By Andrew Davies*
In a 1974 article in Aeroplane Monthly, a former Royal Air Force maritime patrol pilot wrote this about his experience flying in World War II:
During a period of 1,200 operational hours flown over a period of about a year—primarily on the Russian route—I was, alas, only involved in three attacks out of perhaps six possible sightings of U-boats, with no positive claim of a kill, and no sightings made of any German capital ship. However … we made an invaluable contribution in containing the German sea offensive against the Allied convoys traversing this area of the high seas. The constant patrolling of Allied convoy routes forced U-boats to be submerged for much longer periods than their attack plans catered for. … [T]here had to come a time when he would be forced to surface, well out of range of Royal Navy escorts and convoy air cover, in order to recharge his batteries. All this put valuable time and distance between the U-boat and his prey, and the prospects of a kill were severely reduced as a result.