Britain at Bay

When Prime Minister Chamberlain’s ultimatum to Germany expired on 3 September 1939, World War II found the home-based Royal Air Force established with a strength of: 55 Bomber Squadrons with Bristol Blenheim IVs Vickers Wellington Is and IAs Armstrong Whitworth Whitley IIIs and IVs Handley Page Hampdens 35 fighter squadrons with   Hawker Hurricanes Supermarine…

Captain Arthur Roy Brown

After helping to kill the Red Baron 100 years ago, a Canadian hero finally gets his due While there’s some debate over who dealt the final blow to the infamous First World War ace, Canadian fighter pilot Arthur Roy Brown is being recognized for his service and legacy. Canada’s most fascinating military relic stands sentinel…

The Boulton Paul Defiant

  The 1930s were an age of aeronautical experimentation. All around the world air forces were trying new and fascinating designs, searching for the perfect combination of deadly force, ease of use, and affordability. During this period the Supermarine Spitfire, Messerschmitt BF-109, and Mitsubishi A6M- Zero were all developed. But at Boulton Paul Aircraft, a…

Group Captain Geoffrey Leonard Cheshire

  Baron Cheshire VC, OM, DSO & Two Bars, DFC ; 7 September 1917 – 31 July 1992, was a highly decorated World War II Royal Air Force pilot and philanthropist. Early Life Leonard Cheshire was the son of Geoffrey Chevalier Cheshire, a barrister, academic and influential writer on English law. He had one brother, Christopher Cheshire, also a wartime pilot. Cheshire was born in Chester, but was…

Operation Chastise

  Operation Chastise was an attack on German dams carried out on 16–17 May 1943 by Royal Air Force No. 617 Squadron, subsequently publicised as the “Dam Busters”, using a purpose-built “bouncing bomb” developed by Barnes Wallis. The Möhne and Edersee Dams were breached, causing catastrophic flooding of the Ruhr valley and of villages in…