Corkhill, Anthony David 'Corky' (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 14157
Production date
Subject period
  • whole: Duration 120, Number Of Items 4
Alternative names
  • object name: Oral history
  • object category: IWM interview


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Object description

British midshipman served as observer with Fleet Air Arm aboard HMS Devonshire in Norway, off the West African coast and in the Arctic, 1940-1941; officer served with 819 Sqdn, Fleet Air Arm in GB, aboard HMS Avenger and HMS Archer in Atlantic and attached to RAF Coastal Command, 1942-1943

Content description

REEL 1 Background in Rock Ferry and Ruthin, GB, 1921-1934: family education. Aspects of period as cadet aboard HMS Conway on River Mersey, GB, 1934-1938: duties; character of teaching. Aspects of period as midshipman with Fleet Air Arm in GB, 1939-1940: joining Fleet Air Arm, 1939; reaction to declaration of Second World War, 9/1939; move to RNAS Hatston. Recollections of operations as observer flying Supermarine Walrus from HMS Devonshire in GB coastal waters and off Norway, 1940: opinion of Supermarine Walrus; catapult method of launching aircraft; method of getting aircraft back on board; ranks of aircraft crew; Admiral Cunningham's overruling servicing provisions for aircraft; problems of loading at Rosyth for move to Norway, 8/4/1940; voyage to Norway, 9/4/1940; under German Air Force attack; shooting down of his aircraft near Tromso, 17/5/1940. REEL 2 Continues: period in sea, 17/5/1940; rescue and re-joining HMS Devonshire; recapitulation of shooting down, 17/5/1940; initial use of frozen lake; role of ship in evacuations, 5/1940-6/1940; receiving alarm signal from sinking HMS Glorious, 6/1940. Recollections of operations as observer flying Supermarine Walrus in HMS Devonshire off West African coast and Arctic, 1940-1941: opinion of attempt to capture Dakar, 9/1940; tactics employed by Vichy French at Dakar; sight of torpedoes which hit HMS Resolution at Dakar; sight of shell fire at Dakar; mistranslation of French message to attacking ships; sight of General de Gaulle going ashore. REEL 3 Continues: role of ship pressurizing French colonies; attack on Vichy French submarine Poncelet in conjunction with HMS Milford off Gabon, 7/11/1940; Admiral Cunningham's reaction to his sinking of Poncelet, 7/11/1940; behaviour of Australian troops in South Africa, Christmas 1940; refitting of ship at Cammell Lairds in GB, 2/1941; role during four Arctic convoys, 8/1941-9/1941. Aspects of period with 819 Sqdn in GB and aboard HMS Avenger , 1941- 1942: joining squadron at RNAS Lee on Solent, 10/1941; stationing at RNAS Hatston in case of German capital ships escaped through Channel; standing down of squadron during operation; initial embarking aboard HMS Avenger; fate of early escort carriers. REEL 4 Continues: role attached to RAF Coastal Command in GB, 6/1942-10/1942; embarking aboard HMS Archer; conditions of HMS Archer; short period aboard HMS Activity. Aspects of service with Fleet Air Arm, 1940-1945: question of personal morale of two officers; problems of landing on carrier decks; question of his not making a will; introduction of life insurance scheme by Fleet Air Arm after Second World War; attitude towards Germans.

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