Corgi AA36307 Royal Navy Fairey Swordfish Mk. III Torpedo Plane - 811 Naval Air Squadron, 1938 (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 Swordfish was a three-man torpedo-bomber and reconnaissance biplane with a basic structure of fabric-covered metal. The wings folded for storage on the crowded deck of an aircraft carrier. Armament included one forward-firing Vickers machine gun and one swiveling Vickers in the rear cockpit. Primary offensive power took the form of depth charges, mines, bombs or, especially, a torpedo. Unfortunately, this outstanding plane was too slow to withstand the punishment of German anti-aircraft fire. Long, accurate approaches to the target made the Swordfish very vulnerable when delivering its torpedo. Thus came re-deployment in an anti-submarine warfare role, using depth charges and, later, rockets.
As with many wartime aircraft, Swordfish were produced by more than one manufacturer. Well over half (almost 1,700) were built by the Blackburn company in Sherburn in Elmet, UK.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a Royal Navy Fairey Swordfish Mk. III torpedo plane that was attached to 811 Naval Air Squadron during 1938. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 7.75 inches
Length: 6 inches
Historical Account: "The Stringbag" - 811 Naval Air Squadron was a squadron attached to Britain's Fleet Air Arm. In 1939, the squadron flew the Fairey Swordfish while embarked aboard the HMS Glorious. When that ship was lost in combat, the survivors were drafted to help reform 815 Naval Air Squadron who had been operating from the same ship.
811 was reformed in July 1941 at Lee-on-Solent (HMS Daedalus). Initially equipped with the Vought-Sikorsky Chesapeake and intended for duty with an escort carrier on the Atlantic convoys. After three months it was decided that the Chesapeake was not up to the job and the squadron re-equipped with the Swordfish.
After a long period re-training, initially at RNAS Arbroath, then at RNAS Machrihanish (HMS Landrail) the squadron moved during August 1942 to RAF Bircham Newton for mine-laying and other anti-shipping operations off the coast of the Netherlands, Belgium and North-East France.
In December of that year there was another move, this time to Hatston, Orkney. It eventually got afloat in HMS Biter in March 1943.