The Fairey Battle MKI was a single-engine light bomber, powered by Merlin I, II or III engines, which was used by the squadron for training purposes from April 1938 to April 1940
Fairey Battle Profile © Malcolm Barrass
Aircraft on charge of No. 35 Squadron
No. 35 Squadron received its first Fairey Battle (K7695), a dual control aircraft on 1st April 1938.
Having moved to RAF Cottesmore (20th April 1938), it re-equipped with the Fairey Battle and by 20th May 1938 it had its establishment number of 16 on strength.
In October 1938, the squadron exchanged its Merlin II aircraft for Merlin I aircraft from No. 226 Squadron and establishment numbers were increased from 16 to 21.
Merlin I aircraft were replaced by Merlin II aircraft in January / February 1939
In August 1939, establishment numbers were further increased and the squadron took delivery of a number of Merlin III aircraft.
The following shows the serial numbers of the aircraft that are known to have been on charge of the squadron, along with the period they were on charge (where known)
|MKI Merlin I Serials||On Charge||Off Charge|
|MKI Merlin II Serials|
|MKI Merlin III Serials|
Aircraft Losses and Incidents
The squadron aircraft were grounded following the force landing of K9179 on 20th June 1938 to enable Rolls Royce engineers to check the boost control valve needles.
Aircraft losses and incidents were as follows:
- Fairey Battle K9475 (29/08/1939)
- Fairey Battle L4978 (26/06/1939)
- Fairey Battle K9471 (22/06/1939)
- Fairey Battle K9470 (16/05/1939)
- Fairey Battle K9469 (05/05/1939)
- Fairey Battle K7694 (04/01/1939)
- Fairey Battle L5183 (10/12/1939)
- Fairey Battle K9476 (24/11/1939)
- Fairey Battle K9473 (05/11/1939)
- Fairey Battle K9472 (29/10/1939)
- Fairey Battle L5267 (24/10/1939)
- The squadron’s records show that twelve of its aircraft were swapped with aircraft of No. 226 Squadron in October 1938
- Establishment numbers were increased in 1939
- The squadron Operations Record Book shows that the squadron relinquished all its Fairey Battle and became a Bristol Blenheim only squadron when it moved to RAF Upwood on 1st February 1940. However, the AM 78 (Movement Cards) suggest that the squadron did not relinquish all its Fairey Battle in February 1940. Aircraft that were still on charge of the squadron when it disbanded in April 1940 were transferred to 17 Operational Training Unit
Crew / Crew Positions
The Fairey Battle was typically crewed by a pilot and wireless operator / air gunner (with capability to carry an observer [bomb aimer] in a prone position)
The interior of the Battle, the second diagram showing the observer in the prone position
It was armed with:
- 1 × .303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine gun in the starboard wing
- 1× .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers K machine gun in the rear cabin
It could carry 4 × 250 lb (110 kg) bombs internally and 500 lb (230 kg) of bombs in under-wing racks