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The Blackburn B-25 Roc was a British Second World War-era Fleet Air Arm fighter aircraft designed by Blackburn Aircraft Ltd. It took its name from the mythical bird of the tales of the Arabian Nights, the Roc.

Although intended for carrier use, Rocs only served alongside Skuas in two land-based squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm between February 1940 and August 1941. During the Allied campaign in Norway a small contingent of Rocs travelled with 800 and 803 squadrons onboard HMS Ark Royal. Skuas and Rocs flew both fighter sweeps and bombing sorties over the English Channel during Operation Dynamo, and Operation Ariel, the evacuation of Allied forces from Dunkirk and other French ports.

Finally, the Roc was relegated to training and target-towing roles until 1943, when the type was withdrawn from service. However, until late 1944, four non-airworthy Rocs were stationed at HMS Daedalus in Gosport, their turrets being used for anti-aircraft defence.

What was probably the Roc's sole confirmed victory occurred on 28 May 1940 when an 806 Naval Air Squadron Roc flown by pilot Mid A. G. Day, together with two Blackburn Skuas, intercepted five Junkers Ju 88s which were attacking a convoy off Ostende in Belgium. Flying underneath the Junkers while the Skuas attacked from above, Mid Day's Roc destroyed one Ju 88 before returning safely to Detling.

The first flight by a Roc was on 23 December 1938, however the type quickly became obsolete and enjoyed only a brief service life.

The Roc was a "fighter" development of the Skua dive bomber using the same turret fighter concept as the Boulton Paul Defiant in that its sole armament was four .303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns in a powered dorsal turret. The reduced firepower (compared to land based fighters such as the Hawker Hurricane) was offset by the ability to direct it in any direction. In practice, the weight of the turret made the Roc even slower than the already slow – for fighter purposes – Skua and it was suggested by the Air Council, even before production started, that it might be better used as an advanced trainer.

Source: Wikipedia

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Battle vs. Fokker D.VII (by Fakeman2)[]

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Winner: Blackburn Roc

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