Biggin Hill Part 1

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Tech Sergeant
Apr 6, 2005
A while ago I posted some clips from the TV coverage of a BH airshow in the mid-90s. I have chopped it into bits and here is the first selection:
- Mossie
- B17
- Stringbags (yes I did say plural)

Maybe I have posted some of these as earlier clips but here is the full sequence. Things to look forward to include the 109 and Chinook.


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That was brilliant Roy thanks, do I love those old Stringbags that's the second time I've heard them described as sinking more tonnage of shipping than any other allied plane during WW2 I have sent an inquiry to the Fleet Air Arm archives to verify this as I have exhausted my other avenues of information but I have been told it will take some months to get a reply I think its a toss up between the Dauntless SBD and the Stringbag , once I know I'll let the guys on here know. Although how you can verify a ship is sunk by a Stringbag laid mine will be hard, other than instances where only the Swordfish sewed in a certain area.
Certainly an interesting notion. Reading that book I was astonished to read about how the Stringbag had also been a tank destroyer in the western desert.

So maybe you can say with more certainty that the plane was the most successful as regards diversity of armament used successfully against the enemy in all theatres.

By the way do you like Canvey Island's finest 'export' - The Hamsters? Brilliant rock band which I have seen about 6 times in as many years. Or maybe the accolade should go to Dr Feelgood?
God, I love those biplanes!!!

But Swordfish as a tank-buster? Sounds quite unbelieveable to me. Any detailes please.... :)
The Swordfish Mk.II, III and IV could carry rockets. It sounds believable to me.
I can't find the bit in the book that Roy is reading that refers to it but as it was used for dive bombing I can see no reason a target is a target and with a max dive speed of only 200mph I would imagine it would be very accurate too.
See page 116.

"Later, the desert Swordfish were used for dive-bombing attacks on enemy tanks, and were successful at this too. They were armed with special anti-tank bombs which had a very long nose fuse, so that they exploded on the surface on immediate contact, and not after burying themselves in the sand."
It is a great book. I have got to the bit where he refereed a boxing match between the Blugarian champion and some ugly Brit Corporal. Moments like this balance the grimness of his mates getting lost in the desert. He says that the Stringbag was great if your engine was OK. I like the way he repeatedly thanks his engineers.

BTW I have always liked this plane and even made an Airfix model of it when I was a kid - I spose I liked all the rockets and torp etc. It was nice to see at airshows but I think I preferred the Sea Fury and Sea Hawk, the latter is the jet equivalent of the Spitfire in balletic grace and clean lines IMHO. Nice noise too. I also made a model of the Firefly. Sad that is not around any more. Terrible loss.

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