|About the Book|
From the dust jacket:This book is an autobiographical account of Hank Rotherhams life in the Royal Navy. As a young officer he became convinced that the aircraft was the weapon of the future and as a result he volunteered for the Fleet Air ArmsMoreFrom the dust jacket:This book is an autobiographical account of Hank Rotherhams life in the Royal Navy. As a young officer he became convinced that the aircraft was the weapon of the future and as a result he volunteered for the Fleet Air Arms course for Observers - the men who sat in the back seat of naval aircraft to navigate, spot enemy shipping, observe the fall of shot for ships gunners, and take aeriel photographs. In the early days of the war he was an observer aboard HMS Courageous when she was torpedoed and sunk off the coast of Ireland. Later the same year his expertise as an observer was put to use by the RAF in a raid on the German Navy dockyard at Wilhelmshaven. Once again he was lucky to survive as half the bomber force was shot down in this daylight raid. He subsequently served at the Admiralty, where he had an inside view on a variety of naval operations in 1940. He took part in the abortive expedition to Dakar with General de Gaulle, and the more successful capture of Douala and Libreville with General Leclerc. Following these tropical adventures he was stationed in the Orkney Islands where he became the first CO of the infamous RNAS Twatt. It was while he was here that he took part in the crucial reconnaissance flight which determined that the German battleship Bismarck had slipped into the North Atlantic. His next appointment took him to the Eastern Fleet as air advisor to Admiral Somerville. Here he took part in the invasion of Madagascar, and was then given command of RNAS Katukurunda in Ceylon, the Navys biggest Air Station. He ended the war as Captain of the escort carrier Trouncer, and then accepted a posting to Canada as Director of Naval Aviation. Rotherham provides an interesting look at life as a naval officer in the late 1930s, and gives us some fascinating insights into some of the well-known and some of the not-so-well-known events of the war.