September 1943-September 1944: Martin Baltimore III
October 1943-January 1944: One de Havilland Mosquito VI
May-September 1944: Vickers Wellington X
December 1944-July 1946: de Havilland Mosquito XX and 25

January 1942: Kabrit
January-April 1942: Shallufa
April 1942-April 1943: Bilbeis
April-August 1943: LG.91
August 1943-April 1944: LG.91
April-September 1945: Idku

December 1944-July 1945: Bourn
July 1945-July 1946: Blackbushe

Squadron Codes: Z, B, L, Z, CR

1942-1944: Calibration Squadron
1944-1945: Mosquito squadron, Light Night Striking Force

Part of:
27 October 1942: HQ R.A.F. Middle East
10 July 1943: HQ R.A.F. Middle East; Mediterranean Air Command
From July 1945: Transport Command


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Formation and World War I

No. 162 Squadron Royal Flying Corps was formed on 1 June 1918 but it was not equipped with any aircraft and was disbanded on 4 July 1918 without becoming operational.

Reformation in World War II

The squadron reformed on 1 January 1942 at RAF Kabrit, Egypt and was equipped with Wellingtons and Blenheim aircraft on radio jamming operations against the Afrika Korps. It was disbanded on 25 September 1944 and reformed at RAF Bourn on 18 December 1944 as a Mosquito squadron on operations over Germany as part of the Light Night Striking Force. It was finally disbanded on 14 July 1946, having transferred to RAF Transport Command operating a mail service.

The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (162) Flight Lieutenant John Napier Bell, No. 10 Squadron RAAF, Second World War

The Last Post Ceremony is presented in the Commemorative area of the Australian War Memorial each day. The ceremony commemorates more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in war and other operations and whose names are recorded on the Roll of Honour. At each ceremony the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour is told. Hosted by Troy Clayton, the story for this day was on (162) Flight Lieutenant John Napier Bell, No. 10 Squadron RAAF, Second World War.

162 Flight Lieutenant John Napier Bell, No. 10 Squadron RAAF
KIA 18 June 1940
Photograph: 044446

Story delivered 18 June 2015

Today we pay tribute to Flight Lieutenant John Napier Bell, who was killed on active service with the Royal Australian Air Force in 1940.

Johnny Bell was born in Adelaide on 25 April 1916, the first anniversary of the Anzac landing. He was the first of three sons of John Henry and Eva Annie Bell, store-keepers in the remote South Australia town of Farina.

Bell attended school in Adelaide, where he served with the St Peter’s College Cadet Corps. After leaving school, John Bell returned to the far north of the state, where he drove the mail van delivering goods and mail to outback stations. On 15 July 1935, aged 19, he enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force as an air cadet. He was a quiet and self-conscious student, but succeeded in graduating from Point Cook Flying School.

Commissioned as a Pilot Officer in 1936, he served with No. 5 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, at Richmond, west of Sydney, for over two years – before being transferred to No. 9 Squadron, also at Richmond. He was serving with this squadron when the Second World War broke out in 1939, by which time he had gained extensive experience with
amphibious aircraft. In January 1940 he departed Australia for England and was transferred to No. 10 Squadron in April 1940.

In June 1940 Bell volunteered for a secret mission to take an amphibious aircraft, a Supermarine Walrus, to the north coast of France to collect some passengers and return with them to England. On board were another Australian, Sergeant Charles William Harris a member of the British RAF, Corporal Bernard Nowell and a British Intelligence officer, Captain Norman Hope. Their mission, kept secret until the 1970s, was to rescue the family of General Charles De Gaulle, who had arrived in London the previous day, and who would lead the Free French forces in England throughout the war.

The party hoped to find Madame de Gaulle and her children at Carantec, a village on the French north coast, where they were believed to be staying with an aunt. The family had actually made their way to Brest, 50 kilometres away, and managed to catch the last ferry to England. Unaware of this, the crew on board Supermarine Walrus L2312 took off from RAF Mount Batten in Devon around 3 am on 18 June 1940. Nothing more was heard of the aircraft.

On 19 June a boat was sent from England to try to find the missing aircraft. They found the village occupied by Germans. It was not until 16 months later that information was received that the aircraft had crashed in the fog at Ploudaniel, about 18 miles from Brest. All four members of the crew had been killed and were buried nearby at the Ploudaniel Cemetery.

Johnny Bell was 24 years old. His family would suffer further loss when his brother Alfred Napier Bell was killed while serving with the 2nd/10th Battalion in New Guinea on 20 January 1944.

The names of John Napier Bell and Charles Harris are listed on the Roll of Honour to my left, along with around 40,000 others from the Second World War. Bell’s photograph is displayed today beside the Pool of Reflection.

This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Flight Lieutenant John Napier Bell, Sergeant Charles William Harris, their British crewmates and all of those Australians who have given their lives in the service of our nation.

Di Rutherford, Curator, National Collection
Dr Meleah Hampton, Historian, Military History Section

Naval/Maritime History 18th of June - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

The Saint Philippe was a 74-gun ship of the line of the French Royal Navy. She was built at Brest Dockyard, designed and constructed by Laurent Hubac. She was nominally a three-decker, but in practice the upper deck was divided into armed sections aft and forward of the unarmed waist, making the upper deck equivalent to a quarterdeck and forecastle.

She took part in the Battle of Cherchell on 24 August 1665 (as flagship of François de Bourbon-Vendôme, Duc de Beaufort) and in the Battle of Solebay on 7 June 1672 (as flagship of Jean d'Estrées). After a rebuilding at Toulon between March 1689 and May 1690. she took part in the Battle of Beachy Head on 10 July 1690 (as flagship of Alain Emmanuel de Coëtlogon) and in the Battle of Barfleur on 29 May 1692. Following the latter battle, she was beached at La Hogue where she was attacked and burnt by the English on 2 June 1692

A ship of about 70-guns, mounting on the broadside fifteen guns on the gun deck, fourteen on the upper deck, three on the forecastle and five on the quarterdeck. It is viewed from slightly before the starboard beam, lying at anchor, saluting with small arms. The decks are crowded with people. There is also a boat on a spar deck in the waist, a lion figurehead, and three fleurs-de-lis on a shield amidst arms and trophies over the quarter gallery. The break of the quarterdeck and the upper works are also covered with fleurs-de-lis. This is one of a group of French ships drawn in the summer of 1673 when van de Velde visited the fleet while it was refitting after the first battle of Schooneveld. Robinson lists possibilities but suggests (based on the early watermark) that it maybe the ‘Saint Philippe’, 78-guns, which fought at Solebay (1672) but did not take part in the battles of 1673. This offset is one of a similar group of four, PAH9359, PAH3897, and PAH1825. It is not rubbed on the back and is inscribed in a later hand ‘Vandervelde’.

Vaisseaux de Premier Rang Ordinaire

While the smaller First Rank ships also had three full-length gun decks, the uppermost of these before 1690 generally carried carriage guns only on the forward section and on the after section of that deck, with a section between them in the waist of the ship where no guns were mounted (and no gunports fitted). These ships had no forecastle or poop, so that the two sections of the upper gun deck served the function of forecastle and quarterdeck, while the nominal quarterdeck was short and served in effect the function of a poop.

French ship Saint-Philippe, of 78 guns, at the Battle of Solebay - The painting is by Jan Karel Donatus Van Beeck, was painted in 1672,

  • Vendôme 72, later 66 guns (designed and built by Laurent Hubac, launched Spring 1651 at Brest) – classed as First Rank in 1669 renamed Victorieux in June 1671 but hulked in the following month and taken to pieces in 1679. In 1660 the 72-gun Vendôme was the sole ship which met the criteria of carrying more than 70 guns, and she retained this First Rank status in spite of being later reduced to fewer than 70 guns.
  • Saint Philippe 78, later 84 guns (designed and built by Rodolphe Gédéon, launched 3 February 1663 at Toulon) – classed as 1st Rank in 1669 burnt by the English in the Battle of La Hogue in June 1692
  • Monarque 84 guns (designed and built by Laurent Coulomb, launched 28 April 1668 at Toulon) – broken up 1700
  • Île de France 74/80 guns (designed and built by Louis Audibert, launched 16 February 1669 at Toulon) – renamed Lys in June 1671 and broken up 1691
  • Couronne 80/82 guns (designed and built by Laurent Hubac, launched 18 February 1669 at Brest) – broken up in 1712
  • Paris 72/80 guns (designed and built by Jean Serrin, launched 13 March 1669 at Toulon) – renamed Royale Thérèse in June 1671 and broken up in 1692
  • Henri 80 guns (designed and built by Jean-Pierre Brun, launched April 1669 at Tonnay-Charente) – renamed Souverain in June 1671, then renamed Admirable in June 1678
  • Sceptre 80, later 84 guns (designed and built by Laurent Coulomb, launched 11 February 1670 at Toulon) – broken up 1692
  • Magnanime 70, later 76/80 guns (designed by Rodolphe Gédéon and built by Charles Audibert, launched 30 August 1673 at Marseille) – driven ashore and burnt in the Battle of Marbella in March 1705
  • Admirable 80/84 guns (designed and built by Laurent Hubac, launched 1678 at Brest) – renamed Souverain in June 1678 and broken up 1706
  • Grand 84/88 guns (designed and built by Honoré Malet, launched October 1680 at Rochefort) – broken up 1716 or 1717. This vessel was originally classed as a Second Rank ship of 80 guns, but was raised to the First Rank in 1690.
  • Magnifique 84 guns (designed and built by François Chapelle, launched 12 April 1685 at Toulon) – burnt by the English in the Battle of La Hogue in June 1692. This vessel was originally classed as a Second Rank ship of 72 guns, but was raised to the First Rank in 1690.
  • Conquérant 84 guns (designed and built by Blaise Pangalo, launched 10 August 1688 at Toulon) – rebuilt 1707. This vessel was originally classed as a Second Rank ship of 74 guns, but was raised to the First Rank in 1687.
  • Intrépide 84 guns (designed and built by Honoré Malet, launched March 1690 at Rochefort) – broken up 1724.
  • Saint Esprit 90 guns (designed and built by Blaise Pangalo, launched 24 May 1690 at Brest) – renamed Monarque in June 1690, and broken up 1717
  • Victorieux 94, later 88 guns (designed and built by Honoré Malet, launched January 1691 at Rochefort) – broken up 1719
  • Foudroyant Class, designed and built by Blaise Pangalo.
    • Foudroyant 84/90 (launched 5 March 1691 at Brest) – burnt by the English in the Battle of la Hogue in June 1692
    • Merveilleux 80/90 (launched 19 November 1691 at Brest) – burnt by the English in the Battle of La Hogue in June 1692
    • Sceptre 84/88 guns (launched 10 November 1691 at Toulon) – broken up 1718 84/88 guns (launched 17 December 1691 at Toulon) – driven ashore and burnt in the Battle of Marbella in March 1705
    • Tonnant 90 guns (launched September 1693 at Toulon) – sold to be broken up 1710
    • Saint Philippe 90/92 guns (launched October 1693 at Toulon) – broken up 1714

    Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
    3 February 1762 - HMS Raisonable (64) lost of Martinique.

    Raisonnable was a 64-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, launched in 1755 at Rochefort.

    On 29 May 1758, she was captured in the Bay of Biscay by HMS Dorsetshire and HMS Achilles at the Action of 29 April 1758, and commissioned in the Royal Navy as the third rate HMS Raisonnable. She was lost off Martinique on 3 February 1762.

    Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan with stern board decoration and name, sheer lines with inboard detail and figurehad, and longitudinal half-breadth for 'Raisonnable' (1758), a captured French Third Rate, prior to being fitted as a 64-gun Third Rate, two-decker.


    Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
    3 February 1781 - St. Eustatia taken by Admiral Sir George Brydges Rodney.
    American Revolutionary War: British forces seize the Dutch-owned Caribbean island Sint Eustatius.

    The Capture of Sint Eustatius took place in February 1781 during the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War when British army and naval forces under General John Vaughan and Admiral George Rodney seized the Dutch-owned Caribbean island of Sint Eustatius. The capture was controversial in Britain, as it was alleged that Vaughan and Rodney had used the opportunity to enrich themselves and had neglected more important military duties. The island was subsequently taken by Dutch-allied French forces in late 1781, ending the British occupation.

    The island of St. Eustatius taken by the English fleet in February 1781. The island was pillaged by the troops of George Rodney.

    St. Eustatius, a Dutch-controlled island in the West Indies, was an entrepot that operated as a major trading centre despite its relatively small size. During the American War of Independence it assumed increased importance, because a British blockade made it difficult to transport supplies directly across the Atlantic Ocean to US ports. St. Eustatius became a crucial source of supplies, and its harbour was filled with American trading ships. Its importance increased further following France's entry into the war in 1778 as it was used to help supply the French West Indian islands. It is estimated[by whom?] that one half of all the American Revolutionary military supplies were trans-shipped through St. Eustatius. Its merchant networks - Dutch, but also Jewish, many of whom were St. Eustatius residents - were key to the military supplies and goods being shipped to the revolutionary forces. US-European communications were directed through St. Eustatius. In 1776, St. Eustatius, hence the Dutch, were the first to recognize the American Revolutionary government when the US brig, Andrew Doria, fired thirteen guns announcing their arrival. The Andrew Doria was saluted with an eleven gun response from Fort Orange. The Andrew Doria arrived to purchase military supplies on St. Eustatius and to present to the Dutch governor a copy of the US Declaration of Independence. An earlier copy of the Declaration had been captured by a British naval ship. The British were confused by the papers wrapped around the declaration, which they thought were a secret cypher. The papers were written in Yiddish for a merchant in Holland.

    St. Eustatius's role in supplying Britain's enemies provoked anger amongst British leaders. Rodney alleged that goods brought out on British convoys had then been sold, through St. Eustatius, to the rebels.[4] It seems to have fuelled a hatred for this island especially with Rodney who vowed to "bring this Nest of Villains to condign Punishment: they deserve scourging and they shall be scourged." He had alreading singled out several individuals on St. Eustatius who were instrumental in aiding the enemy, such as ". Mr Smith in the House of Jones - they cannot be too soon taken care of - they are notorious in the cause of America and France . " Following the outbreak of war between the Dutch Republic and Britain in December 1780, orders were sent from London to seize the island. The British were assisted by the fact that the news of the war's outbreak had not yet reached St. Eustatius.

    The looting of the island causing great excitement. Rodney is called Nero and General Vaughan was compared to Caligula. (Dutch engraving)

    A British expedition of 3,000 troops sailed from Saint Lucia on 30 January 1781. Rodney left behind ships to monitor the French on Martinique. He also sent Samuel Hood ahead to stop any merchant ships escaping from the harbour. The main force arrived off St. Eustatius on 3 February. Rodney's ships took up position to neutralise any shore batteries. Two or three shots were fired from the only Dutch warship on the roadstead, the frigate Mars under Captain Count Van Bijland. Instead of disembarking the troops and launching an immediate assault, Rodney sent a message to Governor Johannes de Graaff suggesting that he surrender to avoid bloodshed. De Graaff agreed to the proposal and surrendered. De Graaff had ten guns in Fort Orange and sixty soldiers. Rodney had over 1,000 guns on his ships. By the following day the nearby islands of Saint Martin and Saba had also surrendered.

    There was a brief exchange of fire when two of the British ships shot at the Mars and Van Bijland answered with his cannons. Rodney reprimanded the captains responsible for this lack of discipline.

    The only battle occurred near Sombrero. Rodney found out that a convoy of thirty richly loaded Dutch merchant ships had just sailed off for the motherland less than two days before his arrival, protected only by a single man-of-war. He sent three warships after them, and they quickly caught up with the convoy. The lone Dutch man-of-war was no match for the three British ships and, after a fierce 30 minute pounding, the mortally wounded commander, Rear-Admiral Willem Krul, while dying, ordered his captain to lower the flag. Eight of the Dutch crew were killed. Krul was taken back to St. Eustatius where he was buried with full honours.

    The crews of all Dutch ships taken at St. Eustatius and also those of Krul's convoy were stripped of all their possessions and taken to St. Kitts, where they were imprisoned- "with hardly anything more than the most necessary clothes."

    The wealth Rodney and Vaughan discovered on St. Eustatius exceeded their expectations. There were 130 merchantmen in the bay as well as the Dutch frigate and five smaller American warships. In total the value of goods seized, including the convoy captured off Sombrero, was estimated to be around £3 million. On 5 February 1781, Rodney and Vaughan signed an agreement stating that all goods taken belonged to the Crown. Rodney and Vaughan, by British custom, expected to personally receive a significant share of the captured wealth from the king once it reached England. Instead of delegating the task of sorting through and estimating the value of the confiscated property, Rodney and Vaughan oversaw this themselves. The time spent doing this led to allegations that they had neglected their military duties. In particular, Samuel Hood suggested that Rodney should have sailed to intercept a French fleet under Admiral de Grasse, traveling to Martinique. The French fleet instead turned north and headed for the Chesapeake Bay of Virginia and Maryland. Rodney had further weakened his fleet by sending a strong defending force to Britain to accompany his treasure ships. After months on St. Eustatius, capturing additional merchants and treasure, Rodney was imposed upon to send part of his fleet under Hood north to aid General Cornwallis and British armed forces fighting the Americans, while he took the rest of the fleet back to Britain for some overdue refitting.[citation needed]

    Hood arrived at Chesapeake Bay and, finding no French fleet, continued to New York to join forces under Admiral Graves. The French forces under Admiral de Grasse (along with another French squadron from Rhode Island) arrived at the Chesapeake soon after Hood had left. Graves and Hood had been outmaneuvered and, although the resulting Battle of the Chesapeake was a tactical draw, it was a strategic defeat for the British. Cornwallis could not be supplied and was forced to surrender a few weeks later. The Americans had won the war, partially because of Rodney's anti-Semitism and avaricious delays.

    After returning home, both officers defended themselves in the House of Commons. As Rodney was a supporter of the government led by Lord North, it approved of his conduct, and he returned to the West Indies for the 1782 campaigning season. When the North government fell and was replaced in 1782, the new government sent orders recalling Rodney. However, before they arrived, he led his fleet to victory at the Battle of the Saintes – ending a Franco-Spanish plan to invade Jamaica – and returned home to be rewarded with a peerage.[citation needed] Rodney survived censure in parliament by a vote strictly along party lines.

