Air Enthusiast 1998-11
A.Thomas - Light Blue 'Stringbags'
As an adjunct to the ‘Light Blue Stringbags’ article, a shot of what was ‘home’ to the Swordfish of 3 AACU and 202 Squadron, a wharf in Gibraltar harbour. In the foreground, smoke from the steam crane used for lifting the aircraft obscures a flying-boat.
Armed with two anti-submarine bombs, one of the 3 AACU Swordfish, K8354 ‘EB’ is hoisted ashore at Gibraltar after a patrol in the spring of 1940.
A few Swordfish found their way to Aden where they were used for a short time by 8 Squadron for policing up country in the Protectorate. A very rare view shows one at a landing ground in November 1940.
No.119 Squadron became the only RAF squadron to be fully equipped with the Swordfish when this veteran type replaced the Albacore in January 1945. Mk.III NF410 ‘NH-F’ wearing a Donald Duck motif on the nose.
Armed with a variety of bombs and flares and showing the ASV radar between the undercarriage to advantage, the antiquated appearance of 119 Squadron Swordfish III NF374 ‘NH-M’ belies the effectiveness of the type for night inshore patrols.
Main RAF user of the ‘Stringbag’ in the Far East was the Singapore-based 4 AACU two of whose aircraft, P4016 (flown by F/O Bingham-Wallis) and P4027 (F/O Black) are seen before the Japanese assault.
Swordfish K8405 at Gibraltar in 1940 armed and awaiting its next patrol over the vital Straits.
Poor, but interesting, view of a Swordfish floatplane of 3 AACU off the coast of Malta in early 1940.
Superb view of one of the aircraft of ‘B’ Flight 202 Squadron from Gibraltar.
Burnt remains of a 4 AACU Swordfish at Tengah in January 1941, bear mute testimony to the ferocity and effectiveness of the Japanese air raids