On the outome of the Battle of the Atlantic from 1939 to 1945 depended Britain's survival in the midst of a global war. The need to control the sealanes to Britain was mirrored by a need to control the skies above. Carrier based aircraft and seaplanes would play an important role in defeating the German submarine menace and in combating her surface fleet. However, at the start of World War II Britain possessed neither the training or industrial establishment necessary to develop this arm of warfare. From 1940 onwards the United States provided answers to the problem firstly in the form of American built aircraft, then American built aircraft carriers and finally American trained pilots. Even before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Royal Air Force and Fleet Air Arm pilots were being trained in the United States under a scheme set up by the United States Navy as part of the Lend Lease agreement. In the safer skies over the United States American Navy pilots would train British aviation cadets how to fly and to fight. This process is examined from a variety of different perspectives including the military, diplomatic, educational and cultural. For many young British aviation cadets the journey across the Atlantic and across America was as surprising as it was lengthy. Many would find themselves caught up with issues such as segregation in the American South of which they had little understanding. The book is based on interviews and correspondence with hundreds of former cadets who trained in the United States in the 1940s together with material from the British and American archives.
British Naval Aviation in World War II
The US Navy and Anglo-American Relations
Education & Reference