The Anniversary of The Channel Dash - 1942 - and the wider RN Fleet Air Arm during the Second World War

Yokel

LE
A previous post included a link to a page about the Seafire, which stated that the Seafire was fitted with HF radio for radio telephony, as well as VHF. I assume that this was for long range and low altitude operations - the VHF radio horizon for a ship is limited. I am assuming that as the war went on, the Swordfish gained a radio telephony capacity, but it still might have used Morse for long range communications via HF.

Just as fighters being controlled by shipborne controllers via radio using radar information is in many ways similar to modern operations, the use of radar equipped Swordfish ahead of a convoy and being cued by ships proving long range detection with HF/DF (High Frequency Direction Finding) is not dissimilar to the ASW operations of today, with frigates providing long range detection and helicopters providing localisation and attack.
 
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Yokel

LE
As you may have guessed, (radio) communications is a particular interest of mine, so this is of interest:

Naval Air Telegraphy At The Start Of WW2

Operating a radio in a naval aircraft at the beginning of the Second World War was no easy matter. Radio Telephony (‘R/T’) was a distant dream for naval aviators in 1939 – there was no ‘Tally Ho, bandits nine o’clock high!” for the Fleet Air Arm. R/T equipment was in short supply, and in any case the contemporary sets were of too limited range to be of any use to naval aviators. Communication from ship or shore to aircraft was a matter of Morse Code, while communication between aircraft was done by Aldis lamp or hand signals.

My guess is that the R/T systems would have been VHF - line of sight. Not such a problem for aircraft at altitide, but for low altitude ones at range from the carrier...
 

Yokel

LE
Here is an old (2005?) BBC documentary from the wartime HMS Ark Royal. Note the participation of veterans, including Swordfish Pilot John Moffat and Fulmar Pilot Val Bailey. They do talk about defending the convoys to Malta and the torpedo attacks against the Bismarck.

 

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