Fleet Air Arm

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December 13, 2016

Farewell to a real Swordfish pilot

I heard on the news today that Lt Cdr John “Jock” Moffat had died. You probably don’t recognize the name but it has significance for the Human Legion. Moffat was a Royal Navy pilot during the Second World War, and it was his torpedo launch from a Swordfish biplane that crippled the Bismark, a German battleship that was wreaking havoc with British shipping. This was in 1941, at at time when lumbering biplanes were long obsolete. But as Moffat himself said, the fabric-over-metal-frame construction used on these older and slower aircraft meant that the aircraft could take a lot of incoming fire while lining up for the torpedo strike, because the bullets and shells went straight through the fabric. Of course, they could just as easily pass through the brave men who flew these ‘stringbags’, as they were nicknamed. The success in crippling […]