Ark Royal Swordfish pilot John 'Jock' Moffat

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by mikky, May 10, 2020.

  1. mikky

    mikky Member

    I'm researching Lieutenant-Commander John 'Jock' Moffat, the man credited with crippling the Bismark. I have quite a bit on him though cannot access any of the Fleet Air Arm diaries. there are hours of detailed interview with him available on Imperial War Museum audio which is very useful, he also wrote a book.

    My question is regarding this YouTube footage 'With The 'Ark Royal' (1940) Not certain when Moffat joined Ark Royal but he went to Gibraltar August 1940 on board the Argus. Also not sure when this footage was taken. It's quite possible Moffat is piloting one of the planes featured. Are they definitely Fairey Swordfish Is there any way to confirm or disprove he is in the film. Does anyone know of any other wartime footage of Moffat (Have seen the youtube interview done in approx 200).

    Thanks in advance Mike

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  2. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

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  3. Markyboy

    Markyboy Member

    That date ties in with his book as it says he finished training in December 1940 and then proceeded to Gibraltar to join ark royal. Page 89 onwards.
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  4. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Aircraft in the video clip are definitely Swordfish.

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  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Had this email from member rossbeveridge , can anyone help him out ?

    Re: Bismark attack
    My youngest son & I have just completed a 1/600 model of the Bismark and are embarking on building a model of Moffats' Fairey Swordfish but are having difficulty in verifying the registration number and the Squadron/ship identification code identifiers I have several possibilities, but cannot verify them!
    and was wondering if:
    - in the logbook entry for the Bismark Torpedo attack is there
    a record of the aircraft registration # ?
    a record of the Squadron identification code?
    if so can I get a copy of them?
    All the Best, Ross
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  6. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    Hi Owen,

    This is clearly not all the information but according to Sturtivant's The Swordfish Story, Moffatt was flying Swordfish '5C'. I don't know if that is one of the bits of information Ross is looking for - "Squadron/ship identification code"?
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  7. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Owen, in the table some way down this comprehensive web page (link below) the Swordfish John Moffat flew against the Bismarck is listed as "5C/L9726" of 818 Squadron.

    The Story of the Torpedoing of the Bismarck

    Will try to corroborate/confirm from other sources.

    The markings may have followed the convention illustrated by aircraft "5G" photograhed in 1941.


    Kind regards, always,

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  8. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

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  9. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    None of the papers relating to the sinking of The Bismarck held at TNA appear to have been digitised unfortunately, and currently have found no trace of 818 Squadron records at TNA either:

    Search results: Bismarck | The National Archives

    Would a book suffice? If so "Swordfish" by Donald Payne may be the one. Comprehensive details of contents listed here:

    Book: Swordfish | Large Scale Planes

    Kind regards, always,

  10. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Photograph captioned as "818 Squadron aboard Ark Royal 1940".


    Colour plate of 5C.


    Kind regards, always,

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  11. mikky

    mikky Member

    Many thanks all. I missed these replies.

  12. Mark K Nem

    Mark K Nem New Member

    I've only just found this site & thought the attached may be of interest - apologies for only half a Swordfish but the important signature is there. I bought a Job lot of pics of which this one & the photocopy of the article were included - clearly of historical interest but can anyone suggest where it could go on display?

    Attached Files:

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