    At the time, St. Eustatius was home to a significant Jewish community, mainly merchants and a few plantation owners with strong connections to Holland. Ten days after the island surrendered to the British, part of the Jewish community, together with Governor de Graaff, were forcibly deported, being given only 24 hours' notice. Rodney was particularly hard on the Jews. The harshness was reserved for the Jews alone as he did not do the same to French, Dutch, Spanish or American merchants on the island. He even permitted the French to leave with all their possessions. Rodney was concerned that his unprecedented behavior would be repeated upon British islands by French forces when events were different. Rodney imprisoned all the adult Jewish males (101) in the West India Company's weighing house on the Bay. Those who were not immediately shipped to St. Kitts (31 heads of Jewish families) were held there for three days. He looted Jewish personal possessions, even cutting open the lining of their clothing to find money hidden there. When Rodney realized that the Jews might be hiding additional treasure, he dug up fresh graves at the Jewish cemetery. Later, Edmund Burke, upon learning of Rodney's actions, rose to condemn Rodney's anti-Semitic, avaricious vindictiveness in parliament.

    British control of St. Eustatius only lasted ten months, and Rodney's work to manage the prizes was in vain. Many of the goods he seized were captured on their way to Britain by a French squadron under Toussaint-Guillaume Picquet de la Motte. The island was captured by French forces in November 1781, who returned it to the Dutch in 1784. The Jews and other expelled merchants returned, commerce and trade resumed and the island's population reached its all-time high in 1790.

    Recapture of Sint Eustatius, 1781

    On the evening of 26 November 1781, 1500 French troops from Fort Royal, led by Marquis de Bouillé, landed covertly at St. Eustatius to take the island. Opposing them were the battalion companies of the 13th and 15th Regiments of Foot, which numbered 756 men. Unaware that the French were on the island, the British commandant, Lieutenant Colonel James Cockburn, was taking a morning ride when he was captured by troops of the Irish brigade in French service. The Irish and French troops subsequently surprised the British at drill outside the fort and those on guard. The French ran into the fort behind the British and forced the garrison to surrender. Cockburn was afterwards tried by a general court martial and cashiered (forced to retire). There were no significant casualties on either side. Four million livres were taken—170,000 belonging to Admiral Rodney or his troops. These funds were distributed to the French troops and Dutch colonists.


    Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
    3 February 1783 – Launch of French Dryade, a 38-gun Hébé-class frigate of the French Navy

    Saint Remi museum of Reims (Marne, France) miltary room, model of the Dryade

    In December 1787, Vénus formed a frigate division under Guy Pierre de Kersaint, along with Méduse, and sailed to Cochinchina to ferry Pigneau de Behaine, Ambassador of France.

    In 1794, Dryade was at Brest under Ensign Meynene. The next year, under Lieutenant Lafargue, she cruised off Bretagne.

    From 1796, she was used as a hulk in Brest harbour, and was eventually scrapped in 1801.

    A model of Dryade is on display at the Abbey of Saint-Remi.

    Proserpine, sister-ship of Dryade

    Hébé class, (36/38-gun design by Jacques-Noël Sané, with 26 x 18-pdr guns initially, although by 1793 carried 28 x 18-pdr guns, plus 10 x 8-pdr guns on the gaillards and 4 obusiers). The name ship of the class. Hébé, was also the basis for the British Leda-class frigates after the ship had been captured.

    Hébé, 38 guns (launched 25 June 1782 at Saint-Malo) – captured by British Navy 4 September 1782.
    Vénus, 38 guns (launched 14 July 1782 at Brest) – wrecked 31 December 1788 in the Indian Ocean.
    Dryade, 40 guns (launched 3 February 1783 at Saint-Malo) – condemned 1801 and BU.
    Proserpine, 40 guns (launched 25 June 1785 at Brest) – captured by British Navy 13 June 1796, becoming HMS Amelia.
    Sibylle, 40 guns (launched 30 August 1791 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy 17 June 1794.
    Carmagnole, 40 guns (launched 22 May 1793 at Brest) – wrecked at Vlissingen 9 November 1800.

    Action between Romney and Sibylle off Miconi, Grecian Archipelago, 17 Jun 1794 (see drawings by Pocock) (PAF5826)

    Capture of La Proserpine - June 13th 1796 (PAD5501)


    Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
    3 February 1794 – Launch of HMS Hornet, a 16-gun ship-rigged sloop of the Cormorant class

    HMS Hornet was a 16-gun ship-rigged sloop of the Cormorant class in the Royal Navy, ordered 18 February 1793, built by Marmaduke Stalkart and launched 3 February 1794 at Rotherhithe.[Note 1] Hornet saw most of her active duty during the French Revolutionary Wars. During the Napoleonic Wars she served for about six years as a hospital ship before being laid up in 1811 and sold in 1817.

    Hornet was commissioned in March 1794 under Commander Christmas Paul. On 26 June 1794 she fired a salute to the King and Queen while they were visiting Portsmouth. Hornet shared with Bellona, America, Severn, and Carysfort in the capture of the Lust en Vlyt on 22 August.

    Hornet was then paid off February 1795 and recommissioned under W. Lakin. In January 1796 Commander Robert Larkan sailed her in Home waters. On 4 February 1796 Hornet was in company with the hired armed cutter Grand Falconer when they recaptured the Portuguese brig Diana. Next, on 17 May, Hornet captured the French transport Emilie. Then in November 1796, Commander John Nash replaced Larkan.

    • American snowRebecca, which had sailed from Charlestown. Her cargo included pitch, tar, dry goods, tobacco, molasses and gunpowder. The British took the naval and gunpowder, which they landed, and then released the vessel.
    • American ship President, carrying a cargo of salt belonging to English merchants. The French had taken the ship off the Islands de Loss and the British had recaptured her off the mouth of the River Gambia. The British returned the vessel and her cargo to the owner after receiving salvage money.
    • Ship Quaker, late of Liverpool, which the British recaptured. She was of 260 tons, 10 guns and a crew of 36. She was trading on the coast and had a cargo of merchandise and 337 slaves.
    • Sloop Ocean, which the British recaptured and which had belonged to the Sierra Leone Company. She was carrying cloth, iron, beads and ten slaves.
    • French schooner Prosperité, carrying Guinea Corn. She was disposed of at Gorée.
    • The British destroyed the armed ship Bell, of 20 guns.

    Hornet was refitted for £3,554 at Portsmouth in June and July 1799. In August Hornet was part of the British fleet that captured the Dutch fleet in the Vlieter Incident.

    Nash then sailed Hornet to the West Indies. In 1800 she accompanied a convoy to the West Indies.

    While at Guadeloupe in October, a boat from Hornet attempted to press some men off the New Ceres, whose crew resisted, killing Hornet's second lieutenant, and wounding another crewman. The next day Hornet tried again, this time in force, but all the crew except the chief mate and steward had disappeared. Captain Nash turned the two men over to the civil authorities.

    On 27 November 1800, Hornet captured the French privateer Femme Divorcee. On 16 October Hornet captured the French privateer Mahomet.

    On 15 January 1801, the 20-gun Daphne, Captain Richard Matson, 18-gun ship-sloops Cyane and Hornet, captains Henry Matson and John Nash, and the Garland (a schooner serving as a tender), were at an anchor in the harbour of the Îles des Saintes. The British observed a convoy of French coasters, with an armed schooner as escort, sailing towards Vieux-Fort, Guadeloupe. At midnight Garland, together with two boats from each of the other three vessels, attempted to cut out the convoy. However, all of the convoy, but one, were able to shelter under the guns of Basse-Terre. The British were able to take the one French vessel that had anchored near Vieux-Fort.

    On 17 January, boats from Hornet, together with boats from Daphne, set out to cut out a ship moored under the protection of shore batteries at Trois-Rivières, Guadeloupe. This was Eclair, a schooner that had recently sailed from Rochefort. Eclair was of 145 tons, had a crew of 45 men, and was armed with four 4-pounder guns and twenty 1½-pounder brass swivel guns, though she was pierced for 12 guns. A party from Garland succeeded in taking Eclair the next day. Fire from the schooner killed two men and wounded another. The French lost one seaman killed, two drowned, and her captain, first and second lieutenants, and six men wounded. The British took her into service as the 10-gun HMS Eclair.

    In March, Hornet participated in Rear Admiral Duckworth's successful attack on the islands of St. Bartholomew and St. Martin. On 23 March, Hornet and the 16-gun hired armed brig Fanny, later joined by 14-gun Drake, attempted to capture two privateers, a brig and a schooner, but were unsuccessful though they chased the privateers for some 24 hours. The 32-gun frigate Proselyte, Hornet, and Drake stayed at St. Martin to secure the island and to embark the garrison on 26 March, while the rest of Duckworth's force went on to St Thomas. The proceeds of the property seized at St. Bartholomew, St. Martin, St. Thomas, and St. Croix between 15 March and 17 April was paid out in January 1804.

    At some point thereafter, Hornet was in company with Apollo when they captured the Spanish vessel Aguilla.

    In August 1802 Hornet came under the command of Lieutenant Robert Tucker. Next month Commander Peter Hunt replaced Tucker.

