602 "City of Glasgow" (F) Squadron Living History Group

Fleet Air Arm

When our American counterparts at Oshkosh decided to honor the anniversary of US naval aviation in 2011, we decided that we couldn't leave the yanks flying over open waters all by themselves - Britannia rules the waves, after all.

So, we added the British Fleet Air Arm to our impressions. As would have been historically correct, most of us portray members of the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) or its Canadian counterpart, the RCNVR. When the war necessitated the rapid expansion of the Royal Navy in general and its aviation branch in particular, the answer was the Volunteer Reserve, the "wavey navy", through which specialists like aviators could be integrated even without the more traditional naval skills - like running a ship, for example. Thus, by the end of the war, members of the wavey navy clearly outnumbered those of the regular force, especially in the Fleet Air Arm.