University of Oxford
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An RAF Engineer's guide to maintaining a Fairey Battle

online resource
posted on 2024-06-05, 17:04 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

Father, Denis Ernest Flatt, served in the RAF as an engineer/mechanic in ground crew.

Denis was born in 1920, and was originally from Durham. He joined RAF just after 1939 (declaration of war). Married Beryl (contributor's mother) in 1941.

Stationed at RAF St. Athan (South Wales) [where the RAF's non-aircraft, ground engineering technicians are still trained to this day]. Later served at RAF Lossiemouth (Scotland) and RAF Marham (Norfolk).

He didn't talk much about his experiences but enjoyed serving with RAF ground crew members. He maintained Hurricane fighters and Fairey Battles - served as a mechanic before being trained as an engineer.

Became a member of a special RAF maintenance unit: worked on "new material" projects - synthetic fuel tanks for engines - all detailed in father's notes (Notebook attached with submission).


Item list and details

1. Kit bag with RAF service number and address 2. RAF Service and Release book 3. RAF manual - "For your guidance" 4. RAF guide - "Rules for water polo" 5. Coupons - Fuel ration book 6. Notebook - Handwritten maintenance guide for maintaining a Fairey 'Battle' 7. 'French curves' for drawing board 8. Synthetic engine thinner diagrams - charts 9. Photo album extracts (limited to a few photos on contributor's preference)

Person the story/items relate to

Denis Ernest Flatt

Person who shared the story/items

Sara Flatt

Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor


Type of submission

Shared at American Library, Norfolk on 20 January 2024.

Record ID

114757 | NOR006