    In June 1803, Hornet was in Commodore Samuel Hood's squadron at the capture of St. Lucia. The squadron, including Hornet, went on to capture Tobago on 25 June. On 3 September Hornet captured a Dutch ship, whose name was not recorded, that was carrying 410 slaves.

    Then in September Hood went on to take the colonies of Demerara and Essequibo from the Batavian Republic. On 20 September Hornet, the schooner Netley, and 200 troops entered the Demerara River and took possession of Fort William Frederick. At the capitulation, the British took over the Batavian Republic's sole warship there, Hippomenes. In 1804 Commander John Lawrence took command of Hornet.

    Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the quarterdeck and forecastle, inboard profile, and upper deck for Hornet (1794), Cormorant (1794), Favourite (1794), Lynx (1794), Hazard (1794), Lark (1794), and Stork (1796), all 16-gun Ship Sloops. The plan was later altered in 1805 and used to build Hyacinth (1806), Herald (1806), Sabrina (1806), Cherub (1806), Minstrel (1807), Blossom (1806), Favourite (1806), Sapphire (1806), Wanderer (1806), Partridge (1809), Tweed (1807), Egeria (1807), Ranger (1807), Anacreon (1813), and Acorn (1807), Rosamond (1807), Fawn (1807), Myrtle (1807), Racoon (1808), and North Star (1810) all modified Cormorant class 16-gun Ship Sloops. The plan was altered again in 1808 while building Hesper (1809). The design for this class is 'similar to the French Ship Amazon' - the French Amazon (captured 1745).

    Paid off in 1804 from active service, Hornet was fitted at Plymouth between September 1804 and July 1805 for the Medical Military Staff, and was commissioned in June 1805 under Lieutenant Charles Williams as a hospital ship in the Isles of Scilly. Charles's brother, Henry Williams, fell overboard in 1810 and was drowned. He was buried in the Tresco Abbey Gardens.

    Hornet was paid off from her service as a hospital ship and was laid up at Plymouth Dockyard in May 1811. The "Principal Officers and Commissioners of His Majesty's Navy" first offered the "Hornet sloop, of 429 tons", lying at Plymouth, for sale on 30 January 1817.

    Hornet finally sold on 30 October 1817 to a Mr Bailey for £920 (equivalent to £66,170 in 2018).

    Notable personnel
    From November 1795 to September 1797, Richard Spencer, a future hero of the Napoleonic Wars and Australian pioneer, served as a midshipman on Hornet.

    Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the starboard profile for Cormorant (1794), Favourite (1794) and Hornet (1794), 16-gun Ship Sloop (with quarterdeck and forecastle), illustrating the external planking layout.


    Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
    3 February 1805 - HMS Arrow (28), Richard Budd Vincent, and HMS Acheron bomb (8), Cdr. Arthur Farquhar, escorting a convoy of 32 ships taken by French frigates Hortense (40) and Incorruptible (38) off Cape Caxine on the Algerian coast.
    Arrow sank and Acheron was burnt as a result of their damage but only 3 of the convoy were taken.

    Remark: Arrow was an experimental vessel with very special design!

    The French frigates Hortense and Incorruptible were cruising off the coast of Algeria when on 1 February, they engaged a convoy, destroying seven ships. Two days later, they encountered another convoy.

    Oil painting by Francis Sartorius, entitled 'Action of HMS ''Arrow'' and ''Acheron'' against the French frigates ''Hortense'' and ''Incorruptible'': beginning of the action, 4 February 1805'. The painting has been signed by the artist and dated, 1805.

    This second convoy was the convoy that HMS Arrowand HMS Acheronwere escorting. Early on the morning of 3 February the British were off Cap Caxine when they sighted the two French vessels, which the British initially thought might be members of the convoy rejoining. When it became clear that the strange vessels were French frigates, Arrow threw off the tow to the brig Adventure, which had been leaking and which the British destroyed to prevent her falling into enemy hands). Arrow and Acheron then placed themselves between the convoy and the pursuing French. Vincent signaled the vessels of the convoy to make for a pre-designated rendezvous point. The French frigates did not catch up to the Royal Navy vessels until the morning of 4 February. Initially, Hortense engaged Acheron, and Arrow fired a broadside into Hortense as well. About two hours later, Incorruptible joined the action. Vincent signaled to Duchess of Rutland, the most capable, though minimally so, of the merchant vessels, to join the action, a signal Duchess of Rutland ignored. Throughout the action the Royal Navy vessels were at a disadvantage. Not only did the French frigates have more cannons and men, but the French cannons were guns, whereas the British cannons were almost all carronades. The French could therefore stand off and fire their guns while out of the effective range of the carronades. Also, the French were carrying a large number of troops who harassed the British with small arms fire whenever the vessels closed.

    After about an hour Vincent had to strike. Arrow's hold was filling with water and four of her cannons were dismounted. She also had heavy casualties. All of Arrow's boats had been destroyed, but boats from Incorruptible took off the survivors, and rescue those men from Arrow that jumped into the water as Arrow turned on her beam ends and sank.

    In the battle Arrow lost 13 men killed and 27 wounded, at least two of whom died later, of the 132 men on board. The number included passengers, some 17 of whom were being invalided home. A lady, her infant, and her ladies' maid were also taking passage on board.

    Acheron fought on for another quarter of an hour before she too struck. She had lost three or four men killed and eight wounded. She had complement of 67 men, and at least two passengers, a lieutenant of marines and his servant, both of whom were killed. She was so damaged that the French burnt her.[26] Hortense had 10 men killed out of her crew of 300 men and the 350 artillerymen she was carrying.

    The French frigates also captured three ships of the convoy the rest of the convoy escaped. One of the vessels the French captured was Dutchess of Rutland, whose master failed to destroy her convoy signals and instructions fortunately the French had to return to port to effect repairs and did not take advantage of the opportunity this represented. The French scuttled the three merchant vessels they captured.

    After the loss of their escorts, some of the surviving vessels of the convoy fell prey to privateers. Fuerte, of Cadiz, captured Alert, Langley, master, Castle, Anderson, master, a ship, and a brig, and sent them into Malaga. Reportedly, Fuerte had captured a fifth vessel that she sent into Algeciras.

    It later turned out that British frigate Fisgard and the sloop Wasp had been at Cape Pallas (37°35′N 0°43′W), a few leagues from the action. However, they were unaware of it and so did not come to the convoy's assistance.

    End of the action between HMS Arrow and Acheron and the French frigates Hortense and Incorruptible, Francis Sartorious, Jr., National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

    Hortense took Farquhar and his men into Malaga, from where they were exchanged relatively quickly. The court martial of Farquhar, his officers, and men, for the loss of their vessel took place on Royal Sovereign in Palma Bay, Sardinia. Farquhar, his officers, and men, were honourably acquitted. Farquahar then received a promotion to post captain for his bravery.

    The French held Vincent and his crew as prisoners in Cartagena, Spain, for almost three months from 8 February until early May. Vincent had managed to keep his Turkish sabre when he left Arrow, but a French officer confiscated it and the French refused to return it. Eventually, Admiral Lord Nelson was able to arrange a cartel brig to return the British prisoners to Gibraltar. From there they left for England on 28 May on the storeship Camel, arriving at Saint Helen's on 4 June.

    The court martial of Vincent and his crew for the loss of Arrow convened on 17 June aboard Gladiator at Portsmouth. The court martial honourably acquitted all Vincent received promotion to post captain immediately thereafter.

    Lloyd's Patriotic Fund awarded both Vincent and Farquahar honour swords, each worth ₤100. In addition, the Fund awarded Vincent a piece of plate of the same value. Furthermore, the Fund paid out £545 to the wounded and the families of those who had died. At the request of Lloyd's, the Chairman of the association of Merchants Trading to South of Europe provided Vincent with the sum of £477 10s, and a proportionate amount to Farquhar, for them to procure clothing and necessities for their officers and crew, who had lost everything when they were captured and their vessels were destroyed. Vincent received £50, and each seaman received £2 10s.

    On 19 September 1808, the merchants of Malta awarded Farquhar with a piece of plate and a complementary letter. The merchants also presented Vincent with a piece of plate.

    In 1847 the Admiralty awarded the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "Arrow 3 Feby. 1805" to the eight surviving claimants from Arrow, and the clasp "Acheron 3 Feby. 1805" to the one surviving claimant from Acheron.

    HMS Arrowwas a sloop in the Royal Navy that the Admiralty purchased in 1796. during the French Revolutionary Wars she participated in many actions, including one that resulted in her crew qualifying for the Naval General Service Medal. On 3 February 1805 she and Acheron were escorting a convoy from Malta to England when they encountered two French frigates. Arrow and Acheron were able to save the majority of the vessels of the convoy by their resistance before they were compelled to strike. Arrow sank almost immediately after surrendering, and Acheronwas so badly damaged that the French burnt her.

