The Hurricat.

by Daniel Russ on August 30, 2012

Post image for The  Hurricat.

   

 

When the United States was shipping supplies to England over the North Atlantic, U-Boats picked them off with impunity. It was a terrible loss of tonnage for the Allies in the early months of 1942. The British had a formidable air force, and among the Royal Air Force’s assets was the Hawker Hurricane. They built some 14,000 of them. The problem in defending the shipping lanes of the North Atlantic was simply one of range.     German Condor bombers were performing reconnaissance on convoys and relaying them to U-Boat patrols which in turn sent tons of supplies to the bottom of the ocean. To combat the Condors, the British came up with a dangerous answer: The Hurricat. The idea was to catapult a Hurricane off of a merchant marine ship, which had no deck, and defend the convoy. Since there was no place to land the plane, the pilot would finish the CAP and ditch the plane next to the convoy and they would in turn pick him up.     It was almost a suicide mission. That said, it seemed to have discouraged Condor patrols.

 

hawker_hurricane_launched_from_cam_ship_c1941

Hawker Sea Hurricane Mark I, Z4936 'KE-M', of the Merchant Ship Fighter Unit is lowered onto the training catapult at Speke, Liverpool, for a training launch. At the back of the catapult are some of the firing rockets used to power the launch cradle. Hawker Sea Hurricane Mark I, Z4936 ‘KE-M’, of the Merchant Ship Fighter Unit is lowered onto the training catapult at Speke, Liverpool, for a training launch. At the back of the catapult are some of the firing rockets used to power the launch cradle.

Source: History Channel, Wikipedia

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