Corgi AA37904 Royal Flying Corps SPAD XIII Fighter - Captain William M. Fry, No.23 Squadron, January 1918 (1:48 Scale)
"Courage is doing what you are afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you are scared."
- Eddie Rickenbacker
The Socit Pour L'Aviation et ses Drivs, commonly known as SPAD, was a French aircraft manufacturer responsible for producing a number of significant fighter aircraft during the First World War. Originally called Socit de production des avions Deperdussin, the company was virtually bankrupt before the war when it was rescued by Louis Biariot who changed the name while retaining the initials.
SPAD began by building the "A-series" of pusher two-seat biplanes. In early 1915 SPAD began development of a tractor biplane designated the "S.V" which went into production as the SPAD S.VII. Improvements in the S.VII led first to the S.XII and then to the development of the definitive SPAD fighter, the S.XIII which entered service in May 1917 and equipped French, British and American squadrons. Over 8,000 S.XIIIs were eventually built.
The SPAD was most notably flown in service by Count Francesco Baracca and Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker, two of the Entente highest scoring aces of WWI with 34 and 26 victories respectively. It was also flown by most French aces, including Georges Guynemer, one of France's most popular pilots.
Pictured here is a 1:48 scale replica of a Royal Flying Corps SPAD XIII fighter that was piloted by Captain William M. Fry, who was attached to No.23 Squadron, during January 1918. Sold Out!
Length: 5.25 inches
Wingspan: 6.75 inches
Release Date: December 2010
Historical Account: "Trench Foot" - The Spad XIII was not widely used by the RFC and the only unit to be fully equipped with the aircraft was No 23 Sqn. The squadron received its first aeroplanes in December 1917 and by mid-February 1918 it was at full strength with 16 Spad XIIIs.
Captain William Mayes Fry served in the infantry before transferring to the RFC in December 1915. By the time he joined 23 Squadron late in 1917 he was already a veteran with experience in Morane-Saulnier and Nieuport fighters. On January 4th, 1918, he scored his first Spad XIII kill when he downed an Albatros DV and on January 23rd he was flying aircraft B6847 when he shot down another Albatros in flames over the Houthhulst Forest. Fry finished the war with eleven kills and went on to become a wing leader in the post-war RAF. After retiring he returned to wartime service for the duration of WWII from 1939 to 1945. Willy Fry died on August 4th, 1992.