    Arrow and her sister ship Dart were "Two experimental vessels designed by Samuel Bentham, Esq., at that time inspector-general of his majesty's naval works. They were in shape much sharper than vessels of war in general, and projected or raked forward, at each end like a wherry. Their breadth increased from the water-line upwards whereby it was considered that they would be stiffer, and less liable to overset than ordinary vessels. The decks were straight fore and aft, and the frames or ribs of less curvature than usual. They were constructed to carry twenty-four 32-pounder carronades upon the main deck, and were afterwards fitted to receive two more carronades of the same nature on each of their two short decks, which we may call the quarterdeck and forecastle. All these carronades were fitted upon the non-recoil principle. It is believed that both the Arrow and Dart subsequently took on board, for their quarterdecks, two additional 32s. They proved to be stiff vessels and swift sailers, but it was found necessary to add some dead wood to their bottoms, in order to make them stay better. Not knowing exactly what characteristic designation to give the Arrow and Dart, we have merely named them: they must be considered, especially when their force is compared with that of the two or three classes next above them, as extraordinary vessels for sloops of war, but as such only they ranked."

    Inboard profile plan NMM, Progress Book, volume 5, folio 656, states that 'Arrow' arrived at Portsmouth Dockyard on 28 September 1796 and was docked on 4 October. She sailed having been fitted on 25 February 1797. She was further refitted between January and April 1798. NMM, Progress Book, volume 5, folio 656, states that 'Dart arrived at Portsmouth Dockyard on 18 October 1796 and was docked on 20 November. She sailed having been fitted on 27 February 1797. She was further refitted at Portsmouth between June and December 1797.

    bulkhead NMM, Progress Book, volume 5, folio 656, states that 'Arrow' arrived at Portsmouth Dockyard on 28 September 1796 and was docked on 4 October. She sailed having been fitted on 25 February 1797. She was further refitted between January and April 1798. NMM, Progress Book, volume 5, folio 656, states that 'Dart arrived at Portsmouth Dockyard on 18 October 1796 and was docked on 20 November. She sailed having been fitted on 27 February 1797. She was further refitted at Portsmouth between June and December 1797.

    Profile (ZAZ5650) of HMS Acheron


    Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
    3 February 1810 - HMS Valiant (74), Cptn. John Bligh, captured Confiance (14) off Belleisle.

    • Minerve, 1794–1795
    • HMS Minerve, 1795–1803
    • Canonnière, 1803–1810
    • HMS Confiance, 1810–1814

    French service as Minerve
    Her keel was laid in January 1792, and she was launched in 1794.

    On 14 December, off the island of Ivica, she captured the collier Hannibal, which was sailing from Liverpool to Naples. However, eleven days later, HMS Tartar recaptured Hannibal off Toulon and sent her into Corsica.

    A painting of an action in 1795, during the French Revolutionary Wars. Almost simultaneously the opposing French and British admirals in the Mediterranean, sent two frigates each to reconnoitre each other’s fleets. Early on the morning of 24 June they sighted each other off Minorca. The British ships were the ‘Dido’ and ‘Lowestoft’ and the French were the ‘Minerve’ and ‘Artemise’. Several hours later the ‘Minerve’ came into close action and attempted to board the ‘Dido’, and each were damaged. The ‘Lowestoft’ then took up the fight and within an hour all the ‘Minerve’s’ topmast went over the side. The ‘Lowestoft’ then engaged the second French frigate, leaving the two damaged ships to make repairs. After a time it became clear that the second French frigate, which had taken flight, had the edge on the ‘Lowestoft’ which was therefore recalled. On her return she placed herself across the stern of the French frigate and raked her, with the result that she struck some time later. She was the ‘Minerve’ a more powerful ship than either of the British frigates. The French ship which escaped was another powerful frigate, the ‘Artemise’. In the left foreground is the ‘Dido’ in action to starboard with the ‘Minerve’ whose bow shows starboard broadside view. The ‘Dido’s’ mizzen mast is shot away and the wreck of it is towing astern of her. She has a red ensign at the main. The ‘Minerve’s’ fore topgallant mast is shot through and hanging and her main mast is in the act of falling. In the right background is the ‘Lowestoft’ port quarter view in action to starboard with the ‘Artemis’, also port quarter view.

    Minerve took part in combat off Noli. At the action of 24 June 1795, she and the 36-gun Artémise engaged the frigates HMS Dido and Lowestoffe. Minerve surrendered to the British, Artémise having fled, and was commissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Minerve.

    Capture of Minerve off Toulon - Depicts a confrontation between two British and two French naval ships. Cannon smoke hangs between the vessels. The French La Minerve, in the centre foreground, in port broadside view, has lost the top section of her mainmast and her entire foremast. Her bow is badly damaged with the bowsprit and figurehead gone. Figures can be seen crowding the deck. Behind La Minerve, passing on the opposite tack, the starboard stern quarter of a British naval vessel can be seen through the smoke. This vessel has lost her mizzen mast overboard, but is still carrying three courses of sails on her remaining masts and flying the Red Ensign on her main mast. On the right of the picture, further away, two vessels, one French, one British, both on the same tack, are seen in port stern quarter view exchanging cannon fire. Their sails are intact, but holed otherwise, both vessels appear to be in better condition than those in the foreground. The scene depicts the capture of La Minerve by the British Dido and Lowestoffe off Toulon on 24th June 1795. The French L'Artemise was also involved in the action.

    British service as HMS Minerve
    French Revolutionary Wars

    On 19 December 1796, Minerve, under the command of Captain George Cockburn, was involved in an action with HMS Blanche against the Spanish frigates Santa Sabina and Ceres. Minerve captured the Santa Sabina, which lost 164 men killed and wounded. Minerve herself lost eight killed, 38 wounded and four missing. Minerve also suffered extensive damage to her masts and rigging. Blanche went off in pursuit of Ceres. Early the next morning a Spanish frigate approached Minerve, which made ready to engage. However, two Spanish ships of the line and two more frigates approached. Skillful sailing enabled Cockburn to escape with Minerve but the Spaniards recaptured Santa Sabina and her prize crew.

    On the evening of 1 August 1799, at 9 P.M., Minerve's boats came alongside Peterel. Captain Francis Austen of Peterel sent these boats and his own to cut out some vessels from the Bay of Diano, near Genoa. Firing was heard at around midnight and by morning the boats returned, bringing with them a large settee carrying wine, and the Virginie, a French warship. Virginie was a Turkish-built half-galley that the French had captured at Malta the year before. She had provision for 26 oars and carried six guns. She was under the command of a lieutenant de vaisseau and had a crew of 36 men, 20 of whom had jumped overboard when the British approached, and 16 of whom the British captured. She had brought General Joubert from Toulon and was going on the next day to Genoa where Joubert was to replace General Moreau in command of the French army in Italy. Minerve and Peterel shared the proceeds of the capture of Virginie with Santa Teresa and Vincejo.

    Then on 8 November, Minerve and the hired armed brig Louisa captured Mouche.

    On 15 May 1800, Minerve and the schooner Netley captured the French privateer cutter Vengeance. Vengeance was armed with 15 guns and had a crew of 132 men.

    In September 1801 Minerve was in the Mediterranean protecting Elba. Early on 2 September Minerve alerted Phoenix, which was anchored off Piombino, to the presence of two French frigates nearby. Phoenixand Minerve set out in pursuit and Pomone soon came up and joined them. Pomone re-captured Success, a former British 32-gun fifth-rate frigate now under the command of Monsieur Britel. (The French had captured Success in February, off Toulon.) Minerve also ran onshore the 46-gun French frigate Bravoure, which had a crew of 283 men under the command of Monsieur Dordelin. Bravoure lost her masts and was totally wrecked she struck without a shot being fired. Minerve took off a number of prisoners, including Dordelin and his officers, in her boats. With enemy fire from the shore and with night coming on, Captain Cockburn of Minerve decided to halt the evacuation of prisoners he therefore was unwilling to set Bravoure on fire because some of her crew remained on board.

    Napoleonic Wars
    Shortly after war with France had resumed Minerve was in the Channel and under the command of Captain Jahleel Brenton. On 26 May 1803 she arrested the French exploration ship Naturaliste and brought her into Portsmouth, even though Naturaliste was flying a cartel flag and had passports attesting to her non-combatant character. The British released her and she arrived at Le Havre on 6 June 1803.

    Capture of Minerve by Chiffonne and Terrible.

    In the evening of 2 July, during a fog, Minerve ran aground near Cherbourg. She had been pursuing some merchant vessels when she hit. The guns of Île Pelée and the gunboats Chiffonne (Captain Lécolier) and Terrible (Captain Petrel) immediately engaged her. Minerve's crew attempted to refloat her, but the fire forced Brenton to surrender at 5:30 in the morning, after she had lost 12 men killed and about 15 men wounded.

    Brenton attributed his defeat to fire from Fort Liberté at Île Pelée, although the artillery of the fort comprised only three pieces (its other guns had been moved to the fort on the Îles Saint-Marcouf), fired at extreme range, and had ceased fire during the night on the other hand, the gunboats fired continuously at half-range.

    The French took Minerve back into their service under the name Canonnière.

    French service as Canonnière

    The Action of 21 April 1806 as depicted by Pierre-Julien Gilbert. In the foreground, HMS Tremendous aborts her attempt at raking Canonnière under the threat of being outmaneuvered and raked herself by her more agile opponent. In the background, the Indiaman Charlton fires her parting broadside at Canonnière. In fact, several hours separated the two events.

