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Avro Anson Mk.l, K6298/EY-V, No. 233 Squadron RAF, Leuchars, 1939.

Dark Earth/Dark Green uppersurfaces wi1h Sky undersides; codes In


Medium Sea Grey. 'A 1' roundels on fuselage sides and above wings, type
'A' below wings; serial in black
AVRO 6521 ANSO
By Alan W.Hall
T
HE history of the Avro Anson is a
long and sometimes complicated one.
It was in production from the mid
1930s till long after World War 2 and saw
service in every theatre of war and in every
RAF and most Commonwealth Air Force
Commands apart from exports.
Yet the Anson s original concept was that
of a pre-war civil airliner. Imperial Airways,
who in common with other European air-
lines were opening new routes and introduc-
ing new types of aircraft, were keen to keep
ahead of the competition and made it known
that they were seeking an airliner that would
seat up to six passengers and have a cnrising
speed of over 150 mph for the new route
they were proposing from Croydon to
Brindisi in Italy.
Roy Chadwick head of Avro's design
team came up with the solution which
became known by the works designation
Avro 652. It was a twin engined low winged
aircraft with the interesting availability of a
retractable undercarriage which gave it a
cruisi ng speed 15 mph in excess of what
Imperial Airways were looking for.
The airline ordered two aircraft which
The Anson was developed from two civil Avro
652s ordered by Imperial Airways for their route
from Croydon to Brindisi in italy. Registered as
G-ACRM and G-ACRN they were named
'Avalon' and ' Avatar' thought the latter was
changed to ' Ava' as the full name was a rude
word in certain languages
they named Avalon' G-ACRM and
Avatar' G-ACRN. Part of the contract was
that Avros could use the aircraft on their
route proving trials for a sales tour of the
Balkans to try and encourage new orders for
their design. But trouble struck 'Avatar' as
the word had an ent irely diflcrent and rather
rude meaning in the local language and it
was quickly changed to 'Ava'.
Both aircraft gave exemplary service to
Imperial Airways on their Italian route but
with war clouds looming they were sold to
Air Service Training Ltd for usc as naviga-
tion trainers at o.ll Air Observers
Navigation School where they were
impressed into RAF service in 1941 and
ended up at RAE Famborough with the
No.I School of Photography before moving
on to the Royal Navy at Lce-on-Solent
The first production Anson Mk.l was K6152
seen in its original form some time after its first
flight. Powered by 295 hp Cheetah engines in
fluted cowlings it remained in servic,e with the
manufactuers for much of lt,s life.
eventually ending their days there.
MILITARY INTEREST
In the same period the Air Mininstry seeing
the potential of the Avro 652 issued
Specification 18/35 which was based on
Roy Chadwick's design as at that time and
period of intensive re-am1ament, new types
were being sought to update the aircraft
present at that time in front line service.
Avros supplied plans for a general recon-
naissance bomber in 1934 which was given
the designation 652A and fitted with 295 hp
Cheetah engines in helmeted cowlings and
an armament of a forward firing .303
machine gun and another in a turret with a
similar gun fitted on the dorsal line behind
the wing trailing edge. A bomb load of 360
lbs could be carried internally in the centre
section.
The first prototype K4771 flew on 24
AVRO ANSON WAR PAINT PAGE 1.
No 48 Squadron was the first operational RAF
squadron to use the Anson. It joined forces with
the School of Navigation to become the largest
pre-war Anson user in the RAF. This picture
shows some of their aircraft hangared at RAF
Mansion. Note the serials marked on top of the
wing as well as underneath. (C.F.Sandrett)
March 1935 and service trials began at
Gospon in competition with a military ver-
sion of rhe Dragon Rapide known as rhe
DH.89M. The Avro 652A was I he winner of
rhc compel irion and the Ai r Minisrry placed
an immediate order for 174 aircraft. It was
given rhe name Anson and production began
al Woodford, Cheshire where rhe firsl proro-
lype fl ew on 3 1 December 1935 seriallcd
K6 152.
It is interesring 10 note that the rotal time
Ia ken for rhe aircraft to come from rhe draw-
ing board. consrnacr ion, and go through rhe
competiri ve rri al s with the DII.89M was a
mere two years when consideri ng that pres-
em day military aircraft, albeil of far greater
complexity, rake anything up 10 len years
before a prororype makes irs lirsl fligh1.
Wirh rhe prototype avail able exrensive
rests took pl ace at the Aeropl ane and
Armamenl Expcrimenral Establishmenr
(A&AEE) then at Martlesham Heath, where
a few change were made. One such was rhe
i ncrease in span of the rail plane and a reduc-
tion in el eval or area.
The Anson continued in rhis configura-
tion as rhe Mk.1 throughoul irs service
career aparr from one orher modificarion.
