Fairey Swordfish Mk I

Fairey Swordfish Mk I   825 Squadron, Lt. Cdr. E. Esmonde DSO (pilot),
Lt. W.H. Williams (observer), LAC W.J. Clinton (telegraphist/air gunner).

Fairey Swordfish of 825 Sqn the Channel Dash flown by Lt Cdr E Esmonde.
Fairey Swordfish of 825 Sqn the Channel Dash flown by Lt Cdr E Esmonde.

Scale 1:72     Wingspan 7.58" (192 mm)
Base size 12.28" x 8.8" (312mm x 225mm) (No. 14)  
Weight not including base 13 ozs (368 grams)

Limited edition of 100 only   Total number of models produced 100

At 12.30hrs. on February 12th 1942, six Swordfish from 825 Squadron took off from a snowbound Manston on operation "Fuller" led by Lt. Cdr. Eugene Esmonde DSO. Their target were the German battle-cruisers Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and the cruiser Prinz Eugen which had slipped out of Brest Harbour and were heading through the English Channel to cause havoc amongst the allied convoys in the Atlantic. Despite the overwhelming German fighter cover they managed to press home their attack but with no major damage caused to their target. All six aircraft were destroyed and of the 18 air crew, only 5 survived the operation.
Lt. Cdr. Esmonde was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross. Four DSO's and one Conspicuous Gallantry Medal were awarded to survivors of the first flight with the remainder none of whom came back and of whom it is said "Theirs was the courage which is beyond praise." were posthumously Mentioned in Despatches.
Mounted on the base together with the aircraft, plaque, and torpedo on trolley is a piece of fabric from one of the Royal Navy Historic Flight Swordfish which has been signed personally by D. Bunce CGM, E.Lee DSO, P. Kingsmill DSO, all of whom took part in the operation.