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British Naval Aviation in the early 1930s

Posted by Matt Willis, on November 8th, 2021


This post is the third of four from the remarkable photograph albums of SPO James Edward Harvey who served on HMS Ajax during her first commission 1935-6. Part I was on HMS Ajax’s meeting with Patagonian Indians; Part II was on HMS Ajax’s experience in the Antarctic. This post presents a series of photographs revealing British naval aviation in the early 1930s.

The photographs in this set offer a glimpse into the rapidly evolving world of British naval aviation in the early 1930s. The images of aircraft and the ships associated with them show the Fleet Air Arm during a period of change between the early post-First World War state of the art, and something that would be more recognisable in the Second World War. There are some new types and concepts, some of both reaching the ends of their lives, and one or two evolutionary dead-ends.

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