Physical description

Index, notes, Appendices, ill, p.134.


In 'Seagulls, Cruisers and Catapults' Ray Jones has written an authoritative account of the technical, operational and political aspects of Australian naval aviation from Admiral Creswell's 1913 plan for naval aviation until the last aircraft catapult was removed from an Australian cruiser in 1944.The Navy's role as catalyst in the formation of the Air Force is outlined for the first time and details of the sometimes acrimonius struggle between Navy and Air Force over naval aviation are provided. No serious work of RAN history can deal with the mid-war years without taking account of advice from London and the Admiralty's influence on RAN aviation planning is made clear. Operation of aircraft, such as the Seagull III and Seagull V amphibians, from Australian warships are described and the rationale of cruiser aircraft operations are illustrated by the number shot down or damaged performing their essential task in wartime. The vital role of aircraft operating from cruisers searching for raiders and taking part in fleet operations defending Australia in 1942 is stressed. Extensive archival research in Melbourne, Canberra and London, combined with hours of interviews with the men who flew aircraft from cruisers and carrier, has ensured a balanced and well-rounded narrative which is an essential addition to the library of any naval or aviation history enthusiast.