The Fatal Torpedo Hit by Wesley Lowe
Page dedicated to the bravery of ES "Splash" Carver, godfather
to Sandra "Bunny" Baker-Falkner
On May 26th 1941, Swordfish from the carrier HMS Ark Royal
torpedo attack that will fatally cripple Germany's most powerful battleship,
allowing the Royal Navy Fleet to catch up to and finally
destroy their greatest surface threat of the Atlantic Campaign.
Wartime colour photograph of the German Battleship Bismarck
Sixty years ago this week the Fleet Air Arm took part in the pursuit and destruction of the German Battleship Bismark in North North Atlantic 23 - 27 May 1941. Battle Honours were awarded to Squadrons: 800, 808, 810, 818, 820, and 825. Honours were also awarded to HM aircraft carrying ships: Ark Royal, Dorsetshire, Edinburgh, Galatea, Hood, Kenya, King George V, Neptune, Norfolk, Prince of Wales, Renown, Repulse, Rodney, Sheffield, Suffolk, and Victorious.
Source: Fleet Air Arm Battle Honours
The Fleet Air Arm was crucial to the pursuit of the Bismarck, by crippling the great ship on 26 May, 1941 which led to her final sinking on 27 May 1941 by the HMS King George V, HMS Rodney and HMS Dorsetshire.
See the Detailed account of the torpedoing by the Fleet Air Arm of the German Battleship Bismarck which led to its sinking.On 24 May 1941 all nine Swordfish of 825 Squadron of HMS Victorious, under Lt Cdr E Esmonde led the first strike against the Bismarck, three Fulmars of 800Z Flight followed with orders to observe the attack and then maintain contact at all costs.
HMS Victorious flight deck 24 May 1941, with Swordfish of 825 squadron and Fulmar of 800Z Flt ranged on deck prior to the first strike against the Bismarck
On the 26th May 1941, HMS Ark Royal took up the challenge of attacking the Bismarck with her 5 Fleet Air Arm squadrons embarked:
|807 squadron:||Lieutenant-Commander James Sholto Douglas DSO, RN|
|808squadron:||Lieutenant-Commander Rupert Claude Tillard, RN|
|810squadron:||Lieutenant-Commander Mervyn Johnstone DSC, MiD, RN|
|818squadron:||Lieutenant-Commander Trevenen Penrose Coode, RN|
|820 squadron:||Lieutenant-Commander James Andrew Stewart-Moore, RN|
HMS Ark Royal flight deck being prepared for her Swordfish to attack the German Battleship Bismarck in 1941
The Fleet Air Arm strike which finally crippled the Bismarck on 26 May 1941 was flown in two waves and associated sub-flights, the first wave was led by 818 squadron (Coode, TP Lt Cdr RN (CO 818 squadron) and the second by 810 squadron (Stewart-Moore, JA Lt Cdr RN (CO 810 squadron)
See the List of Aircrew of 810 and 818 Squadrons from HMS Ark Royal which crippled the Bismarck, 26 May 1941
See the List of British Forces Deployed against Bismarck during Operation "Rheinübung", May 1941
Search sector chart for HMS Ark Royal, 26 May, 1941.
The first British shells fall near the Bismarck.
Bismarck sinking by her stern as seen from HMS Dorsetshire
Swordfish 5S of 818 Squadron, FAA returns to HMS Ark Royal after observing the sinking of Bismarck
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