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24 May 1939 the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm consisted of 20 squadrons with 232 aircraft. By the end of the war the worldwide strength of the Fleet Air Arm was 59 aircraft carriers, 3,700 aircraft, 72,000 officers and men, and 56 Naval air stations.
During WW2, the FAA operated fighters, torpedo bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. In the summer of 1940, the RAF called upon the Admiralty for Fleet Air Arm assistance as the Battle of Britain raged.
Many of the unsung heroes of RAF Fighter Command in those bleak days of 1940 were the Fleet Air Arm crews who served under Fighter Command, integrating themselves with panache within what was new to them, namely the advanced structure and fighter control system deployed by RAF Fighter Command.
The top scoring Fleet Air Arm fighter ace with 17 victories in WW2 was Commander Stanley Orr, whilst the Royal Marine ace was Ronald Cuthbert Hay with 13 victories.
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