Oxford OXAA002 RAF Avro Anson Mk. I Multi-Role Aircraft - No. 217 Squadron, RAF Coastal Command (1:72 Scale)
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."
- British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, commenting on the British airmen in the Battle of Britain
The Avro Anson is a British twin-engine, multi-role aircraft that served with the Royal Air Force, Fleet Air Arm, Royal Canadian Air Force and numerous other air forces before, during, and after the Second World War. Named after British Admiral George Anson, it was originally designed as an airliner as the Avro 652 before being redeveloped for maritime reconnaissance, but was soon rendered obsolete in both roles. However, it was rescued from obscurity by its suitability as a multi-engine air crew trainer, becoming the mainstay of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. By the end of production in 1952, the Anson spanned nine variants; a total of 8,138 were built in Britain by Avro. From 1941, a further 2,882 were built by Federal Aircraft Ltd. in Canada.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a Avro Anson Mk. I Multi-Role Aircraft that was attached to No. 217 Squadron of RAF Coastal Command.
Release Date: March 2015
Historical Account: "Coastal Command" - No. 217 Squadron was re-formed by Coastal Command of the Royal Air Force on March 15th, 1937, at Boscombe Down, equipped with Avro Ansons, performing general reconnaissance duties until the start of World War II, when it moved to the newly built airfield RAF St Eval, conducting coastal patrols until October 1939. From May 1940, it was equipped with the Bristol Beaufort torpedo bomber, but because of problems with its Taurus engines, the Ansons remained in service until December 1940.
The squadron was ordered to Ceylon, via Gibraltar and Malta, in May 1942. En route, it conducted anti-shipping and mine-laying attacks for two months in the Mediterranean. In one incident, on June 28th, 1942, the crew of a ditched Beaufort were rescued by an Italian CANT Z.506 seaplane. The Italian crew were overpowered and the Cant was flown to Malta where the Italians were made prisoners of war. Crew losses were quite severe, with the remainder of the force arriving in Ceylon in July, with the ground echelon arriving by sea in August.
On March 15th, 1937, No.217 reformed as a general reconnaissance squadron at Boscombe Down equipped with Ansons. On the outbreak of World War Two, it took up its station and bagan flying patrols over the western approaches to the English Channel. For the next two years it was based at St.Eval which it occupied in an unfinished state in October 1939. In May 1940, No.217 began to receive Beauforts but teething troubles prevented these from being used operationally until September 25th and the Ansons did not end their patrols until December. The Beauforts concentrated on attacks on enemy shipping and minelaying until transferred to Ceylon in May. The aircraft flew out via Gibraltar and Malta where they spent two months attacking enemy shipping in the Mediterranean.
The ground echelon arrived in Ceylon in August where it received Hudsons for anti-submarine patrols, the Beauforts having been retained in the Middle East. New Beauforts began to arrive in April 1943, and by July the squadron had reverted to a strike unit, re-equipping with Beaufighters in July 1944. The Japanese made no further attempts to attack Ceylon and No.217 spent its time defensively until May 1945, when it was posted to Cocos Island to prepare for invasion in Malaya. This was forestalled by the Japanese surrender and the squadrons aircraft never did get to Coco's remaining in Ceylon until disbanded on September 30th, 1945.