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Howley, Richard Alexander (Pilot Officer)

Killed in Action 1940-07-19

Age: 20

Home: Victoria, British Columbia

Service
RAF
Unit
141 Sqn- Squadron
Rank
Pilot Officer
Marshal
Air Chief MarshalA/C/M
Air MarshalA/M
Air Vice MarshalA/V/M
Air CommodoreA/C
Group CaptainG/C
Wing CommanderW/C
Squadron LeaderS/L
Flight LieutenantF/L
Flying OfficerF/O
Pilot OfficerP/O
Warrant Officer 1st ClassWO1
Warrant Officer 2nd ClassWO2
Flight SergeantFS
SergeantSGT
CorporalCPL
Senior AircraftmanSAC
Leading AircraftmanLAC
Aircraftman 1st ClassAC1
Aircraftman 2nd ClassAC2
Position
Pilot
Service Numbers
41705

141 Squadron (Caedimus Noctu) Defiant aircraft L 6995 was shot down into the sea off Dover, England by an ME-109 enemy fighter aircraft during the Battle of Britain.

Nine Defiant's were attacked by 20 ME-109's, six Defiants were shot down, one written off too damaged to repair (D. Newton). P/O R.A. Howley (RAF)(Nfld) and his gunner Sgt A.G. Curley (RAF) missing in Defiant I aircraft L6995 and have no known grave. P/O Howley was one of a group of pre-war Short Service Commission officers sponsored by the Anglo-Newfoundland Company and the Daily Mail newspaper (Halliday).

Canada Source Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Canada Primary Source Library and Archives Canada Service Files (may not exist)

Pilot Officer Richard Alexander Howley has no known grave.

Boulton Paul Defiant

(RAF Photo) (Source Harold A Skaarup web page)
Boulton Paul P.82 Defiant, RAF (Serial No. L7026), coded PS*V, c1941.

The Boulton Paul Defiant is a British interceptor aircraft that served with the Royal Air Force (RAF) during World War II. The Defiant was designed and built by Boulton Paul Aircraft as a "turret fighter", without any fixed forward-firing guns, also found in the Blackburn Roc of the Royal Navy.

In combat, the Defiant was found to be reasonably effective at destroying bombers but was vulnerable to the Luftwaffe's more manoeuvrable, single-seat Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters. The lack of forward-firing armament proved to be a great weakness in daylight combat and its potential was realised only when it was converted to a night fighter. It eventually equipped thirteen squadrons in this role, compared to just two squadrons as a day-fighter. In mid-1942 it was replaced by better performing night-fighters, the Bristol Beaufighter and de Havilland Mosquito.

The Defiant continued to find use in gunnery training, target towing, electronic countermeasures and air-sea rescue. Among RAF pilots it had the nickname "Daffy". Wikipedia





YouTube Defiant Fighter

Wkikpedia Wikipedia Defiant Fighter

General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
Canadian Aircraft Losses (21)
last update: 2021-10-13 19:25:12

Defiant L6995

Battle of Britain (Only Air to Air Combat, No Land or Sea Battles)

The Battle of Britain was unusual. It was an all air battle. Aircraft only, no navies nor armies. The entire battle took place in the air, over South Esat England and the English Channel. For Britain, the two primary aircraft used were the Hurricane and Spitfire. Other aircraft such as the Bolton-Paul Defiant and the Fairey Battle were soon shown to be inadequate and withdrawn from the battle. Many Fairey Battle aircraft were shipped to Canada for training new airmen.

Two Very Different Commanders

  1. Web Image
    Lord Hugh Dowding - Air Chief Marshall RAF Fighter Command

    Lord Hugh Dowding - Air Chief Marshall, RAF Fighter Command. Dowding was a humble man, who ignored Churchill's order to maintain an airforce in France, but rather had concluded that Britain had scarce air resources, and defence of Britain was paramount. He would not risk losing aircraft in France - history proves him correct. It was Dowding's humble and analystic approach that saved Britain. He invested heavily in radar (new technology) and ground observer stations, so that the RAF could track the incoming fighters and bombers. He deployed aircraft sparingly and strategically. He also discounted the exhuberant claims of his men on their air success. He chose to believe a lesser estimate of their claims. He was careful and shrewd in his deployment of aircraft.

    Lord Dowding's name is chiselled into the wall at the Battle of Britain memorial in Wetminster Abbey in London - a fitting tribute to a humble and determibed man.

    Wkikpedia Lord Hugh Dowding




  2. Web Image
    International Military Tribunal Nuremberg.

    Hermann Goering - commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe (air force). Goering was the opposite of Lord Dowding. He was a brash, bigger than life character, who absolutely expected to win, and believed it would be easy. When his flyers made exaggerated claims of victory, it was exactly what he wanted to hear, and he believed it all. Goering did not stick to his strategy, and when they were winning by targetting airfields and radar, he was easily swayed to change startegy, ultimatley leading to the Luftwaffe losing the Battle of Britain.

    Pictured at right: Defendant Hermann Goering in the prisoners' dock at the International Military Tribunal trial of war criminals at Nuremberg. Goering was the former head of the Luftwaffe and was at one time second in command to Hitler.