The sl opi ng wi ndscreen was found 10 leak
badly in wet wear her and this was ahered to
a more uprighr conligurarion whilsr in larer
aircraft the fluted cowlings were dispensed
with in favour of s1raigh1 ones similar 10
rhose on rhe Oxford.
One orher modilicarion thai did nor ahcr
the external shape was the installarion of an
PAGE 2 AVRO ANSON WAR PAINT
Above: Anson Mk.t N1331 although test flown in the UK with RAF serials it went to Australia In
November 1938 as one of the original batch to equip the RAAF. (MAP) Below: Anson Mk.l K6318 was
issued to No. 269 Squadron which moved from Blrcham Newton to Abbotslnch and then Eastlelgh In
the matter of a few months in 1936 taking their Ansons with them. (MAP)
Avro Anson camouflage and markings
AVRO ANSON COLOUR KEY Drawings by Richard J. Caruana
oo oo
Whote Nighi/Btaok ldent Blue ldent Red Dark Earth Dark Green Sky Grey Sky Extra Dark Ocean Grey
(Oul) (Dull) Sea Grey
~ - - - - 0 - - D
Medoum Dark Slate l ight Slate ldont Bluo ldent Red Yellow
Soa Grey Grey Grey (Bright) (Bright)
Ughl Groen ldont Orange ldent Groen
(Ireland) (Ireland) (Ireland)
Foliage
Green
(RAAF)
light Blue
(Finland)
Avro Anson Mk.l. K61 63. RAF Central Flying School, 1937. Aluminium
overall with black serial on fuselage sides and rudder. repeated above and
below the wings inboard of roundel; roundels in six positoons. CFS crest in a
white disc on fin
Avro Anson GR.1, K8754NX-T, No 206 Squadron RAF, Mansion, 1939.
Dark Earth/Dark Green uppersurfaces and Aluminium undersides; codes in
Medium Sea Grey. 'A' type roundels above and below wings
AVAO ANSON WAR PAINT PAGE 3
----.--- Avro Anson Mk;t,-L794E!IV;-Noc 9"FTS RAF. ml>:-Dark-e:arthlOark Green -
undercarriage warning hom. Embryro pi lots
used unti l that ti me to fixed undercarriages
were prone to forget to wind down the
Anson's undercarriage with some interest-
ing results. The warning horn was installed
to prevent this and it sounded whcne,cr the
aircrafi"s speed approached landing speed.
SQUADRON SERVICE
The first Anson delivered to the RAF was
K6153 which went to 1 o.48 Squadron at
RAF Mansion on 6 March 1936. This unit.
apart from its coastal reconnaissance duties
was also the School of Navigation after it
had merged wit h No. 48 Squadron to
become the largest Anson unit pre-war.
o.206 Squadron was the next to refom1
with the Anson. It started its days at Manston
but shortly afterwards moved to Bircham
Newton. Norfolk in July 1936 having K6175
and K6 179 as its initial equipment.
Production was now in full swing and
thereafier a number of other squadrons
including os. 220. 269. 224. 217 and 233
became operational before the start of the
war. Several Auxil iary squadrons were also
to usc the Anson in peace time. These were
Nos. 500. 502. 608 and 612 Squadrons.
Interestingly Ansons originally delivered
to the quadrons were painted in silver dope
overall. Another feature was that they had
the serial numbers painted above as well as
under the wings. It is not known why this
was done but after the Munich crisis all
were camouflaged in the temperate land
PAGE 4 AVRO ANSON WARPAINT
uppersurfaces with N1ght undersides; 'A 1' roundels on fuselage sides and
above wings. Code is Medium Sea Grey on nose: serial in black on fuse-
lage and rudder, repealed in white under the wings
Above: Anson Mk.l K6309:61 In the pre-war colours of No.61 Squadron. They were retained from
March 1937 to January 1938 at Thornaby before being replaced by Blenheims. (E.Hayward) Below: A
No.223 Squadron Anson K8830:233R seen In 1938 when the uni t was at Hemswell. (C.F.Sandret1)
Aircraft of the Central Flying School included
Anson Mk.l K6163 together with an Oxford, Hart,
Tomtit and Fury all tryi ng to keep pace with
each other lor the photograph. Again the
Anson's serial is marked on the upper wing sur-
face. (C.F.Sandrett)
scheme which had Dark Green and Dark
Earth on the upper surfaces and were either
black or light grey on the undersides.
In view of the rapid expansion of the
RAF and the number of new and rcfom1ed
squadrons corning into service the Air
Ministry placed a further order for 136
Ansons in 1936 the first being K8720. All
had the upright windscreen and incorporat-
ed hydrualically operated Schrenk flaps to
steepen the aircraft's approach when land-
ing.
FIRST OVERSEAS ORDERS
It was from this second batch of production
aircraf'l that the first overseas orders were
compl eted. Three were diveried to Finland
and one to the Estonian Air Force. In
October 1936 a demonstration aircraft regis-
tered SU-AAO was prepared and flown to
Egypt as a potential bomber-transport.
