RAF-in-Combat's Squadrons #24: The Douglas Boston/Havoc Night Fighter


Phil Listemann




Scott Van Aken

Notes: ISBN: 9791096490202, Available at www.raf-in-combat.com 48 Pages

RAF in Combat has been producing a fine line of monographs covering aircraft that did not see very widespread use. This edition covers the Douglas Boston/Havoc as used in the night fighting role. Interestingly, the RAF differentiated between the two by calling the Boston the bomber version and when it was converted to night fighting, it became the Havoc.

Most of these night fighters were the Boston I and Boston II variant. These were mostly planes taken over from the French orders. The RAF did not find them to be what they were looking for in terms of a Blenheim replacement, though the later versions were. As such, the RAF had a lot of planes with no particular mission.

It was decided they would be a good platform for the early airborne radars as these units were large and took up a lot of space. The Boston was chosen and the system was put into the bomb bay. These planes were also used in the Turbinlite experiments and quite a large number were eventually converted.

Unfortunately, the Havoc was not a great night fighter or night intruder for the RAF. That would have to wait for the Beaufighter and Mosquito.

As is the norm in this series, we get a very good background on the aircraft type and its general history. Then it is off to the plane's use with various squadrons. It was 85 Squadron that had the most success with the Havoc. Other units were minimally successful and others came up empty-handed in terms of victories. We also have a full listing of victories and losses as is typical of this series. In all, a very well researched book with great photos and some excellent profiles. Well worth picking up.

April 2018

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