Short Stirling Mk III

Short Stirling Mk III    HA-O  EF462,   218 Squadron,
Flight Sergeant A. L. Aaron VC, Turin Raid, 12th/13th August 1943.

Short Stirling Mk III of 218 Squadron flown by Flt Sgt Aaron Victoria Cross Short Stirling Mk III of 218 Squadron flown by Flt Sgt Aaron Victoria Cross

Scale 1:144     Wingspan 8.25" (210 mm)
Base size 12.28" x 8.8" (312mm x 225mm) (No. 14)
Weight not including base 1 lb 4.25ozs (589 grams)

Limited edition of 200 only   Total number of models produced 200

Flight Sergeant A. L. Aaron, who piloted this aircraft was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross as a result of the Turin raid on the night of 12th / 13th August 1943 in Stirling Mk III EF452 of No. 218 Squadron. Tragically, Aaron's wounds resulted from mistaken identity, the tail gunner in another Stirling opened fire on what he thought was an enemy nightfighter coming in from behind. At 0120 the aircraft flew into a hail of bullets from the other Stirling's tail guns as they approached Turin. The result was horrendous. The windscreen fragmented, the nose and rear turrets were deactivated, the controls were badly damaged and three engines were hit. The navigator of was killed instantly, other crew members were wounded and terrible injuries were received by Flight Sergeant Aaron, who had part of his face torn off, his jaw smashed, a lung perforated and his right arm broken. Aaron collapsed over the control column and the Stirling dived several thousand feet, but the flight engineer managed to pull out at less than 4,000ft (1,219m) and the bomb-aimer took over the controls. Despite his terrible wounds, Aaron scribbled a note advising the bombaimer to make for England, but owing to the state of the aeroplane it was decided to head for Sicily. The bomb load was jettisoned after crossing the Italian coast, but an emergency call advised the Stirling crew to fly to Bone airfield on the North African coast. When Bone was sighted, Aaron, after some first-aid treatment, forced himself back into the pilot's seat and attempted to land the crippled bomber in spite of his failing strength. Bone's runway was blocked by a crashed Wellington, and Aaron twice tried to belly-land alongside it. By now the fuel tanks were practically empty and, when the gallant Aaron wanted to attempt a third landing, the bomb-aimer knew it was now or never and put the aircraft down himself. It was 0600 on Friday 13th of August 1943, and nine hours later Flight Sergeant Aaron died from his wounds. He was buried in Bone cemetery with full military honours, and his VC was gazetted on 5th November 1943.