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Bag the Hun! (1943) | RAF Gunnery Manual

Bag the Hun! | Air Ministry Manual (1943)

Price £115.00 Sale


A. P. 2580 A

AIR MINISTRY, London, 1943

‘Combat films prove that many combats against the Fw 190 are unsuccessful because of wrong estimation of opening range and wrong deflection. This booklet provides instruction and practice in these fundamentals ’

A rare original WW2 Air Ministry manual, published in November 1943. This is a guide to aerial gunnery for RAF and Allied air forces fighter pilots. It was specifically intended to help with attacks on the German Fw 190 fighter. With instructions, exercises, and numerous illustrations on aiming off, sighting, estimating range, angles of attack, and deflection shooting. There are many excellent diagrams showing exactly how you should identify and then shoot down an Fw 190. There is a celluloid aiming circle in a pocket at the rear, to be used in conjunction with the exercises in the book. The book originally belonged to F/Sgt K. E. Appleford, a WW2 Raf pilot who trained in the USA and served with 209 Squadron. During a long career in the RAF he flew a wide variety of aircraft, including the Sunderland Flying Boat, Lincoln bomber, Shackleton and Nimrod.

No. 209 Squadron was a flying boat squadron that flew maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine patrols from British bases from 1939 until 1942, and then operated over the Indian Ocean for most of the rest of the war, before taking part in the final stages of the offensive in Burma in 1945.

At the start of WW2 209 squadron moved to Invergorden and flew patrols between Scotland and Norway. In October it moved again, to Oban, and began to fly patrols over the Atlantic. In December 1939 the squadron converted to the disastrously poor Saro Lerwick. Six of these aircraft were lost in various incidents over the next year, and they were finally replaced with the Catalina in April 1941. These aircraft were used for anti-submarine patrols from Loch Erne until August 1941. In May 1941 the squadron played a major part in the hunt for the Bismarck, helping to relocate the German battleship on 26 May, after she had slipped away from the British fleet. The squadron sank one U-boat during the war, U-452 which was sunk to the south of Iceland on 25 August 1941. On 27 August 1941 the squadron played a part in one of the most remarkable incidents of the struggle against the U-boats, the surrender of U-570. The U-boat was forced to surrender by Hudsons from No. 269 squadron, aided by a Catalina of No. 209. At the end of August the squadron moved to Iceland for two months, before returning to Britain.

In March 1942 the squadron moved to East Africa, from where it flew patrols over the Indian Ocean, using bases in South Africa, Oman and on Madagascar and the Seychelles to extend its range. Towards the end of 1943 the squadron moved north, to protect the Gulf of Oman against an expected increase in U-boat activity after the Mediterranean had been secured by the Allies. In July 1945 the squadron changed aircraft and role. The Catalinas were replaced by Sunderlands, and the squadron moved to Ceylon, while a detachment moved to Rangoon, from where it attacked the remaining Japanese shipping on the coasts of Burma and Malaya. In September 1945 a detachment from the squadron moved to Hong Kong, and was followed by the rest of the squadron in October. No.209 Squadron remained in the Far East until it was merged with No. 205 squadron in 1955.



In good condition. The card cover is in good condition, with general signs of use, some wear around the edges, and some marks. The stitched binding is good and secure. The text and illustrations are in good condition with a few marks. The celluloid sighting disc is in good condition in the pocket at the rear. With 'A Flt' (presumably 'A' Flight) written faintly in yellow pencil on the front cover.

Published: 1943
Illustrated card cover
Illustrated with line drawings and diagrams
Dimensions: 155mm x 180mm
Pages: 48