Friday, November 07, 2008
The Desert Air Force from February to May 1942
The Desert Air Force needed time, just like the Army, for "rest, refitting, and training". There problem was that there was no time for anything but intensive operations. Those operations proceeded with difficulty for a number of reasons. The new Hurricane Mk.IICs with four 20mm cannon mechanisms were clogged by dust. Kittyhawks had problems with their Allison engines and were difficult for Hurricane pilots to learn to fly. From early February 1942 to late May, "nearly 14,000 sorties" were flown. At the cost of almost 300 aircraft lost, the destroyed "89 German and over 60 Italian aircraft". All this occurred during the lull in ground operations following the German advance from El Agheila after the Crusader Battle. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.