As Fighter Command vied for control of the skies during World War Two, its Coastal Command brethren also brushed with the Luftwaffe.

Among a raft of new squadrons created by the RAF in the first months of World War Two, four were formed for long-range shipping protection. These were 235, 236, 248 and 254 Squadrons and their mount was Britain’s speedy light bomberturned-heavy fighter, the Blenheim. Originally part of Fighter Command, the squadrons were re-allocated to Coastal Command on February 2, 1940, where they would adopt the ‘coastal fighter’ role. This saw them operate mainly over the North Sea, latterly during the Norway campaign, which brought occasional actions with the Luftwaffe. In May, with the invasions of France and the Low Countries, the Allies were on the back foot. As the Germans pressed the British, Belgians and French into the Dunkirk pocket, Coastal Command Blenheims were drawn into other operations and (effectively) returned to Fighter Command.

Blenheim Mk.IVF V5735/QY-D heads an impressive 254 Squadron formation in August 1941

Section skirmish

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