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FLIGHT

WAR

IN

THE

AIR

Outpourings in his proclamation (" I


know war . . . I was wounded twice " )
are merely a n appeal t o t h e senti
mentality of the German people. H e
will doubtless work t h r o u g h
the
General Staff. None the less, we m a y
feel glad t h a t von Brauchitsch will no
longer c o m m a n d the German armies.

The Daylight Raid on Brest


T N the northern area of war, before
-* Christmas the R i A . F . resumed its
activities against t h e warships in Brest;
harbour. F i r s t came a h e a v y night
bombing of t h a t naval base, and on
the following day a t 12.30 p . m . a newassault began in brilliant winter sunlight. This was briefly touched on in
our last issue, b u t further details are
now to h a n d . Stirlings went in first,
t h e n Halifaxes, a n d , finally, Manc h e s t e r . A strong fighter escort flew
overhead and fought fierce battles
with the German fighters.
Other
British fighters covered the withdrawal
of t h e bombers.
Very few of t h e
Messerschmitts were able to a t t a c k our
^bombers, and of those t h a t did four
lid t h e penalty of their temerity.
ke heavy bombers went hi t o t h e attacV in perfect formation, having
decilted t h a t it was best to t a k e their
chancV with the flak while preserving a ouited front against t h e Messerschmitft. I t is believed t h a t b o t h t h e
d r y docfts in which the Gneisenan and
Scharnhqrst
were lying were hit by
h e a v y botnb's. This raid was another
useful blpw in t h e B a t t l e of t h e
Atlantic^
MessAsfchmitt n o s have been in
a c t i o y i n / t h e Malayan t h e a t r e of war.

WINGLESS FLYING : Last week we published a picture of a Beaufighter which


came home minus most of one wing. This week we have a Beaufort which tried
conclusions with the rigging of a vessel off the Dutch coast.
An R . A . F . pilot in a Brewster Buffalo
h a d crossed t h e T h a i border on reconnaissance when he was a t t a c k e d by
four of these German machines which
came at him 14 times. His duty was
to get back with his information,
which m e a n t avoiding a fight if possible. H e found t h a t his Buffalo was
so much more manoeuvrable t h a n the
two-engined German fighters t h a t he
was able t o escape. H e was afterwards
a t t a c k e d b y J a p a n e s e naval aircraft,
b u t t h e v were not fast enough to catch
h i m . T h e n more Me 110s appeared,
b u t the Buffalo got back safely.

Bad weather fcr some days handicapped our air operations in Libya,
a n d also h a m p e r e d a raid on T a r a n t o
harbour. B u t none the less the R . A . F .
and E m p i r e squadrons, assisted b y
some Free F r e n c h bombers, h a v e been
destroying enemy supplies with gusto.
One Blenheim squadron found a t r a i n
near Zura, in Tripolitania, consisting
of engine, t h r e e petrol tankers, and
six coaches. T h e bombers came down
low a n d played havoc with t h a t train.
Petrol lorries have also been shot up
in numbers" b y both fighters and
bombers. The Germans and Italians
have been pushing hard to t h e west,
evidently hoping to get a t least part
of their forces away into Tripolitania,
and h a v e left huge quantities of equip
m e n t behind. Our men have occupied
over a dozen of their airfields, and
have found a t least 70 damaged
German aircraft on t h e m , besides
quite 100 machines abandoned by t h e
Italians. So rapid has been our advance t h a t enemy airmen h a v e not
always known which landing grounds
remained in their h a n d s , a n d on one
occasion t w o Messerschmitts landed on
one which t h e y t h o u g h t was safe, and
were a t once taken prisoner b y a p a r t y
of British sappers.

Naval Night-fighters

BREST RAID : A vertical photograph taken by a raider during a recent attack


on the German ships in Brest harbour. Stirlings, Halifaxes and Manchesters all
took part. Heavy armour-piercing bombs were dropped from sufficient height to
ensure penetration.

TX/TENTION was recently made in


"-*- these columns of the good work
done in Libya by a naval squadron
which fights a t night. I t is pleasing to
learn t h a t its c o m m a n d i n g officer,
L t . Cdr. J . W . S. Corbett, has been
awarded the Distinguished Service
Orderor, to be more accurate, has
been m a d e a Member of t h a t Order.
Malta has n o t infrequently to en
dure d a y raids, when cloudy weather
gives cover t o t h e
approaching
bombers with their fighter escort. I t