Air Enthusiast 1998-11
A.Thomas - Light Blue 'Stringbags'
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 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.
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.
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.
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