Oxford AC025 Royal Navy Fairey Swordfish Mk. III Torpedo Plane - 821 Naval Air Squadron, HMS Ark Royal, 1940 (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 1700) 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 821 Naval Air Squadron, then embarked upon the HMS Ark Royal during 1940. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 7.75 inches
Length: 6 inches
Release Date: October 2011
Historical Account: "Low and Slow" - 821 Naval Air Squadron was a Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm carrier based squadron formed on April 3rd, 1933, with the transferral and amalgamation of the Fairey III aircraft from 446 and half of 455 Flight (Fleet Spotter Reconnaissance) Flights Royal Air Force to the newly formed Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Air Force. The squadron operated during the Second World War.
Operating off Ark Royal the squadron was responsible for the first allied U-boat kill of the war, when they sank U-39, after she had unsuccessfully tried to torpedo Ark Royal. The squadron sailed with the carrier to the South Atlantic and Indian Ocean, searching for German shipping and commerce raiders. After briefly operating in the Mediterranean, the German invasion of Norway in April 1940 caused Ark Royal to be recalled to support allied operations in Norway. The squadron was used to attack enemy positions, but on June 21st an attempt was made to sink the German battleship Scharnhorst. The squadron sustained heavy losses in this unsuccessful operation and was forced to disband in December. A single flight, X Flight, continued in service though, with six aircraft. They sailed to Gibraltar aboard HMS Argus and then to Malta aboard HMS Ark Royal. They covered the Malta Convoys, before being absorbed in 815 Naval Air Squadron.