Aircraft Not Used
Latvian Navy (pre-WW2)

This page gives details of some of the aircraft types that were offered or promised to the pre-WW2 Latvian Naval Aviation Division but not delivered, cancelled official orders, and types have been falsely reported as being in service.

Hansa Brandenburg W.33
A design of this type was operated by the Latvian Navy, but the aircraft were actually Finnish licence-built IVL A.22 versions.

Heinkel He 5
The Navy operated the Swedish licence-built version of the He 5, the Svenska Aero S11 1919.

All-Time Aircraft Used List
Latvian Navy (Pre-WW2)

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Caudron C.60 2 1925 1938 France/Latvia
Fairey Seal 4 1935 1940 United Kingdom
Fiat CR.1 6 1926 1931 Italy
Hanriot HD-17 1 1924 1928 France
Hanriot HD-19a 1 1925 1929 France
IVL A.22 4 1926 1933 Finland/Latvia
SIAI S.16ter 4 1923 1926 Italy
Svenska Aero SA-10 Pirat 2 1929 1936 Sweden/Latvia
Svenska Aero S-11a 8 1926 1936 Sweden

Additional information is welcome

Latvian Navy (pre-WW2)

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The Latvian Navy was first established in August 1919 as a unit (Maritime Division) of the Latvian Army. In January 1922 the Army Aviation Regiment established a Naval Aviation Department to co-operate with the Navy. In 1923 the Department was placed under the direct control of the Navy, thus forming a separate Naval Aviation unit. In May 1926 the Aviation unit was officially expanded to a Naval Aviation Division. In 1936 the Naval Aviation Division became part of the (Army) Aviation Regiment and was renamed Naval Reconnaissance Squadron No.8.

Key Dates

10 August 1919    Maritime Division established by Army Headquarters.
1 January 1922    Maritime Aviation Department created within Army Aviation Regiment.
1923    Maritime Aviation Department placed under direct control of Navy HQ.
1 May 1926    A separate Naval Aviation Division is established.
1936    Naval Aviation Division is absorbed into the Air Force.

Current Status

Transferred to Army in 1936 – not applicable.

Future Plans

Not applicable.

Markings

National Insignia

Historical

Aircraft Serial Numbers

Latvian naval aircraft were allocated a two-digit serial number between 10 and 29, e.g. Fairey Seal ’26’. Upon transfer to the Army in 1936, the surviving aircraft were re-serialled with three-digit numbers, e.g. the same Fairey Seal became ‘101’.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used.

Current Aircraft Inventory

Not applicable.

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

False reports of aircraft on order or in service

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Liepaja

Organisational Structure

To be added.

Current Order of Battle

Not applicable.

Historical Orders of Battle

List of Historical Orders of Battle – to be added.

All-Time Flying Units List

To be added.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

Not applicable.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

The main Naval airfield was at Liepaja, but a couple of other airfields were also used.
Military Air Bases Listing – to be added.

More Information

Books

Latvian Military Aviation Bibliography – to be added.

Latvian Air Force 1918-1940, Insignia Air Force Special No.5, Blue Rider 2000

Magazines

To be added.

Websites

Latvian Aviation

National Markings
Latvian Navy (Pre-WW2)

This section describes and illustrates the various national insignia used by the Pre-WW2 Latvian Naval Aviation Division since its formation:



  
Main MarkingFin Flash

1923-1936
The main marking, a red Swastika, was displayed in the standard six positions – above and below each wing and on each side of the fuselage. A black anchor marking was also applied to the rudder on some aircraft types.

5 Squadron
Royal Bahraini Navy

History

Number 5 Squadron was formed in 1994 to operate the MBB Bo 105CBS-4. This is the only helicopter unit of the Royal Bahraini Navy. The unit forms part of the Helicopter Wing at Rifa’a Air Base.

