Saturday, 2 October 2010

Wartime Snapshots

A few weeks ago, I scanned a small collection of negatives relating to the Second World War. I was pleased to find they showed a pilot and his aircraft - a Fairey Swordfish, often dubbed the 'Stringbag'.
I wish I knew who he was, but for those who appreciate the sight of an historic aircraft, here they are.

Flying over a reservoir

The pilot is on the right

Another view of the pilot
Several Swordfish lined up on a grass strip

Ground crew work on this Stringbag

Proud of his work


  1. As a former light aircraft pilot, I just loved seeing these. Thankyou so much for sharing them.

  2. Graham Mottram - Director of the superb Fleet Air Arm Museum ( tells me:" These Swordfish are in 820 Squadron, whose home ship was HMS Courageous from the time the squadron re-equipped with Swordfish in September 1937 until they transferred to the new HMS Ark Royal at the very end of 1938. As the squadron codes “649” etc., changed around this time, I would date the photographs as 1938 sometime, maybe from Evanton in Scotland. The one photo with palms in the background might just be the detachment to Hal Far, Malta in February 1939." Thank you very much, Graham!

  3. Hi Laurie,
    What a fabulous collection of photos... I too love old aircraft. Don't know if you might have visited at some point in the past the Air and Space Museum at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, where the Paris Air Show is held every two years. They have alot of beautiful old aircraft in there.

    PS And a giant "thank you" to you for passing on a tip to me to visit Tom B.'s blog at that time, which has since moved to a Tumblr site. While in the US in September I met him for a day, and we visited two lovely abandoned factory sites... If you hadn't passed on the info about his blog to me I might very well have never found it. Cheers !

  4. Thanks Owen. Glad you got back safely - loving the photographs you are showing of your trip. Pleased to hear you linked up with Tom B. There is a huge abandoned Victorian lunatic asylum just five miles from home and I noticed an abandoned house three miles further on tonight. I'll try and capture something from them for you!