Supermarine Spitfire Mk V 3 Piece Set – Great Escape Collection 1942
Spitfire Mk V 3 Piece Set – Great Escape Collection (1,000)
1 in stock
1 in stock
Corgi Aviation Archive 1/72 scale AA31934A,B & C: Complete set of 3 rare and sought after Supermarine Spitfire MkVb models from RAF squadrons flown by overseas pilots in 1942 before being captured and sent to the infamous prison camp Stalag Luft III, from which they all escaped. The set consists of:
AA31934A SPITFIRE MK.VB, BL595 EB-E, BRAM VAN DER STOK
AA31934B SPITFIRE MK.VB, AB269 AH-D, PER BERGSLAND
AA31934C SPITFIRE MK.VB, AR298 FN-N, JENS MULLER
In the Spring of 1943 Squadron Leader Robert Bushell conceived a plan for a major escape with his fellow captives from the Stalag Luft III prisoner of war camp in the German province of Lower Silesia, now known as Zagan in Poland. The camp was originally an ‘officers only’ camp and held captured enemy airmen of the RAF and other allied airforces. The location of the camp was specifically selected as it was believed that it would be impossible to escape from by the means of tunnelling, Bushell thought otherwise.
After almost a year of planning and the digging of several tunnels, on the night of the 24th March 1944 the escape took place. In all 76 men crawled through the tunnel and breached the outer fence of the camp, this amazing story inspired several writers and film makers. In 1963, the movie, ‘The Great Escape’ was released starring a host of famous actors including Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson and Richard Attenborough. 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the movie launch and the 70th anniversary of when the master escape plan was formed and the digging of the tunnels began. To commemorate this event in military history, Aviation Archive present the ‘Great Escape Collection’, the range features the aircraft in which the escapees flew before being captured. The models are each on a low run of only 1,000 pieces.
AA31934A: Bram Van Der Stok was not only the most decorated aviator in Dutch history, but also one of just three men to escape to freedom as a result of the ‘Great Escape’. Training as a pilot before the war, Van Der Stok claimed one Bf109 before the capitulation of the Netherlands. He made various attempts to escape to England before succeeding in getting to Scotland in 1941. Between February and April 1942 he claimed one confirmed Bf109 and damaged 3 others while flying with 41 and 91 Squadrons. On the 12th April 1942 Van Der Stok was shot down while flying Spitfire Mk.Vb BL595 and entered German captivity.
He was the 18th man out of the camp on the night of the ‘Great Escape’ and crossed much of Europe before arriving in Spain. He arrived back in the UK on the 11th July 1944 having travelled through occupied Germany and France by train before crossing the Pyrenees. He then re-joined 91 Squadron and flew over Normandy during the D-Day landings. He continued flying up until the end of the war, latterly commanding the Dutch 322 Squadron. After the war he became a doctor, working with NASA during the 1970s.
AA31934B: Born in Norway in 1918 Per Bergsland was a Norwegian fighter pilot who, after his country was occupied by the Nazis in 1940, escaped to England and served with the RAF. Flying with 332 Squadron he was shot down on 19th August 1942 while participating in the Dieppe Raid. Captured quickly, he hid his Norwegian nationality from the Germans, fearing reprisals against his family still in Norway.
Held at Stalag Luft III, Bergsland was part of the ‘Great Escape’, later managing to make his way across occupied Europe to neutral Sweden and then back to Britain; his pre-war skills in orienteering aiding his escape. He made his journey in the company of Jens Muller, another Norwegian pilot. They were two of just three who successfully escaped out of the 74 that fled the camp that night. After the war Per Bergsland continued a career in aviation.
AA31934C: Jens Muller was born in Shanghai, China in November 1917. The son of a Norwegian engineer and a British actress, the young Muller had a pilot’s licence by the time he was 18 and was studying in Zurich when war was declared. After the occupation of Norway he made his way to Great Britain and enlisted in the RAF, becoming an officer by 1942. On 19th June 1942 he was shot down by a Focke-Wulf FW190 and after spending 66 hours afloat in a dinghy was captured by the Germans.
Transferred to Stalag Luft III, Muller contributed to the ‘Great Escape’ by making an air pump for ventilation of the tunnel and he was amongst the 74 who escaped the camp. In the accompaniment of Per Bergsland they made their way to Stettin in Germany (now Poland) from where they caught a ship to neutral Sweden, becoming two of just three who successfully escaped from occupied Europe.
After the war Muller worked for Det Norske Luftfartsselskap, one of the companies that later merged into Scandinavian Airlines Systems.