Other Ansons manufactured for overseas
destinations were two for the Irish Air Corps
(Nos.21 and 22). Six out of an order for 25
reached Turkey before the start of the war
and another 12 went to Greece flown there
in civi l markings. Many of the latter were
ei ther captured or destroyed when the
Germans marched into the Balkans but a
few escaped to Egypt where they formed the
nucleus of a light bomber squadron that
joined the Desert Air Force.
The final pre-war shipmen! of a small
number of Ansons was to the Iraqi Air Force
but these were destroyed in the Mosadeq
upri si ng in May 1941.
FIRST OPERATIONS
Apart from the firs1 Hudsons to arrive in
Britain from purchases in the USA, the
Anson became the front line anti-submarine
and reconnaissance aircraft available to the
RAF. War patrols were setup over the North
Sea and Engli sh Channel with parti cular
emphasis on the sea areas between Scotland
and Norway through which U-boats and
possible surface raiders would have to pass.
Success soon came. On 5 September
1939 an Anson from o. 500 Squadron,
based at Detling, Kent, anacked aU-boat on
1he surface but without posi1ive results. It
was, however, a reminder 10 the Germans
that the RAF were fully alerted and that dur-
ing the war U-boats took great care to avoid
anack from the air. No.500 Squadron being
full of pre-war part-time ainnen soon sup-
plemented the Anson's somewhat inade-
quate gun armament by providing positi ons
for two additional .303 machine guns point-
ing out of the rear half of the cabin. They
went even further during the retreat from
Dunkirk when faced with enemy fighters by
borrowing a 20-mm cannon which was
fixed to fire through a hatch in the floor of
the rear part of the fuselage.
An additional task came the way of
Anson squadrons during the early months of
the war in an attempt to combat Hitler's first
secret weapon, the magnetic mine. It was
discovered that these were being laid under
shipping routes and particularly in estuaries
like the Thames or Jhe Humber by
Luftwaffe floatplanes such as the Hei nkel
He 115. Ansons were used to patrol likely
approach paths of the minelayers and there
were several engagemenls between RAF
and Gem1an aircraft during these opera-
ti ons. Running battles took place, mos1 of
1he time ineffectively, as both sides ran ou1
of ammunition and parted company.
A more positive engagement between an
Anson of No.269 Squadron and a Domier
Do 18 in September 1939 resulted in the
enemy aircraft being shot down into the sea.
The first successful anack on a U-boat
was made by a o. 206 Squadron Anson on
Lett: A rather poor quality picture of a No.217
Squadron Anson K8784 In the standard pre-war
colour scheme. (MAP) Below: A line up of No.
224 Squadron Ansons probably at Thornaby In
1937. K8816:224-W Is the nearest to the cmaera
(E.Hayward)
AVRO ANSON WARPAINT PAGE 5
Above: Ansons were camouflaged at the time of the Munich crisis in 1938 and In the case of K8819
the numeral 52 appeared on the fuselage indicating that It was flown by the School of Air Navigation
that had moved from Mansion to St.Athan. Below: One of the three Ansons delivered to the Finnish
air force before the war. Being an early production ai rcraft i t retains the sloping wi ndscreen. Overall
dark green camouflage apart from the natural metal engine cowlings.
PAGE 6 AVRO ANSON WARPAINT
Above: A pair of No.321 Squadron Ansons on
patrol, the nerarest being K6285. The triangular
marking on the fin Indicates that the aircraft
was flown by ex-Dutch alrcrew who had
escaped at the time of the German invasion.
13 December 1939 ''hen Pilot Officer
R.H.Harper sank hi s target and was award-
ed a well deserved DFC to become the first
Anson pilot to be honoured.
The evacuation from Dunkirk found the
Anson squadrons providing as much sup-
pon for the flottilas of small ships crossing
the Channel as was possoblc. They met with
opposition from the LuflwaiTe"s single-scat
fighters and suffered accordingly but nol
before giving a good account of themselves.
In one instance an Ason crew took on no
less than six Messerschmitt Bf I 09Es and
lhrough good airmanship evaded their
atwcks and in fact shol down two and dam-
aged a lhird. Adding 10 the score Ansons
shot down a Messerschmitt Bfl I 0 and a
l leinkel l-Ie Ill during the same intensive
period.
A fler the fall of ll olland sufficient ex-
Dutch aircrew arri ved in England in 1940 to
form two squadrons, Nos.320 and 32 1,
which flew Ansons for a few months before
they were re-equipped with ll udsons.
THE TRAINI "G ROL E
As new and more proficient aircraft such as
the Lockheed l ludson started to reach
Coastal Command's front line squadrons.
the Anson's usc for limited patrol work
carne to a gradual end albeit that some were
fitted with an earl) 'ersion of Air-to-Sea-
V e s ~ e l (ASV) radar.
