Taranto Tribute

  • Author: Nichola Winstanley
  • Date: Wednesday 25th November 2015
Taranto Tribute Taranto Tribute

In November staff and cadets gathered on the College parade ground to give three cheers to a fly past made by a Royal Navy Fairey Swordfish airplane marking the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Taranto.

The raid on the Italian harbour of Taranto is considered the Fleet Air Arm's greatest success. On 11 November 1940 two waves of 21 airplanes were launched from HMS Illustrious in the Mediterranean, attacking the Italian Fleet in harbour. The operation effectively halved the Italian Fleet giving the Royal Navy a tremendous advantage in the Mediterranean.

The fly past served as a reminder to those present of the bravery and sacrifice of that battle as the Service is re-equipping with the state-of-the-art F35 lightening II stealth fighter and brand new Merlin and Wildcat Helicopters which will fly from the new super carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and her sister ship HMS Prince of Wales.

The Royal Navy Historic Flight aircraft was accompanied on its flight by a Sea King helicopter from 771 Naval Air Squadron, based at the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton.

 The day completed with a dinner at BRNC at which some BA members were lucky enough to attend along with college cadets and a number of serving members of the Fleet Air Arm. The guest of honour was Vice Admiral Walter E 'Ted' Carter United States Navy, the Superintendant of the US Naval Academy 

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