de Havilland Mosquito FB.Mk VI – 143 Sqn, RAF Coastal Command, David Pritchard, RAF Banff, Scotland, February 945
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Corgi Aviation Archive 1/72 scale AA32818: de Havilland Mosquito FB.Mk VI in the livery of 143 Sqn, RAF Coastal Command as flown by David Pritchard from RAF Banff, Scotland, February 1945. Limited edition of only 1,400 pieces, now very hard to find.
Length 6.75 inches Wingspan 9 inches
RAF Banff was built for Coastal Command in 1942 in order to allow anti-shipping and anti-U boat operations over the north sea and around the coast of Norway. From October 1944 the Banff Strike Wing operated with mainly Mosquitoes. The Strike Wing crews often ran the gauntlet of heavy anti-aircraft fire as they penetrated deep into heavily defended Norwegian Fijords to attack shipping targets at anchor. The Wing achieved outstanding success but at a heavy loss with over 80 crews lost during the last months of the war 143 Sqn arrived at Banff in October 1944 operating Beaufighters but quickly converted to Mosquitoes. The 25lb AP rocket armed Mosquito FB MkVI HR405, NE-A was flown by by Squadron Leader David Pritchard DFC for a photo shoot in February 1945 and is therefore a well photographed aircraft. Its combat history is a little more sketchy but it is known to have been involved in the famous Banff Wing battle with FW190s of JG5 on 23rd March 1945 and it was unquestionably a real Banff veteran, serving with the Strike Wing from September 1944 until the end of the war when it transferred to 14 Squadron.
Designed in a private venture as a high-altitude, high-speed unarmed bomber, the de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito was first flown on November 25th, 1940. The Mosquito was one of the most successful aircraft of the Second World War. Only the Ju 88 could rival its versatility. Powered by two Rolls-Royce Merlin engines, the all-wood Mosquito was as fast as a fighter and could carry the payload of a medium bomber. During its lifetime, the Mosquito was used in varying roles, which included night fighter and ground attack. It carried radar systems and cannons, and there was even a carrier landing version.