Ansons continued 111 use for coastal
patrols and for the protection of convoys
worki ng their way up and down the east
coast of England and in the Channel but
apart from air-sea-rescue operations during
and afler the Battle of Britain they had by
the end of 1941 become obsolescent.
But with one role ending another had
already started and was taking every Anson
that could be spared. The aircraft was an
ideal navigation and air gunnery trainer. It
was easy to fly and pilots soon found that
they could rely on one of the trainee crew to
come forward to make the 144 turns on the
handle fitted just below the pilot's seat and
wind up the undercarriage which hitherto
had been the job of the wireless operator. It
wasn't long before those whose task this
was di scovered that with only l 00 turns on
the handle the wheels retracted sufficiently
into the cowlings so t11at airspeed and range
were not inhibited.
At tJ1is stage it should also be mentioned
that RAF Bomber Command became an
Anson user as at that time operational train-
ing was carried out at a number of RAF
Stations known as Bomber Pools. lt was at
these that pilots who had trained on the
Tiger Moth to Harvard system were intro-
duced to twi n cngincd aircraft. A total of 18
Bomber Command squadrons had Ansons
on strength before a change of planning led
to the introduction of more efficient
Operational Training Units and the
squadron's titles and role revcncd to front
line operations.
But the main use for the Anson was in
the Empire Air Training Pl an. Discussions
had taken place before September 1939
between the Air Ministry and their political
counterparts with Commonwealth and
Empire governments in which a scheme was
put forward for the training of all categories
of aircrcw in their countri es and on gai ning
their wings transfer them to theatres of war
where they were most needed. Training still
continued in England but was hindered in
many cases by the Luftwaffe's night raids
and the constant battle to find new sites for
airfields against the need for agriculture
providing enough food for the population.
Canada, Australia, South Africa,
Rhodesia, New Zealand and India all agreed
to the scheme but an inevitable set back
was the need for aircraft on whi ch to train
aircrcw. In each case a small aircraft indus-
try was present but nowhere near large or
experienced enough to manufacture their
own training aircraft.
Canada was the exception as the proxim-
ity of the United States and its aircraft
industry was able to provide some training
ltiiSS
2
L
/-
-
I
Above: A formation of three Anson Mk.ls from No.48 Squadron with K6156:C leading. In the fore-
ground K6154 has its serial painted above the wing. Below: Non-standard Training Command mark-
Ings appeared on this Anson Mk.l L9418:P4. No fin flash is shown and the lower part of the code
appears to be in a different colour to the top. (MAP)
aircraft and aero engines but the bulk of t11e
navigation, bombing and gunnery schools
aircrafi had to come from Britain.
In its wisdom the Air Ministry had seen
fit to order another I ,500 Ansons at the
beginning of the war many of which were
earmarked for export to Canada until that
country's aircraft industry was large enough
to build their own. A further order for 800,
all Mk.Js, from the UK production line
came later that same year.
In the case of the other countries Ansons
were cxponed and arrived by sea at their
various destinations. In South Africa
...
Ansons initially delivered served with os.
12, 28, 35 and 60 Squadrons on operational
duties replacing Junkers Ju 86s.
CANADI AN ANSONS
A total of I ,528 Anson Mk.Js arri ved in
Canada from British production. It was soon
found that modifications had to be made to
adapt the aircrafi to Canadian climatic con-
ditins. Cockpit heating, panelling inside the
fuselage and carburettor heating being the
most important. Ansons were supplied with
RAF serials but in many cases these were
changed to Canadian serial s which did not
have an initial letter. This was a gradual
process and I ,073 Ansons eventually had
Canadian serial s in the ranges 3541 to 3542,
600 I to 7068 and I 0497 to I 0499. The
remainder retained their RAF markings.
Most of the Ansons supplied by Britain
had their original :"hectah I X engines but a
number were supplied without engines and
at this point the RCAF turned to their
American neighbours for help. The decision
to fit American engines into British-built
airframes resulted in a new version of the
Anson, the Mk. lll. This was similar to a
Mk.l fitted with two Jacobs L-6MB radials
of 330hp, the same as those chosen for the
The Initial batch of Ansons exported pre-war to
Australia were left In silver dope overall and in
RAF serial numbers. These were changed on
arrival with the RAAF.
AVRO ANSON WARPAINT PAGE 7
PAGE 8 AVRO ANSON WAR PAINT
-----
Avro An son Mk.l, LT5921MY-0. No. 27SSQuadron RAF, 1944. Dark
Earth/Dark Green uppersurfaces with Sky Blue undersides; codes are
dull red. 'C1' roundels on fuselage, 'B' above wings and 'C' type under
wings. Note Bristol B.l turret
Above: Anson Mk.l MG874:4 K of No. 7
Observer Advanced Flying Uni t on a navigation-
al exercise low over the sea.
