The role of Banff Strike Wing can be summed up
in a single word steel. Without steel, no nation
in the twentieth century could sustain a war for
any period of time. Tanks, ships, submarines,
aircraft engines all the weapons and tools of
modern war required steel in vast quantities. For
Nazi Germany this meant transporting raw
materials from Sweden to the blast furnaces and
steel mills of the Ruhr in a fleet of merchant ships.
They had to be stopped.
Two Coastal Command airfields were available in
north-east Scotland Banff and Dallachy
providing ideal bases for two new strike wings to
operate from. During September and October
1944, the Beaufighters and Mosquitos began to
take up residence at these bases. Four or five
squadrons were based at Banff at any one time,
with two or three at the smaller satellite of
Dallachy, near Buckie. Their task was a simple one
sink the iron ore-carrying ships, and cut off
the only remaining supply of this strategic raw
material to Germany.
This book is a photographic history of RAF Banff
Strike Wing, 19441945, comprising 175 photographs,
together with rare documents and other
artefacts, the vast majority of which have never
previously been published. The collection itself is
unique in that the photographs were all donated
to the author by veterans of Banff Strike Wing
during the time the author was secretary of the
RAF Banff StrikeWing Memorial Trust from
19871992. The extensive correspondence with
these veterans that this entailed has allowed the
author to write the narrative from a unique and
Les Taylor has been closely involved
with the history of Banff Strike Wing
for over 25 years.
He founded a project to build a
granite memorial to the wing which
was unveiled in 1990.
This helped him establish contacts
with veterans around the world and
to be able to write Banff Strike Wing at
War with the testimonies of those
who were actually there.
Les Taylor lives in northern Aberdeenshire
with his wife and two children.
Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 0 85704 072 5, hardback, 297x210mm, 152 pages. Published October 2010.