    In 1806, under Captain César-Joseph Bourayne, she sailed to Isle de France (now Mauritius) to reinforce the frigate squadron under admiral Linois. Failing to find Linois at Isle de France, Canonnière patrolled the Indian Ocean in the hope of making her junction. She fought an inconclusive action on 21 April against the 74-gun HMS Tremendous and the 50-gun HMS Hindostan.

    In late 1806, Canonnière was in Manilla, where Bourayne agreed to sail to Acapulco to claim funds on behalf of the Spanish colonies. She arrived at Acapulco in April 1807 and escorted Spanish merchantmen to Luzon. She then returned to Acapulco on 20 July to load three million piastres, ferried them to Manilla, and was back in Isle de France in July 1808.

    At that time, the French division of Isle de France, comprising the frigates Manche and Caroline as well as the corvette Iéna, was at sea to conduct commerce raiding. The island was blockaded by the 30-gun HMS Laurel, under Captain John Woolcombe. On 11 September, Canonnière set sail to meet Laurel and force her to retreat or fight. After a day of searching, Canonnière found Laurel and the frigates began exchanging fire around 17:00. Laurel sustained heavy damage to her rigging, hindering her ability to manoeuvers and at 19:00, a gust of wind gave advantage to Canonnière. Laurel struck her colours shortly before 20:00, and Canonnière took her prize in tow back to Port Louis. Her capture strengthened the situation of the island, as Laurel was freshly arrived, provisioned for a five-month cruise, and carried various supplies for the British squadron.

    Canonnière returned to Mauritius in late March 1809. As she required repairs beyond those possible in Mauritius, the French sold her in June and she eventually sent off for France en flûte under the name Confiance.

    Capture and British service as HMS Confiance
    It was during this transit that HMS Valiant, under Captain John Bligh, recaptured her on 3 February 1810 near Belle Île after a six-hour chase. She was armed with only 14 guns and had a crew of 135 men, under the command of Captain Jacques François Perroud. She had been 93 days in transit when she was captured, having eluded British vessels 14 times. She was carrying goods worth £150,000, General Decaen having made her available to the merchants of Île de France to carry home their merchandise. Amongst her passengers was César-Joseph Bourayne.

    Confiance then briefly re-entered the Royal Navy as HMS Confiance. She never returned to active service however, and was deleted from navy lists in 1814.

    Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan with sternboard outline and some decoration detail, sheer lines with inboard detail and figurehead, and longitudinal half-breadth for Imperieuse (captured 1793), a captured French 40-gun Frigate, as taken off at Chatham Dockyard prior to being fitted as a 38-gun Fifth Rate Frigate. Signed by Thomas Pollard [Master Shipwright, Chatham Dockyard, 1793-1795]

    The Minerve class was a type of 40-gun frigate of the French Navy, carrying 18-pounder long guns as their main armament. Six ships of this type were built at Toulon Dockyard, and launched between 1782 and 1794. The frigates served the French Navy briefly during the French Revolutionary Wars. The Royal Navy captured all six between 1793 and 1799 and took them into service, with all but one serving in the Napoleonic Wars, and some thereafter.

    • Minerve class, (36/38-gun design by Joseph-Marie-Blaise Coulomb, the first two with 26 x 18-pdr guns, although by 1793, Impérieuse had two extra gunports cut in the bows and then carried 28 x 18-pdr guns, plus 10 x 8-pdr guns on the gaillards and 4 obusiers).
      • Minerve, 36 guns (launched 31 July 1782 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy February 1794, becoming HMS San Fiorenzo.
      • Junon, 38 guns (launched 14 August 1782 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy June 1799, becoming HMS Princess Charlotte.
      • Impérieuse, 40 guns (launched 11 July 1787 at Toulon – Captured by Britain 1793, becoming HMS Imperieuse, renamed HMS Unité in September 1803.
      • Melpomène, 40 guns (launched 6 August 1789 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy February 1794, becoming HMS Melpomene.
      • Perle, 40 guns (launched 27 August 1790 at Toulon) – captured by British Navy in December 1793, becoming HMS Amethyst.
      • Minerve, 40 (launched 4 September 1794 at Toulon) – Captured by Britain 1795, becoming HMS Minerve, recaptured by France in 1803 and renamed Canonnière, sold for commerce at the Île de France in June 1809, again captured by Britain in February 1810, but not re-enlisted.

      Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
      3 February 1812 - The Action of 3 February 1812 was an unusual minor naval engagement off the western coast of Haiti
      HMS Southampton (32), Sir James Yeo, captured Haitian Fifth Rate frigate 'Heureuse Réunion' (1811 - 34)

      The Action of 3 February 1812 was an unusual minor naval engagement off the western coast of Haiti between a British frigate and a frigate manned by a loose coalition of Haitian rebels. The battle was fought against the background of the Napoleonic Wars and the collapse of government in Haiti in the aftermath of the Haitian Revolution eight years earlier. After the French had been expelled from Haiti in 1804, the newly independent nation was first ruled by Jean-Jacques Dessalines, who was murdered in 1806 and replaced by two of his advisors, Henri Christophe and Alexandre Pétion. These rulers divided the country between them and in the confused political situation that followed a number of minor fiefdoms appeared, including one led by Jérôme Maximilien Borgella in the south-west of the island called Sud. The small Haitian Navy defected to Borgella, who crewed the vessels with a collection of sailors from various countries, led by a notorious privateer named Gaspard.

      Stationed off Haiti was the British frigate HMS Southampton under Captain Sir James Lucas Yeo, tasked with observing the political situation but with orders not to interfere in the intermittent conflict between Christophe and Pétion. Yeo's orders did not include Borgella's ships and Yeo reasoned that the Haitian flagship, the large frigate Heureuse Réunion(recently renamed from Améthyste and often reported under its former name), presented a serious threat to international trade in the region.

      Sailing to intercept the Haitian ship, Yeo discovered her in the Gulf of Léogane and ordered Gaspard to surrender. The Haitian refused, and the frigates exchanged shots at 06:30. The superior seamanship and discipline on Southampton prevented Gaspard from boarding the British ship with his greater numbers and within half an hour Heureuse Réunion was dismasted and battered. At 07:45 the Haitian ship surrendered, Yeo depositing the crew ashore and bringing Heureuse Réunion to Port Royal, Jamaica. At Jamaica, his actions were approved by his superiors and Heureuse Réunion, renamed Améthyste, was returned to Henri Christophe.

      During the Napoleonic Wars, the Caribbean Sea was initially an important theatre of naval conflict, as ships operating from the various French, British, Spanish and Dutch colonies preyed on enemy trade. During 1809 and 1810 however, the Royal Navy launched a series of co-ordinated amphibious operations that eliminated the French and Dutch colonies and brought the conflict in the Caribbean to an end. With the threat of attacks on British trade in the region significantly reduced, the Royal Navy correspondingly reduced their presence in the Caribbean and the remaining British ships were distributed to observe trouble spots in the region, which in 1812 included the independent nation of Haiti.

      Haiti had won its independence from France in 1804, the first Caribbean nation to do so. The Haitians had fought a lengthy and bloody war against the French known as the Haitian Revolution, in which armies of former slaves led by Toussaint Louverture and then Jean-Jacques Dessalines succeeded in driving the French into their fortified ports and then systematically eliminating their enclaves. With the start of the Napoleonic Wars in 1803, French reinforcements for the garrison on Haiti were delayed and intercepted by the British Royal Navy, who blockaded the island and took the surrenders of the last garrisons in 1804, removing them and their dependents to prevent a massacre. Dessalines rapidly established himself as monarch of Haiti, but his reign was cut short in 1806 when his closest advisors, Henri Christopheand Alexandre Pétion organised his assassination. Assuming control of Haiti, Christophe laid claim to the northern part of the country and Pétion the south, the two sides waging a constant low-level civil war during the next decade. Many minor rulers sprang up during this period, especially in the south, where Pétion gave parcels of land for his followers to establish their own private fiefdoms. One such warlord was Jérôme Maximilien Borgella, who took over command of a small state in the region of Léogane following the death of its ruler, André Rigaud.

      In early 1809, the French sent a number of reinforcement convoys to their blockaded colonies in the hope of strengthening the garrisons before the British invasions began. Many ships, including four frigates, were lost in these missions and few reached their destinations successfully. Among these failed attempts was Troude's expedition to the Caribbean, which arrived in April 1809 at the Îles des Saintes. Finding that Guadeloupe was the only surviving colony, Amable Troude intended to anchor at Basse-Terre and unload his supplies, but was blockaded in the Îles des Saintes by a British squadron under Vice-Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane. Attempting to break out on 14 April, Troude led his main squadron northwest towards Puerto Rico while two en flûte frigates slipped out northeast to Basse-Terre, arriving safely. Troude's squadron was defeated on 17 April, but the frigates Félicité and Furieuse remained at Basse-Terre until 14 June, when they attempted to break out and return to France, laden with trade goods. The British blockade squadron were soon in pursuit and on 18 June the frigate HMS Latona captured Félicité without a fight. Furieuse was captured a month later in the North Atlantic. Félicité was 24 years old and was therefore considered too antiquated for commissioning in the Royal Navy instead she was sold to Henri Christophe to form the nucleus of the new Haitian Navy under the name Améthyste.