Anson Mk. ll which by that time was com-
ing into production in Canada. At the same
time the Canadian verions were retrofitted
with hydraulicall y retractable undercar-
riages.
In most cases the turrets were removed if
these were still fined and the area of glazing
in the glasshouse reduced to make the air-
craflmorc suitable for Canadian conditions.
The first Anson to be flown as a Mk.IJI
was 6008 (cx-N9935) which had already
served in Canada as a Mk. l. It was convert-
ed at the ational Steel Car Co. and
appeared as a Mk. II I in May 1941 . The first
totally Canadian built Mk.III was 6339
which was completed by de Havillands
(Canada) at the end of May 1941 .
ANSON Mk. IV
Another engine change was initiated by the
RAF which under Air Ministry
Modification No.527 replaced the Cheetah
engines on Mk.l R9816 and thi s was tested
at A&AEE Boscombe Down as the Anson
Mk. IV in late 1941 and early 1942. This air-
craft retained its turret and oil coolers but
the engines became smooth cowling Wright
Whirlwind R-975-E3s.
It was shipped to Canada and taken on
RCAF strength on 19 March 1942 as 10257.
It was loaned to the United States Army Air
Force for a few months between July and
ovember 1942. It appears that in 1942,
with Anson Mk.IIs coming off the Canadian
producti on line that there was no immediate
need for the Mk.IV and its Whirlwind
engines. But because of the possibility of
Above: Anson Mk.l N5089:17 of No. 11 Ai r Observer and Navigator School at Watchfield.
(J.E.Johnson) Below: Fitted with a Bristol turret Anson Mk.l LT830:3 of No.7 Ai r Gunnery School was
based at Stormy Down In 1943. (RAF Museum)
AVRO ANSON WARPAINT PAGE 9
Avro Anson RAF squadrons
and representative serials
General Reconnaissance Squadrons
Squadron No. Codes Representative serials
48
206
220
224
2t7
233
269
500
502
608
612
320
321
Prwar
w ........
Notes; History and bases where applicable
zw XZ+ Received Ansons at RAF Manston in March K6153 to K6162. K6164
1936.1 nitially a training unit but became GR to 6167, R3305, R3318
in September 1938 on move to Eastchurch.
Used Ansons up to January 1942.
wo VX+ Formed RAF Manstton 15 June 1936.Ansons K6175:B, K6176:78
replaced by Hudsons April1940 K6184:P, K6190:V
HU' NR+ Formed Bircham Newton 17 August 1936
Replaced by Hudsons December 1939
Pw Formed RAF Manston 1 February 1937.
replaced by Hudsons September 1939
YO' MW+ Formed Bascombe Down 15 March 1937
Ansons replaced by Beauforts in 1940
EY' Formed Upper Hayford 18 May 1937.
Ansons replaced by Hudsons October 1939
KL UA+ Formed at B ~ r c h a m Newton on 29 December
1936 from 'C' Flight 220 Squadron. Ansons
replaced by Hudsons earl y 1940
SO' MK+ Aux AF. Exchanged Hinds for Ansons March
1939 at Mansion. Replaced by Blenheim IVs
in1941.
KG' YG+ Aux AF. Re-equipped with Ansons at
Aldergrove In January 1939. Replaced by
Whitley Vs in October 1940
PG' UL+ Aux AF. Received Ansons at Thomaby 1n
March 1939 replacing Demons. Later
supplemented by Bothas until replaced by
Blenheim IVs in March 1941.
OJ' WL+ Received Ansons in July 1939. Replaced by
Whitley Vs in t940 though retained some
Ansons till November 1941.
NO+ Formed June 1940 at Carew Cherington then
at Leuchars. Ansons replaced by Hudsons in
October 1940. Aircrew all ex-Dutch escapees
No codes Formed 24 June 1940 from Dutch aircrew at
Carew Cherington.Replaced by Catallnas in
August 1942
K6224, K6198:A,
K6206:L, K6208:N
First Ansons K6284
to K6289 collected at
Woodlord 23 February
1937. Later K8787: S
K6310:A, K6311 :B
K6315:F, K6313:0
K6282, K8778:C,
K6291 . K6270
Initial equipment
K6240 to K6245
Then K6256:F K6257:N
K6258:B, N5317:R
R9650, N5227, N5230
N9907 MKS. R3312
R3349, R3368, R3435
N4923 YGF, N5104.
N5235 YGJ, N5108
N5107, R3335
N5053:A, N5068:B.
N5198:0, N5202:E
N5203:F, N5201 UL-H
R3333. R3409, W1651
N9722 WL-E
N5202 NO-E
N5064
Bomber Command Squadrons
51
56
61
144
75
215
7
52
104
51
OTfrom
10.46
61
No code
No code
BH'
LT'
MB'
or 51
PO'
Based Drilfield from March 1937 until moved K6277 51-T
to Bascombe Down in March 1937. Whitley Its
replaced Ansons in February 1938.
