CHANNEL STOP

Outmoded they may have been, but Fairey Albacores of a Royal Canadian Air Force squadron helped secure the English Channel during the months around D-Day

Painted all-black for its night role, this Albacore in dispersal at Manston carries a full load of flares. The ASV MkII radar aerials on the wing struts and fuselage are apparent.
VIA GRAHAM PITCHFORK

D-DAY ALBACORES

Even by the time it entered service with the Fleet Air Arm the Fairey Albacore was something of an anachronism, a monument to conservative thinking when the original specification for a replacement for the Swordfish was written in 1936. The new carrier-borne torpedo bomber first equipped 826 Squadron at RNAS Ford in March 1940 and went into action at the end of May, attacking coastal targets around Zeebrugge. It is somewhat ironic that this area of the Channel coast off Belgium and northern France was to be where it ended its combat career just over four years later, in the process becoming the last biplane to go to war with the Royal Canadian Air Force.

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