Aircraft

Type Qty Service Example Serials
Bo 105CBS-4 2 1994 – Present 511

Unit Markings

Figure 1
To be added

Main Bases

Base Duration
Rifa’a AB 1994 – Present

More Information

References

  • To be added

Other Sources

To be added.

MBB Bo 105
in Royal Bahraini Navy service

History

Two Bo 105CBS-MSS acquired new from the manufacturer in 1994. The Bo 105CBS-MSS is a navalised version of the CBS-4, equipped for maritime surveillance and SAR with provisions including a search radar in an undernose radome and NVG compatible cockpit lighting. It can also be used for over the horizon targeting of the Exocet MM40 anti-shipping missile. Operated by the 5th Squadron.

Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
511     August 1994 noted Apr 1999
?     1994  

More Information

References

  • World Air Power Journal Vol 21 Summer 1995 p.9
  • Worldmil (1996) p.51
  • World Air Forces Directory 2006/07 (Mach III)

Other Sources

To be added.

Royal Bahraini Navy Air Arm

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The Royal Bahraini Navy was first established in the 1970s as the Naval branch of the Bahrain Defense Force, to monitor shipping routes around the islands of the Bahrain archipelago. In 1987, the title Bahrain Amiri Navy was formally adopted. In 1994 the first helicopters were ordered and delivery took place soon after. In 2002 the official name was changed to Royal Bahraini Navy. The Navy air arm remains an all-helicopter force.

Key Dates

1971?    Bahrain Defense Force first established.
1987    BDF naval branch renamed Bahrain Amiri Navy.
1994    First helicopters acquired.
Feb 2002    Bahrain Amiri Navy renamed Royal Bahraini Navy.

Current Status

The Royal Bahraini Navy operates two fast attack craft and an ex-US Navy frigate which can embark helicopters. The helicopters are currently used for maritime surveillance and Search-and-Rescue tasks.

Future Plans

No future procurement plans known.

Markings

National Insignia

The Navy uses the same roundel and fin flash as the Amiri Air Force. The service titles ROYAL BAHRAINI NAVY are carried in Arabic and English on the fuselage sides, replacing the previous BAHRAIN AMIRI NAVY titles.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

The Navy uses the same three-digit numerical sequence system as the Air Force eg: 511.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Click on aircraft type for more details

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
MBB Bo 105CBS 2 2 0 Maritime Patrol/SAR

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
MBB Bo 105CBS 2 1994 current Germany

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Manama.

Organisational Structure

The Navy’s single helicopter squadron is co-located with the Air Force’s helicopter units at Rifa’a on Bahrain Island.

Current Order of Battle

Click on unit title for more details

Squadron Type Base
5 Squadron MBB Bo 105CBS Rifa’a

Historical Orders of Battle

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

All helicopters are based at Rifa’a on Bahrain Island.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

To be added

More Information

Books

Bahrain Aviation Bibliography – to be added

Magazines

No feature articles known.

Websites

wikipedia: Royal Bahrain Naval Force

Any photographs illustrating this air arm would be welcome.

The Dutch Naval Air Force Against Japan

Book Review

The Dutch Naval Air Force Against Japan
The Defense of the Netherlands East Indies, 1941-1942
by Tom Womack
McFarland & Company
207 pages, sbk
US$35.00, £22.50

In 1941 the Netherlands East Indies (NEI), now known as Indonesia, had been a Dutch colony for nearly 300 years. Comprising several hundred islands located between the Philippines and Australia, and stretching from the Indian Ocean to New Guinea, this vast territory occupied a key strategic position in South East Asia. Since the 1920s the Dutch Naval Air Service, or Marine Luchtvaart Dienst (MLD), had used seaplanes and flying boats to patrol the numerous waterways between the islands, keeping a watch on shipping and delivering supplies to isolated outposts.