Ansons first used from February 1937 to Mk.l K6270 to K6281
December 1947. Anson C.19 from October Mk.19 VL357 OTP
1946 to December 195t
Anson became equipment for training in K6304:N. K6305:0 .
March 1937 before being replaced by K6306:P. K6309:0
Blenheim Is in January t 938
Reformed at Bicester with Overstrands K6264 to K6269
then issed With Ansons 1n March 1937. Gave
up Ansons 1n December t937 on move to
Hemswell.
Group Pool Squadron from April t939 based K6299 to K6302
at Hemswell and Drilfield amongst others.
Received first Ansons from March 1937 to
November 1937 then from March 1939 to
October 1939
Anson Mk.l issued from February 1937 to K6291 to K6302, N5192
November 1937 then January 1940 to April
1940 then reformed as No. 11 OTU
Equipped with Anson Mk.ls at Finningley 1n N5012to N5016,
March 1939. Replaced by Hampdens in N5018, N5025
April 1940 and merged into No. 16 OTU
Five Ansons used in tra1nng role from N5208, N5209
February 1939 till April 1940 when K6277 51 -T
renumbered No. 12 OTU
Equipped with Anson Mk.ls from September
1939 to April 1940. Based at Bicester before
merging with No.I OS Squadron to become
No. 130TU
PAGE 10 AVRO ANSON WAR PAINT
the supply of Jacobs engines being no
longer avai lable a number of Mk.l and
Mk.llls were convened to the new engine as
an interim measure.
Because of the haste to get Ansons avail-
able for the training of navigators there
exists a number of grey areas concerni ng
which mark of aircrafi was used. For exam-
ple an Anson shipped to the Domi ni on with
Cheetah IX or X engines as a Mk.l could
easily have been convened to a Mk.l l with
Jacobs or alternatively as a Mk. lll. To add to
the confusion aircran were ofien re-fined
with the Whirlwind either locall y at the
appropriate RCAF Station or sent back to de
Havillands for the alterations to be made.
Canadian production of the Anson went
one stage further than the steel and canvas
covered airframe. With the avai lability of
large stocks of wood in the Dominion
Anson Mk.l N56 was part of the Greek Air Force
which escaped during the German invasion.
The remnants of the squadron were reformed In
Egypt and took part In offensive and communi-
ucations duries as part of the Desert Air Force.
Canadian engineers built an all wooden ver-
sion using almost the same techniques as
employed on Mosquitos during the same
peri od. The Canadian ' wooden wonder' had
three portholes on the fuselage sides.
hydraulic undercarriage and 450 hp Pratt &
Whi tney Wasp Junior R985-AN 12B
engines.
The prototype was built by a company
called Vidal at Bristol. Massachuscts and
given the RCAF serial of 8649X. It flew in
the early part of 1942 and heralded the pro-
duction of I ,070 navigation trainers under
the designation Anson Mk.V.
Three Canadian factories were engaged
in the constmction of the Mk. V which was
again modified into the Mk. VI which had a
Bristol 8.1 Mk. VI turret fitted for air gun-
nery training, though not many were built.
Mark numbers VII, VIII and IX were all o-
cated to further Anson producti on but these
were not taken up.
The Mark V proved to be an excellent
machine for its purpose. It remained in
RCAF service until after the war and as the
giant trammg organisation wound down
many were sold onto the civil market for
light transport duties. One remains in flying
condition at the Canadian Warplane
Heritage, Hamilton, Ontario where the
author had the opportunity of fl ying it a few
years ago. Its interior was quite di ffcrent to
the earli er versions of the Anson with which
he was fami liar and the immediate relief of
not have to wind up the undercarriage was a
blessing.
o less than 19 SFTSs were established
in Canada along with I 0 Air Observer
Schools, II Bombing and Gunnery Schools
and fi ve Air Navigation Schools. Ansons
also served in Nos. l and 31 General
Reconnaissance Schools and 312, 32. 34
and 36 Operational Training Units as well as
the RCAF Central Flying School and three
Flying lnstnJctor Schools.
AUSTRALIAN ANSONS
Above: Air-sea-rescue Anson Mk.t fitted with a
Bristol turret. LT592:MY-O betoged to No.278
Squadron based at Coltishall. Below: Anson
Mk.l N5331 :5 was in use by No.6 Air Observer
and Navigator School based at Staverton. It had
Polish national Insignia on the nose. (MAP)
Although Canada was far and away the
largest part icipant in the Commonwealth
Air Traini ng Plan the next vital contributor
was Australia. A total of 969 Anson Mk.ls
were shipped to the Dominion some of
which arrived pre-war on 19 ovember
1936 on board the SS Orari and were allo-
cated to operati onal duties on coastal patrols
Squadron No. Codes History and bases Serials
44 JW' or Ansons and Hampdens issued from NSOOO, N4999
none February 1939 till June 1939 when Ansons
transfered to No.76 Squadron. Based at
Waddington.
