Merchant Ship Fighter Unit

The Merchant Ship Fighter Unit (MSFU) was a Royal Air Force operational aircraft unit based at RAF Speke during World War II.[1] The aircraft operated by the MSFU were Hawker Sea Hurricanes. These planes were operated from 35 merchant ships outfitted with a catapult on the bow, referred to as Catapult Aircraft Merchant ships CAM ships. The MSFU was formed at Speke on May 5, 1941 and provided detachments to the CAM ships, each vessel being equipped with one Sea Hurricane plus an RAF pilot and support crew.[2]

The single catapult consisted of an eighty-five-foot runway, along which a trolley carrying a Hurricane (later Hurricats were used for this) would be forced by a battery of three-inch rockets over a diameter of sixty feet. Using thirty-degree wing flaps, a pilot could make a perfect takeoff without losing height.

Most notable was the inability of the CAM ship to recover the aircraft, and as a result launches beyond the range of the aircraft were one way rides that required the pilot to bail out and use an inflatable dingy until a passing ship happened by. Eventually CAM ships were replaced beginning in 1943 with the completion of escort carriers.

CAM fighters were credited with seven Luftwaffe kills and numerous scare offs.

References

Barker, Ralph (January 2000). The Hurricats: The Fighters That Could Not Return. Trafalgar Square. ISBN 0-7524-2005-4. 

  1. ^ Search Results
  2. ^ was formed at Speke on 5 May to man the CAM ship detachments, each vessel having an RAF pilot and groundcrew.

Breuer, W. B. (2000) Secret Weapons of World War II. Castle Books, New Jersey. Pp. 86-87.

See also


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • CAM ship — A CAM ship was a World War II era British merchant ship used in convoys as a quick emergency solution to the shortage of escort carriers. CAM was an acronym for Catapult Aircraft Merchantman Wise, James E. Jr., CAPT USN Catapult Off Parachute… …   Wikipedia

  • CAM Ship — Hawker Sea Hurricane W9182 auf dem Katapult am vorderen Deck eines CAM Schiffs CAM Schiffe (englisch: CAM ship = „Catapult Aircraft Merchantman“ – zu deutsch etwa: „Katapult Flugzeug Handelsschiff“) waren modifizierte britische Handelsschiffe aus …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Presidential Unit Citation (United States) — Presidential Unit Citation Army and Air Force P.U.C …   Wikipedia

  • United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program — This article is about the weapons school known as TOPGUN . For the film, see Top Gun. The patch awarded to NFWS graduates The United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program (SFTI program), more popularly known as TOPGUN, is the… …   Wikipedia

  • Collier (ship) — For other uses, see Collier (disambiguation). The collier USS Merrimac (1898) Collier is a historical term used to describe a bulk cargo ship designed to carry coal, especially for naval use by coal fired warships. In the late 18th century a… …   Wikipedia

  • 804 Naval Air Squadron — Active November, 1939 July, 1944 September, 1944  ? 1960  ? Country United Kingdom …   Wikipedia

  • Gerald Stapleton — Infobox Military Person name= Basil Gerald Stapme Stapleton lived= b.1920 placeofbirth= Durban, South Africa placeofdeath= |caption= nickname= Stapme allegiance= flag|United Kingdom serviceyears= 1939–1946 rank= Squadron Leader branch= air… …   Wikipedia

  • CAM-Schiff — Hawker Sea Hurricane W9182 auf dem Katapult am vorderen Deck eines CAM Schiffs CAM Schiffe (englisch: CAM ship = „Catapult Aircraft Merchantman“ – zu deutsch etwa: „Katapult Flugzeug Handelsschiff“) waren modifizierte britische Handelsschiffe aus …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Catapult Aircraft Merchantman — Hawker Sea Hurricane W9182 auf dem Katapult am vorderen Deck eines CAM Schiffs CAM Schiffe (englisch: CAM ship = „Catapult Aircraft Merchantman“ – zu deutsch etwa: „Katapult Flugzeug Handelsschiff“) waren modifizierte britische Handelsschiffe aus …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Liverpool John Lennon Airport — Infobox Airport name = Liverpool John Lennon Airport nativename = Liverpool Airport image width = 225 IATA = LPL ICAO = EGGP owner = operator = Liverpool Airport plc city served = Liverpool location = Speke elevation f = 80 elevation m = 24… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.