This Battle was manufactured in 1940 as a pilot trainer in Stockport, England but was immediately transferred to the RCAF serving with No. 31 Service Flying School at Kingston, Ontario. In December 1942 it was converted to a turret-gunnery trainer at St. Jean, Quebec by installing a Bristol turret used on the Canadian-made Bolingbroke. It served briefly at No. 3 Bombing and Gunnery School in Macdonald, Manitoba before storage and is now part of the Reserve Collection at the Canada Aviation Museum.
This Battle is in reality ex-R3950 of the RAF and ex-1899 of the RCAF. It is a former member of the Strathallan Collection and has been undergoing resoration at the superb Koninklijk Legermuseum/Belgique Musée Royal de l'Armée et d'Histoire Militaire in Brussels to honour Capt André Glorie who was KIA flying T-70 in 1940.
The Battle has the ignominious accolade of being the least successful of the RAF types in service at the onset of WWII but was, nevertheless, flown with great valour by her crews. This aircraft served with 266 & then 98 Sqns when it crashed whilst on deployment in Iceland.
Battle 1 being prepared for delivery by Fairey employees in late November 1938. First served 63 Squadron at RAF Upwood, then 52 Squadron, crashing at Pewsey (Wilts) on 23 August 1940 whilst with No.12 Operational Training Unit. Ringways 1938-built terminal and hangar is in the background. Obtained from Faireys 60 years ago.
Newly-built Battle I light bomber at Fairey's factory at Manchester Ringway in December 1938 before delivery to No.63 Squadron at RAF Upwood. Later shipped to the Royal Canadian Air Force as No.2063 in August 1941. Obtained from Faireys 60 years ago.
This aircraft was completed at Ringway as a Battle I in November 1938 and served as a light bomber with 226 Squadron. Converted in 1940 to a gunnery trainer with a Blenheim turret and strengthening to the truncated cockpit. Shipped to Canada in late 1941, becoming 2109 with 9 B&GS. Photo obtained from Faireys many years ago.
Early Fairey Battle I light bombers in production at Ringway in the company's 1937-built hangar late that year. The aircraft will be camouflaged before delivery. Photo obtained from Fairey Aviation sixty years ago.
Merlin-engined Battle used by 610 (County of Chester) Squadron as a conversion trainer for the pilots to upgrade from Hawker Hind biplanes to Spitfire Is. Photo obtained from Fairey Aviation 50 years ago.
The sixth production Battle I, built at Stockport, displays to invited guests at the official opening of Fairey Aviation's Ringway facility. Mr C.R. (later Sir Richard) Fairey is extreme right and his Stinson SR-9 is beyond him. An early Hayes-built Swordfish is at left. Photo obtained from Fairey's sixty years ago.
Some of the 1,165 Battle light bombers which were built at Fairey's Stockport factory between June 1937 and November 1940. They were taken in sections to Ringway for final assembly and air testing. From Fairey Aviation 60 years ago.
The Belgian army got 12 Battle light bombers in 1938. On 11 May 1940, six of them were shot down in a single attack against German-held bridges over the Albert Canal. The pilot of T-70, Capt André Glorie, was killed. His aircraft is represented by R3950 which served in the RAF and RCAF. Its restoration is unfortunately incomplete.