In Cunnignam's report on the action of calabria/punta stilo http://www.ibiblio.o...zette/38273.pdf on 9/7/1940 he mentions one of HMS Warspite's swordfish floatplanes was damaged by her fire and later thrown overboard. Problem is it's been impossible to find the origin of that plane, in June 1940 Med fleet floatplanes were operated by 700 FAA squadron with:
- 2 Sworfish on HMS Warspite
- 2 Swordfish on HMS Malaya
- One seafox each on board HHS Orion and HMS Neptune, two more, one for each ship were in reserve near Aboukir (those cruisers didn't have hangars).
- One seagull on HMAS Sydney
- Two operational walrus plus a rerserve one on each of HMS Liverpool and HMS Glouchester.
3 of 700 squadron swordfish were phased out long after the battle (22/842, 6/7/43 and 1/11/43) this should be in the swordfish story that I don't have.
One swordfish from HMS Warspite was reported lost near Bardia on 21/6/1940 shot down by CR 32 fighters fro 8 Gruppo and the crew captured, another swordfish from 700 squadron (originally from HMS Malaya but flow off from Warspite is reported lost on 19/7/1940 to AA fire from Tobruk. This makes the 6th lost floatplane Swordfish during the naval battle a mistery as apparently there were only 5 float equipped palnes.
Just to make things more interesting ...
In Desert Prelude, by Gustavson and Long, there is no mention of the earlier loss but it does mention the loss of Seagull MkV A2-21 from HMAS Sydney during the action off Bardia on that day to a mistaken attack by Gladiators !!!. It reports two swordfish losses around 19/7 one from 700 squadron on a recon mission and one in a torpedo attack on Tobruk. The Tobruk attack was from temporarily land based 824 FAA from Eagle not from 700 FAA, Italian reports also mention one swordfish captured in that period so it must be one of these but the 700 Sq plane fell at sea. Desert Prelude reports the names of the crews of one of these planes (Lt. G. R. Browne, Lt. Grieve, K. C. Petty officer Wynn (KIA)) and implies that plane was part of the attack (so 824 FAA). In a Storia Militare article I found the crew of the 700 FAA plane as pilot L.M. Brown (escaped) while the observer Lt. Nedd was captured, while the lost 824 crew was pilot Lt. G.R. Brown (not Browne) and one crewmewmber dead in the crash (which matches the death of petty officer Wynn) so there is lots of details on those losses but no two sources agree 100%.
Looks like the most likely is the reported Bardia loss was a seagull (though a Mk V is really a Walrus).
Edited by TiredOldSoldier, 06 February 2012 - 04:40 PM.