      Lines & Profile (ZAZ3069) of HMS Southhampton

      At some point in January 1812 the Haitian Navy defected, for reasons unknown, from Christophe to Borgella. Borgella placed a noted French privateer named Gaspard in command of the squadron, which included the frigate Améthyste (renamed Heureuse Réunion), a corvette and a brig. Gaspard then armed Heureuse Réunion with 44 cannon, took on board a motley crew of over 600 men, a mixture of Haitian, French, American and other nationalities, and began cruising in the Gulf of Gonâve. The British observer off Haiti at this time was Captain Sir James Lucas Yeo in the frigate HMS Southampton, under strict orders to respect the flags of Christophe and Pétion, but not those of the minor warlords that had emerged along the coast. On 2 January word reached him at Port au Prince of Gaspard's movements and he immediately sailed to intercept him, concerned that if Gaspard was allowed to take his powerful squadron out of Haitian waters he might begin attacks on merchant ships regardless of nationality.

      At 06:00 on 3 February, Yeo discovered Gaspard's ships at anchor to the south of the island of Guanaboa and demanded that Gaspard come aboard Southampton with his commissioning papers, to establish under whose authority Gaspard commanded the warship. The Haitian captain refused, but sent aboard his first lieutenant with a note purported to be from Borgella, signed "Borgellat, general in chief of the south of Hayti". As Borgella had no authority to commission warships, Yeo ordered the lieutenant to tell Gaspard that his ships must submit to Southampton and be taken to Port Royal, Jamaica, where their ownership could be established by the naval authorities. He would have five minutes to consider the proposal. A British officer accompanied the Haitian lieutenant back to Heureuse Réunion for Gaspard's answer, and was informed within three minutes that Gaspard had no intention of submitting to the British ship. He was also told that should Yeo be intent on fighting the Haitian ship then he should indicate it with a bow gun fired ahead of Heureuse Réunion. Returning to Southampton at 06:30, the lieutenant relayed the message and the bow gun was fired, followed a few seconds later by a full broadside from Southampton.

      Heureuse Réunion responded to the cannonade in kind. During the engagement, Gaspard repeatedly attempted to board Southampton, where his vastly superior numbers could overwhelm the British crew. Yeo was aware of his enemy's intentions, and repeatedly manoeuvered out of the way, his more disciplined and agile vessel easily able to remain out of contact with the overloaded Haitian ship. Within half an hour the highly efficient gunners on Southampton had knocked down the main and mizen masts on Heureuse Réunion, leaving her unable to manoeuvre and vulnerable to repeated pounding at close range. Despite the severe damage the Haitian ship suffered, her crew continued to fire cannon at irregular intervals for 45 minutes, each shot prompting a broadside from the British ship. The two smaller Haitian vessels did not support the frigate, fleeing towards Maraguana near Petit Goâve to shelter under the batteries there. By 07:45, after over an hour of heavy fire, Yeo hailed Heureuse Réunion to discover whether or not she had surrendered. Somebody aboard replied that they had, although Gaspard had been seriously wounded and was no longer in command, so the identity of the person who gave the surrender is not known.

      As Southampton stopped firing, the remaining masts of the Haitian ship fell overboard. Casualties on Heureuse Réunion were immense: of the 600–700 crew, 105 were dead and 120 wounded, the latter including Gaspard, who subsequently died of his injuries. Yeo's loss was one man killed and ten wounded, from a crew of 212. Seeking to rid himself of so many prisoners, Yeo landed most of them at Maraguana before sailing to Port au Prince, where the rest were landed and temporary jury masts were fitted to Heureuse Réunion for the journey to Jamaica. The British retained 20 prisoners for trial at Port Royal. Heureuse Réunion was repaired at Jamaica and subsequently restored to Christophe under the name Améthyste, returning to Haitian service. Yeo's action in attacking the Haitian ship, although not officially sanctioned by his commanding officer beforehand, was commended.

      The Caribbean rose in importance again later in 1812, with the outbreak of the War of 1812 between Britain and the United States. American privateers threatened British trade routes and Royal Navy ships were sent out to defeat them, including Southampton, which was wrecked in the Bahamas during an anti-privateer patrol in November 1812. There were no further significant actions in the region during the Napoleonic Wars, the presence of Royal Navy patrols deterred any large scale French or American operations in the Caribbean.

      HMS Southampton was the name ship of the 32-gun Southampton-class fifth-rate frigates of the Royal Navy. She was launched in 1757 and served for more than half a century until wrecked in 1812.

      Félicité was a 32-gun frigate of the French Navy, lead ship of her class. Captured by the British Royal Navy and sold to the State of Haiti, she entered Haitian service as Améthyste .

      Josef Frantisek – Top-scoring Battle of Britain Pilot

      Peter Sharpe and Chris John examine the brief but fiery career of the top-scoring Battle of Britain pilot.

      AMONG HIS CZECH countrymen, known for their sober and mannerly temperament, Josef František was the exception who proved the rule. He should perhaps have been a Hussar in Napoleonic times, or a swordsman duellist a century earlier, or even a Knight at the time of the Crusades. Josef František was a massively courageous man, a man with the will to fight and fight no matter what the odds stacked against him.

      Born at Otaslavice in Czechoslovakia on October 7, 1913, to a close and respectable family, young Josef wanted to fly from as soon as he could read. Tales of the air aces of the Great War captivated his young mind – soaring over the mud and death of trench warfare. He joined the Czechoslovak Air Force on October 1, 1933, and was posted to 2 Squadron as a Private (pilot under training). Recognised as a gifted flyer, he qualified two years later as a fighter pilot, achieving his boyhood ambition.

      Flying ancient-looking bi-plane fighters reminiscent of those flown by the air aces he had idolised as a young man, he was soon to be promoted to the rank of Corporal Pilot in 1937. Promoted to Sergeant Pilot in the following year, he joined 1 Squadron at Prague before Hitler made his September 12, 1938, speech to the Sudeten Germans which was to cause massive civil unrest. Czech forces mobilised on September 23, 1938 a week before the Munich Agreement. The Germans made their move in the following month and annexed the part of Czechoslovakia, known as the Sudetenland – the remainder was split into three republics called Bohemia-Moravia, Ruthenia and Slovakia – while Poland was able to snatch and briefly hold the long-disputed Teschen area. In November 1938 Hungary took over Ruthenia, and in March 1939 Germany swallowed up all of what remained.

      As the German Wehrmacht moved into Czechoslovakia, František was one of many Czech servicemen unwilling to accept the fate of their own country. He disregarded his orders and flew off towards Poland, flat out at tree-top level, and machine gunning columns of German troops marching towards Prague as he went. Not unexpectedly, the Polish Air Force was delighted to accept Polish-speaking František as a Sergeant First Class with over 340 flying hours in his logbook.

      Again a fighter pilot, Josef František was soon to master the Polish PZL fighter, and on September 1, 1939, when the Germans invaded he was soon into action. The odds were massive, immense fleets of technically superior aircraft filled the skies. The tiny Polish Air Force did its country justice and more, fighting with tremendous courage – one of its fighter pilots accounting for four of the faster and more heavily armed Messerschmitt Bf 109s that man was, of course, František.

      After the retreat to Zaleszczyki, Josef František and his fellow airmen began to plan for their continued fight, and flew across the Romanian border on September 22, 1939. They flew from Krenimonce to Jassy and on to Bucharest where their aircraft were confiscated and they were interned by the pro-German regime.

      It is not known how František managed to obtain a new Czech passport, nor how he managed to escape from internment, suffice it to say that he did, and determined to fight he boarded the SS Gdansk on October 2, 1939, bound for France via the Balkans and Syria. The young Czech pilot disembarked at Marseilles in France on October 21, 1939, and immediately travelled by train to Paris where he enlisted alongside the Poles as aircrew in the French Armee de l’Air four days later. He was soon familiar with French fighters and was ready when the inevitable Blitzkrieg began again.

      On May 10, 1940, the Germans invaded France and the Low Countries in devastating fashion, and as massive Panzer columns thrust forwards, the skies grew dark with Goering’s fleets of bombers. Within a short time, Josef František was again in action. Day after day he flew beside the Poles and French fighter pilots combating the hordes of Ju 87 Stukas and heavy bombers with their escorts of Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Bf 110 fighters. A Polish account of his activities during this frantic time credits the “superb pilot and magnificent destroyer of Germans” with ten or 11 aerial victories during the three weeks he was flying. (It is now believed that these victories should, in fact, be credited to František Perina, a Czech pilot who flew with GCI/5, claiming a number of German aircraft whilst flying a Curtiss H75A.)

      With the Battle for France over, and the Battle of Britain about to begin Josef František and the Polish fighter pilots journeyed the hazardous route to Bordeaux and gained passage on a freighter bound for Britain, from where they would continue to fight the Germans. In June 1940 he volunteered for the Royal Air Force, which having suffered the loss of a great many pilots, was finding it impossible to make up the numbers by training from scratch. The RAF recruiters were pleased to accept any pilots, and especially experienced fighter pilots – and so young František became 793451 Sergeant Pilot Josef František, RAFVR. The number of Polish volunteers keen to get back into the fight enabled the RAF to form 303 Squadron on August 2, 1940, at RAF Northolt, it was here that Josef František rejoined them after a familiarisation period with the Hurricane fighter.