    Wkikpedia Hermann Goering

Turning Point - Sunday August 25 1940

  1. The Accidental Bombing of London:

    To get to 11 Group's sector airfields - ringed round London - Kesselring often routed one raid direct and another along the great blind spot created by the Thames Estuary. In the small hours of Sunday 25 August a night raid used the Estuary route to the oil tanks at Thameshaven. The crew of one aircraft lost their way, continued too far westwards, and dropped their bombs. They hit the City of London. The raid caused more dismay among the British War Cabinet and the staff of Air Fleet 2 than among the Londoners. The outer suburbs had already been bombed and Londoners had been expecting raids. The bomb-load of just one errant bomber was a gentle introduction to total war.

    Just as the Rotterdam bombing prompted the 15 May War Cabinet to send the RAF to bomb the Ruhr next day, so now did Churchill authorize an immediate reprisal raid upon Berlin. During this period RAF Bomber Command believed themselves to be reducing the scale of German air attack by bombing aircraft assembly plants. Now eighty-one RAF bombers departed for Berlin on the night of Sunday 25 August. More civilians died. Here bombs were unexpected: the Nazi leaders had promised that Berlin was inviolable. They vowed to avenge the 'atrocities'. So began a chain of incidents that eventually ended not only the Battle of Britain, but - at Hiroshima - the war. Excerpt from "Fighter" by Len Deighton

  2. Reprisal:
  3. Blitz and Counter-Blitz

    On 24 August 1940 the first German bombs fell in central London; several had already fallen in suburban areas. On the following night, 25/26 August, more than eighty British bombers struck, for the first time, at Berlin. There were few casualties on either side, but a deadly confrontation had begun.

    The next German air raid on London was by day on 26 August. Learning of a British bombing raid on Leipzig that same day, Churchill wrote to Sinclair [Minister of Air War]: "Now that they have begun to molest the capital, I want you to hit them hard, and Berlin is the place to hit them." While London was being pounded almost every night by German bombers, these smaller raids against Berlin helped raise British morale. International Churchill Society

  4. Outcome:

    The alternate bombing of Berlin and London, caused The German Luftwaffe to change strategy. They had been successfully destroying British air fields and radar installations. The Luftwaffer strategy was starting to take a significant toll on RAF Fighter Command operations. But now with the switch to bombing London and letting fighter command rebuild its infrastructure, the tide was turing, and RAF Fighter Command would ultimately be victorious.

YouTube Battle of Britain Overview

YouTube How Battle of Britain Won? (animated)

YouTube The Man Who Saved Britain (Air Chief Marshal Hugh Caswall Tremenheere Dowding)

YouTube Thirteen Hours that Saved Britain (Black Thursday)

Museum Lord Beaverbrook (Minister of Aircraft Production)

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few", referring to the ongoing efforts of the Royal Air Force crews who were at the time fighting the Battle of Britain, the pivotal air battle with the German Luftwaffe, with Britain expecting an invasion. Pilots who fought in the battle have been known as The Few ever since; at times being specially commemorated on 15 September, "Battle of Britain Day". Wikipedia

YouTube Never was so much owed by so many to so few - Winston Churchill Speeches (3:19)

Britain Source George VI

Aircraft

YouTube The Hawker Hurricane

YouTube Supermarine Spitfire

YouTube Operation Sealion

Questions for the Battle of Britain

  1. When was the Battle of Britain fought?
  2. What was Hitler’s goal in launching the Battle?
  3. Battle of Britain specifics:
    1. Where was the Battle of Britain fought ?
    2. What aircraft were used by the British in the Battle?
    3. Explain what each of the British aircraft was used for in the Battle.
    4. List the aircraft the Nazis used and what each one was used for.
  4. Overall was the Battle of Britain was mainly a battle of the navies, armies or air force? Explain your answer.
  5. What was the Blitz?
  6. Damage and Consequence
    1. Name three cities that were badly damaged in the Battle.
    2. What kind of damage was done to the cities of Britain?
  7. Why did Hitler decide to stop the bombing of Britain?
  8. Leadership
    1. Name two leaders in Great Britain who helped get the country through the Battle of Britain.
    2. What important role did each of those leaders have in the Battle?
  9. Imagine you were a child in London during the worst part of the Blitz. Write a short story about what you and your family did to protect themselves, what you thought about at night and a few of the things you saw and heard.
  10. Why were the shipping lanes of the North Atlantic Ocean so important during this Battle?
  11. If you had been a leader of the UK during this Battle, what four things would you have done to ensure the country would have won?
  12. If the Nazis had succeeded in winning this Battle and Britain had surrendered, what do you think the Nazis would have done? Suggest at least three things. Include your reasoning.
  13. If the UK had surrendered to the Nazis, how do you think this would have affected Canada?
  14. Winston Churchill Speech:
    1. Who was Churchill speaking to?
    2. Who is the Fuhrer?
    3. Who are the "many"?
    4. Who are the "few"?
    5. From your studies are there any other Winston Churchill speeches that are significant?

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