63 NE' Ansons supplied for training in March 1939 N5071, N5070
or none to supplement Battles eventually based at
Abingdon then Benson until redesignated
No.12 OTU in April 1940 joining with
No.52 Squadron
76 NM' Group Pool Squadron from May 1939 N4999, N5000
until merged with Nos.7 and 44 Squadrons from 44 Squadron
to form No 16 OTU 10 April1940.
97 MR' Formed with Ansons and Whitleys at N5004, N5002
Abingdon in February 1939 as Group Pool
Squadron until redesignated No.1 0 OTU
on 6 April 1940
108 MF' Training role from May 1939 until merged N5177, N511 4
or none with No. 104 Squadron to form No.13 OTU
at Bicester on 8 Apnl 1940
148 BS Eight Ansons supplied for training in Apnl N5084, N5194
or none 1939 at Harwell. Became No. 15 OTU 1n
April 1940.
207 NJ' Anson and Battles supplied for training at N5265
Cranfield. Merged with No. 12 OTU in April 1940
109 HS+ Special duties squadron formed December 1940 R9812 HS-G
AVROANSON WARPAINT PAGE 11
PAGE 12 AVROANSON WARPAINT
Above: Anson Mk.l R9725 was an early arrival in
Canada where It served at No.1 Central
Navigation School, Rivers, Manitoba. Left: Odd
Anson markings. All-silver EG645 of No.1331
Communications Unit at Dlgrl with SEAC
national markings on the fuselage sides {A.Pay)
whilst others were allocated to communica-
tions units. Seven of these were fitted with
dual controls for pilot conversion and went
to No.I Aircrafi Depot at RAAF Laverton.
Eight squadrons of the permament and
Citizens Air Force were equipped with these
first arrivals and took part in a number of
naval cooperation exercises before the start
of the war. In the trai ning role the Anson
served in os 2, 3. 4 and 8 SFTS. Nos. I, 2
and 3 Air Observer Schools. the Air
Gunnery School and the General
Reconnaissance School. Many Ansons sur-
vived the war and were sold to private air-
craft companies. A Mk.XIl became pan of
the Govemer General's Flight along with a
York and a Proctor. In RAAF service the
/\nson was not retired until the advent of the
Canberra and Sabre in operational
squadrons.
In South Africa Ansons were used for
operational duties after the first deliveries
but eventually seven flying training schools,
four Air Observer and Gunnery Schools and
five navigat ion training establi shments were
established. Because of the need to usc all
available coastal airfields in southern
England for tighter aircraft o.48 Squadron
and the School of General Rconnaissance at
RAF Manston moved to Thomey Island but
again the need to have the avai lable space
for operational units made the move to
South Africa in September 1940 imperitive.
Established as o.l School of General
Reconnaissance at George where some 60
Anson Mk.l s were on strength, this unit
became the natural successor to the duties
carried out in the UK.
Rather surprisingly. in view of what hap-
pened post war. Southern Rhodesia only had
a few Ansons at two airfields. Records show
that onl y the Central Flying School at
Norton and No.24 Bombi ng. Gunnery and
Navigation School at Moffat were used.
India and cw Zealand although pan of
the overseas training establishment only had
a few Ansons available. In ew Zealand 24
were imponed for traini ng purposes whilst
seven went to India and although desti ned
for training duties were in fact used for
communications work.