      The Polish Squadron was non-operational at the time, the RAF would not accept their Allies as operational until they could speak enough English and fly in formation to RAF standards. Frustration was massive, fighter pilots were needed badly and yet they couldn’t take part in the fighting. After a chance encounter with the Luftwaffe whilst on a training mission, the Operational Classification was at last granted. Josef František and the Poles declared ‘Open Season’ on the Luftwaffe and began their very personal war from another land against those who had stolen their own.

      František flew in his squadron’s first combat at full strength on Monday September 2, 1940. At 1750 hours at 19,000ft (5,790m) over Dover, he shot a Bf 109 off the tail of Flying Officer Henneberg, firing repeatedly into it until it crashed. On the second patrol the next day he broke formation and just below the clouds found a solitary Bf 109 which he raked with devastating bursts of .303 machine gun fire, causing it to dive into the sea. On Thursday, flying as Blue 2, Josef František shot down a � that he believed was about to machine gun an RAF pilot in his parachute, and then claimed a Ju 88 bomber before his Hurricane was riddled by machine gun fire.

      The very next morning, again airborne from Northolt, he was in combat with the biggest formation encountered to date and claimed another � before being shot up by the German’s wingman – he returned to base, his aircraft full of bullet holes. On his safe landing the squadron commander made a recommendation that he be awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal, the wing commander noting his “great gallantry in attacking vastly superior numbers of enemy aircraft’.

      Most of his victories were achieved in Hurricanes P3975/U and R1475/R. The eight machine guns were used to deadly effect as František went in close to ensure his victim’s demise.

      On Monday, September 9, information as Green 2 František was again in battle with a massive Luftwaffe formation near Beachy Head. During a dogfight, he fired a long burst into the cockpit of a 109 killing the pilot. Immediately in front of him he saw Flight Sergeant Wunsche DFM bale out of his shot up Hurricane, and leaving his Polish friend protected by a Spitfire, František caught a Heinkel He 111 bomber which he raked with his eight.303s. The bomber crashed in flames. Directly afterwards, he was ‘jumped’ from above by a Staffel of �s and four big holes were punched in his Hurricane by cannon shells – stopped only by his armoured seat. Spitfires saved him and the Czech made a crash landing in a field of cabbages at Falmer near Brighton. He walked to the station and caught the express to London carrying his parachute.

      Josef František’s most successful day in combat was September 11, 1940, in the Horsham area when he shot down a He 111 bomber and two �s. Scrambled at 1530 hours, the squadron was attacked by German fighters before they could reach the bombers. František, flying as Blue 2, turned sharply on the tail of a � and opened fire – it burst into flames. Diving out of the clouds, he then found a straggling He 111 bomber which he shot down. Turning for home, dangerously low on fuel and almost out of ammunition, František met another � which he riddled with gunfire and was forced to leave smoking as he reckoned that he must have been flying ‘on fumes’. He was sure the German was bound to crash at sea.

      Reprimands for his ‘flying fury’ left the Czech unmoved – he could not be persuaded to hold formation, one sight of the enemy and he would break and engage. He often sustained combat damage dogfighting as he had in France and would only turn for base when his ammunition was exhausted, normally with a ‘kill’ under his belt. František flew with passion and a real determination to destroy as many Germans as he was able.

      On Sunday, September 15, 1940, 303 Squadron tangled with a formation of about 80 German aircraft over. South London. Josef František came screaming in to attack two twin-engined Messerschmitt Bf 11 Os and shot chunks off one aircraft, leaving it to go down in flames. Three days later, flying near West Mailing at 17,000ft (5,180m) František saw a single � heading for the South Coast as his fellow pilots attacked a Dornier 215 on a photo-recce sortie. He closed in on the battle-damaged fighter and slammed two vicious bursts into the cockpit. The fighter turned over and plunged into the sea.

      The Polish leader, General Sikorski, visited 303 Squadron on September 20,1940, awarding several Polish gallantry medals – Sgt František received the highly-prized Virtuti Militari. His Majesty King George VI inspected the Polish fighter squadron on September 26, 1940, and presented the awards made by the RAF to their Polish airmen, on this occasion Josef František received a well-earned DFM for his bravery.

      The order to scramble interrupted the King’s visit at 1630 hours and the Squadron was airborne from Northolt in minutes. A running battle ensued at 16,000ft (4,880m) over Portsmouth, across the Channel and continued over French soil. František claimed two He 111 bombers. Early next morning he downed another ‘One-Eleven’ and a Bf 110. After his first burst of fire the bomber’s starboard engine caught fire, another burst set the port engine ablaze. Heading for home, the Czech Sergeant found a formation of Bf 110’s and he closed to 100 yards (90m) before opening fire, damaging a � which made as if to surrender. At tree-top height, the German pilot appeared to change his mind and opened his throttles wide in a bid to escape. František hacked the aircraft from the sky with a savage burst – the � hit the ground and exploded in a sheet of flames.

      Back at Northolt the CO, Sqn Ldr Kellett recommended František for a further award, a Bar to his DFM stating “he is the outstanding pilot of the squadron and appears fearless in his task -the destruction of the enemy”. The Air Officer Commanding noted, “even in this squadron of fearless fighters, this sergeant pilot has been outstanding, his quiet cool personality hides a born and ruthless fighter”. Again Air Chief Marshal Dowding gave his strong support, and the award was confirmed.

      Several routine sorties followed, and on return from an early morning patrol on October 8, 1940, a 303 Squadron Hurricane, serial number R4175, crashed suddenly and unexplainedly beside a golf course at Cuddington Way, Ewell, Surrey. Sergeant Josef František was killed instantly in the burning wreck.

      The award of a Bar to the DFM had been confirmed on the previous day. František had received the DFM and Bar from the British, the Croix de Guerre from the French, a Virtuti Militari from the Polish, who also posthumously awarded him the Krzyż Walecznych (KW) and three Bars (on February 1, 1941) and the Válečný kříž 1939 by his own country, posthumously on July 15, 1941. Josef František was buried with full military honours in the Polish Air Force cemetery at Northwood in Middlesex.

      The crash, still unexplained to this day, had succeeded where the might of the Luftwaffe had failed. Bearing in mind that he was attributed with four ‘kills’ during the few days he fought in Poland and 17 ‘kills’ in one month of the Battle of Britain, one can only speculate at how many more he would have claimed had he survived until the end of the war. Seventeen kills made him the unchallenged top-scoring fighter pilot of The Few and his total of 17 aerial victories make František one of the top-scoring aces of the Allied forces during World War Two.

      The claims listed below are only for the period of service with the Royal Air Force, all were achieved whilst flying Hurricanes with 303 Squadron.

      Date Time Hurricane Action
      02/09/40 17:50 RF-U, P3975 1 Bf 109E, 5km East from Dover
      03/09/40 15:40 RF-U, P3975 1 Bf 109E, mid Channel off Dover, mistakenly reported as a HE113
      05/09/40 15:05 RF-R, R4175 1 Ju 88
      05/09/40 15:10 RF-R, R4175 1 Bf 109E
      06/09/40 09:00 RF-R, R4175 1 Bf 109E, nr Sevenoaks 1 Bf 109E (WNr 1138), pilot Oblt Albert Waller of 3./JG52, became POW. Heavy damage to Frantisek’s Hurricane causing him to crash land on a field nr Falmer.
      09/09/40 18:00 RF-U, P3975 1 Bf 109E, nr Horsham
      09/09/40 18:05 RF-U, P3975 1 He 111H-2, Beachy Head. WNr 5548 A1+DS of III/KG53, crashed on French coast
      11/09/40 16:00 RF-S, V7289 2 Bf 109E, Horsham
      11/09/40 16:05 RF-S, V7289 1 He 111, Horsham
      15/09/40 12:00 RF-P, P3089 1 Bf 109, Hastings
      18/09/40 13:15 RF-V, V7465 1 He 111, West Malling
      26/09/40 16:30 RF-R, V4175 1 He 111, Portsmouth
      26/09/40 16:35 RF-R, V4175 1 He 111, S/E Portsmouth
      27/09/40 09:20 RF-R, V4175 1 He 111, Horsham
      27/09/40 09:20 RF-O, L2099 1 Bf 110D, Gatwick, pilot Oblt Ulrich Freiherr von Grafenreuth WNr 3147 L1+BL of 15./LG1
      30/09/40 16:50 RF-R, V4175 1 Bf 109E, Brooklands, pilot Lt Herbert Schmid WNr 3895 of 6./JG27, became POW
      30/09/40 16:55 RF-R, V4175 1 Bf 109E, Brooklands, probable

      In the short space of 30 days, Josef František had claimed 17 enemy aircraft destroyed and one probable. It is interesting. to note that NO damage claims were made.

      Of the Hurricanes he flew whilst achieving this Battle of Britain record…

      Moved to Admiralty control March 1941.

      listed as 601 Squadron and crashed in forced landing at Middle Wallop, June 1, 1940. Repaired and returned to service?

      Hit by a bomb at Northolt October 6 1940.

      Shot down by Bf 109 over Surrey September 27 1940.

      Went on to serve with 229 Sqn, 56 OTU and 55 OTU until struck-off charge May 27 1944.

      Watch the video: RAF squadron moves on short notice 1942 (January 2022).