Avro Anson Light Bomber
The Avro Anson first flew on March 24, 1935 and was designed as a response to a 1933 request for an inexpensive land based maritime patrol plane. The Anson entered service on March 6, 1936 with 48 Squadron. At the start of WWII the RAF had 824 Ansons flying with 26 squadrons. At the start of the war the Anson was considered obsolete in its intended role but it did score a probable hit on a German U-boat. In June 1940 a flight of three Ansons was attacked by nine ME-109s. Amazingly one of the Ansons shot down two German aircraft and damaged a third without losing any of their own. The Anson was rapidly replaced by the Hudson in the maritime patrol role and went on to serve as an operational trainer for bomber crews where it became the mainstay of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. It was also used as a light transport. Production of the Anson continued until 1952 with 11,020 built. The last Anson retired from RAF service on June 28, 1968. The Anson was flown by Royal Afghan Air Force, Argentina, Royal Australian Air Force, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Canadian Navy, Cuba, Czechoslovakian Air Force, Egyptian Air Force, Estonian Air Force, Ethiopian Air Force, Finnish Air Force, French Air Force and Aeronavale, Hellenic Royal Air Force, Royal Indian Air Force, Imperial Iranian Air Force, Royal Iraqi Air Force, Irish Air Corps, Israeli Air Force, Royal Netherlands Air Force and Dutch Naval Aviation Service, Royal New Zealand Air Force, Royal Norwegian Air Force, Paraguayan Air Arm, Portuguese Air Force, Royal Rhodesian Air Force, Royal Saudi Air Force, South African Air Force, Southern Rhodesian Air Force, Syrian Air Force, US Army Air Forces and the Turkish Air Force. After WWII production continued for civilian use as a light transport and executive aircraft. The Anson was armed with one .303 cal. machinegun in the front fuselage and one .303 cal. Vickers K machinegun in the dorsal turret and could carry 360 lbs. of bombs. This model shows an Avro Anson Mk.I flying with the Irish Air Corps in 1944.