Remembering the Telegraphist Air Gunners
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Photos: Wartime Heritage 2006
Swordfish HS469 - Shearwater Aviation Museum Swordfish HS469 was delivered to the Royal Navy (RN) at Royal Air Force (RAF) Station Manston in February 1943. This Swordfish was flown by RN 841 Squadron while seconded to the RAF Coastal Command on English Channel operations and thence on to Royal Naval Air Station Lee-On-Solent in April 1943, where it was disassembled, crated and shipped to HMS Seaborn, a Royal Naval Air Section tenant unit at RCAF Station Dartmouth N.S. HS469 was reassembled at HMS Seaborn and test flown 12 July 1943 by Lieutenant Richard S. Bunyard RN. It was transferred, on 28 August 1943, to RN 745 Squadron, which provided aircraft to Number 1 Naval Telegraphist Air Gunner School (TAGS) at RCAF Station Yarmouth N.S. as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BACTP). In August 1944, HS469 was involved in a runway undershoot incident. During 1944 while at Yarmouth, HS469, originally a Mk. II, underwent modification No. 408 to enclose the open cockpits with a canopy, thereby converting it to one of the 59 Mk. IV Swordfish operated by the School in January 1945. On 2 August 1945, the Swordfish was transferred to the RCN and retained its HS469 identification, but according to regulations at the time was registered on RCAF inventory. The RCN announced in July 1946 that the Swordfish were finally being withdrawn from service, although some aircraft were dispersed throughout Canada for ground training purposes. HS469 was stuck off strength on 17 August 1946 and disposed for scrap in Ontario. HS469 languished in a farmer's field in Ontario for many years until resurrected by group of naval aviation enthusiasts in the Toronto area in the early 1980's. After more than 13 years of painstaking work HS469 flew in April 1994 at Canadian Forces Base Shearwater, one of only four airworthy Swordfish in the world at the time, and donated to the Shearwater Aviation Museum. Text Source