Turns out the Fairey Battle was a Fulmar

The Fairey Fulmar in Guildhall Square, 1943.
The Fairey Fulmar in Guildhall Square, 1943.
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A final word on the plane pictured in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, in 1943.

A final word on the plane pictured in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, in 1943.

John Boxall got in touch disagreeing with the verdict of two other readers about the identity of the aircraft. He believes it was a Fairey Fulmar, not a Fairey Battle.

John says: ‘If you look at the fuselage between the roundel and the tailplane, it clearly says Royal Navy and you will also notice that the guard in the enclosure is a naval rating. Now look at the bottom of the fuselage below the leading edge of the roundel and the starboard catapult spool is visible. The Battle was not a carrier-borne aircraft and would therefore have no provision for catapult launch.

‘These two aircraft are very similar but as a fighter the Fulmar had eight .303 machine guns while the Battle had only one in the rear cockpit and one in the starboard wing.’

He adds: ‘I am not aware the Fleet Air Arm ever operated Battles and would venture to suggest that the photograph shows a Fulmar and not a Battle.’