Since the end of World War 2 the primary role of the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm has been airborne power projection; the ability rapidly to respond to any trouble spot across the globe and to protect the interests of the United Kingdom and its partner nations. The principal tools in that response were the strike aircraft which took the offensive to the aggressor. Although from 2010 to 2020 fixed-wing carrier aviation was not part of the Fleet Air Arm, with the advent of the navy’s two new aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, that capability has been restored.
This renewed focus has not only seen the return of flying high performance aircraft from a carrier, but also the regeneration of the necessary skills, and courage, needed to cope with the extremes of weather and the nature of air operations in a very high-risk environment. However the lessons of the past have not been forgotten, and so many of those previous experiences are related within these pages – true stories of the last 76 years from aircrew, maintainers, aircraft handlers and many other supporting staff both men and women.
Following on from the success of volume one, this second volume covers every fixed-wing aircraft type flown from carriers in the strike, anti-submarine warfare and the vital airborne early warning roles; from Scimitars to Hunters, Buccaneers to Skyraiders and many more, plus an extensive fleet of land-based aircraft.
As with the first volume, involvement in operations such as Suez, the Beira Patrol, the Falklands, Belize, Bosnia and elsewhere is included. Despite the intensity and all-to-frequent tragedy of operations, the esprit de corps, and the ability to find the necessary release through laughter, shine through. Here are the words of the men and women themselves, profusely illustrated in black and white and colour.
Praise for Fleet Air Arm Boys Volume One:
“Well up to the excellent Grub Street standard, this is a worthy addition to the series.” Flypast, April 2021
“This book is a must buy for anyone with an interest in FAA fighter operations, naval aviation memoirs, and any fans of the Grub Street Boys series.” Aviation News
“sub-titled ‘Volume One’ … which is excellent news as it implies at least a volume 2 to follow! … Another terrific read!” Chris Ottewell, Aeromodeller, April 2021
“A magnificent book covering Air Defence Fighter Aircraft … a meticulously researched tribute to those who filled these roles … the author has compiled a hands-on record of real people doing real jobs, and used their own words to inform the reader … a mammoth cornucopia of stories related by the ‘Boys’ themselves” Pennant, Spring 2021