From early 1940 onwards Japan and the NEI engaged in a increasingly frosty ‘cold war’, as the aggressive territorial ambitions of the Japanese became all too clear. This confrontation turned into open warfare on 7 December 1941 with the infamous Pearl Harbor attack. Air and naval attacks on Dutch territory and shipping dramatically escalated as the Japanese rapidly occupied French Indo-China, Malaya, Borneo and then the Philippines. Although supported by a limited contingent of US and British forces, Dutch military preparations in the NEI had been dealt a severe set-back by the German occupation of the Netherlands in May 1940 and were woefully under-prepared for the conflict. The Japanese began to use captured air bases to conduct seriously damaging attacks on NEI installations, and on 10 January 1942 commenced a step-by-step invasion of the NEI. This culminated in February 1942 in the progressive occupation of the key island of Java, forcing the NEI governor to surrender in early March.

This book deals in detail with the activities of the MLD during the Japanese invasion of the Netherlands East Indies. The contribution of Dutch forces to the Allied war effort during this period was quite significant, but is often overlooked in accounts of the Pacific War. With their 175 aircraft, the MLD in Southeast Asia outnumbered American and British naval air reconnaissance forces combined. However, three months of intense fighting cost the MLD over 80 per cent of its aircraft and resulted in the loss of thousands of naval personnel. Operations of the United States Navy and Royal Air Force flying boat units are included in order to provide a thorough history of the campaign.

The author begins with a description of the origins, equipment and doctrine of the MLD in 1941, sketching in the historical background and the state of preparedness of the NEI armed forces at the time. The most modern aircraft in service were the Dornier Do 24 and PBY Catalina, which operated from a number of purpose-built flying boat bases located throughout the islands. A large number of secondary refuelling bases were also available for use. Before the war started the MLD was busy conducting neutrality patrols, but soon added convoy escort and anti-submarine operations to its many tasks. Encounters with enemy fighters and flying boats became increasingly common as the MLD sought to provide advance warning of Japanese movements in the region – the first Do 24 being shot down on 17 December 1941. Unfortunately, attempts by the MLD to raid Japanese shipping and naval bases were often ineffective due to inaccurate bomb aiming.

The invasion of the NEI itself saw the MLD operating round the clock to keep higher command informed of the latest tactical situation. Losses mounted rapidly as the flying boats were often operating well beyond the meagre friendly fighter cover that was then available. The long flying hours took a large toll in aircrew fatigue, and the serviceability of aircraft also fell as the aircraft became worn out. In the early days, tired units could be quickly replaced by fresher crews, but within weeks aircraft losses and crew shortages made this almost impossible. The last few chapters cover the MLDs disastrously organised attempt at evacuation to Australia and Ceylon, and an overall review of the MLD’s performance.

In nearly all cases, specific incidents are based on official NEI records, cross-checked against Japanese records, and include the serial number of the aircraft involved and sometimes also details of the crew aboard. This allows the reader to trace the history and eventual fate of individual aircraft during the conflict.

There are eight appendices, listing such information as brief MLD squadron histories; Do 24, PBY-5 and reserve seaplane individual aircraft fates; specifications of MLD and Japanese aircraft; MLD seaplane tender details; MLD air bases in the NEI. The book concludes with 18 pages of author’s notes, a bibliography and an index. The work is illustrated with six maps identifying the main islands, the location of MLD bases and the progressive advance of Japanese forces. Thirty-four b+w photographs illustrate the aircraft, ships bases and personnel involved. There are no colour illustrations at all.

The book is printed entirely on lower-quality matt paper, more akin to that found in a paperback novel, which means that reproduction of the photos is not as good as it could be. Despite the acknowledgement remarking on the number of times the text has been proof-read, the mis-spelling of Sikorsky as ‘Sikorski’ occurs an annoying number of times, including in the index! (But not, curiously, when mentioned in the authors notes). Otherwise, the typography appears to be error-free.

The military air campaign in the NEI has received little coverage in the English language, and this comprehensive account admirably fills a gap in our understanding of the early weeks of the Pacific War, being both highly researched and very readable.


– John Hayles

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