Anson V the plywood flying classroom. 12417
has been preserved at the aircraft museum,
Hamilton, Ontario In flying condition. Post-war
It had earlier been used for survey work and
light communications duties. (A.W.Hall)
Avro Anson RAF Training
Command units
Unit
Elementary and
Reserve Flying
Training Schools
7 E&RFTS
12 E&RFTS
15 E&RFTS
18 E&RFTS
33 E&RFTS
39 E&RFTS
Base Example
Deslord K8768
Prestwick L9t58
Redhill N5283
Fairoaks N5297
Whitchurch N5306
WestonsMare N5336
Flyi ng Training Schools
6 FTS Netheravon K8707
K8715
K8720
K8703
9 FTS Hullavington
tOFTS Temhill
12 FTS Wittering
13 FTS Drem
School of Air Navigation
Pre-war at RAF Manston later No.2 School of
Air Navigation at Cranage. Then to South Africa
Examples of airtcraft used: K6246,
K8730to
K8737,
N5080
Operational Training Units
7 OTU radar training Umavady L7064
1 0 OTU Abingdon Code KJ
11 OTU Bassingbourne Code KJ
12 OTU Benson Code unknown
13 OTU Bicester EG678 SL:C
14 OTU Conesmore Code VB
15 OTU Harwell Code KK
16 OTU U. Heyford DJ695:11
17 OTU Upwood Code JG
18 OTU Bramcote Code XW
19 OTU Kinloss Code XF
20 OTU Lossiemouth Code MK
21 OTU Harwell Code UH
22 OTU Wellesboume
24 OTU
25 OTU
26 OTU
270TU
29 OTU
42 OTU
54 OTU
620TU
700TU
720TU
79 OTU
81 OTU
Mountford Code XN
Honeyboume Code TY
Finningley Code ZP
Wing Code
Lichlield Code
N.Luffenham CadeNT
Andover Letters only
Charter Hall Code ST
Ouston MH235:33
Nakuru Code
Gazouza Code
Nicosia Code
lilstock Code JB
Observer Advanced Flying Units
1 (O)AFU Wigton CodeW
Nos.up to 69 2 (O)AFU M1llom
3 (O)AFU Halfpenny
4 O!AFU
6 0 AFU
7 O AFU
8 0 AFU
9 O)AFU
10 (O)AFU
Air Gunnery Schools
Green R3336
West Freugh Letters only
Staverton Letter + No.
Bishops Court LT144
Mona Letter + No.
Penrhos N4878
Dumfries AA to CX
1 AGS Pembrey Nos up to 36
2 AGS Datcross Nos. up to 36
3 AGS Mona L T334 T 13
4 AGS Morpeth LV160:A
7 AGS Stormy Down MG127:35
8 AGS Evanton Letter codes
9 AGS Uandwrog Not known
tO AGS Barrow No.codes
11 AGS Andreas Atto AI2
+ CI toCt2
12 AGS Bishops Court LT336
13 AGS Et Ballah Egypt No.codes
Pilot Advanced Flying Units
3 (P)AFU South Cerney Letter codes
5 (P)AFU Ternhill N4936
6 (P)AFU Little
7 (P)AFU
11 (P)AFU
12 PlAFU
14 P AFU
15 P AFU
17 P)AFU
18 P)AFU
19 (P)AFU
20 (P)AFU
21 (P)AFU
Rissington Nt to N5
Peterborough Letter codes
Shawbury Not kown
Grantham MG496
Banff Not known
Leconfield ZA, ZB etc.
Watton Not known
Church
Lawford
Dalcross
Kidlington
Moreton -in-
Letter codes
R3325
Letter codes
Marsh FOG post-war
Radio Schools and Establishments
3 AS Prestwick Not known
Unit Base Example
10 AS Carew
Cheriton DJ615
11 AS ASV training Hooton Park 60 1. 602
12 AS St. Athan 7..()1 . 702
Radio Warfare Establishment Watton V7
Signals Flying Unit Honiley 7N
Empire Radio School Debden Not known
Central Signals
Establishment Watton V7 then
23to 40
Civil Air Navigation Schools
Established pre-war for 1ra1n1ng navigators.
Disbanded and absorbed into Air Navigahon
Schools in the UK and abroad in November
1939, The following schools and bases have
been identilied:
1 CANS Prestwick operated by Scottish
Aviation, became 1 AONS. 2 CANS Yatesbury
operated by Bristol Aeroplane Co, became 2
AONS. 3 CANS Desford operated by Reid &
Sigrist, became 3 AONS, 4 CANS Ansty oper-
ated by Air Service Training, became 4 AONS
5 CANS Westonsuper-Mare operated by
Western Airways, became 5 AONS 6 CANS
Staverton operated by Alrwork, became 6
AONS. 7 CANS Scone operated by Airwork.
became 7 AONS. 8 CANS Sywell operated
by Brooklands Aviation, became 8 AONS. 9
CANS Squires Gate operated by Brooklands
Av1ahon. became 9 AONS. 10 CANS
Grangemeouth operated by Brooklands Av1ation
became 1 0 AONS.
School of Photography
Famborough then TFA to
Wellesboume Mountford 1948
then
TWM
Service Flying Trai ni ng Schools
6 SFTS Litle Rissington
9 SFTS Hullavington
10 SFTS Temhill
Not known
Not known
Letter code
School of General Reconnaissance
3 SoGR Blackpool Number/letter code
DJ356: 1 F, EG322:
30. Later three
figure codes were
carried EF826:
107, AX232: 205
General Reconnaissance and
Air Navigation School
Ratmala, Ceylon Not known
Blind Approach School
Watchfietd Letter codes
Basic Air Navigation Schools
1 BANS Hamble Codes 4761
Operated by Air Service Training
2 BANS Usworth NG to NY
Operated by Airwork
School of Flying Control
Watchfield
Central Flying School
CFS Upavon
Letter codes
to 1946 then
FDY
then Uttle Rissington Various
Air Observer Navigator Schools
Established from Civil Air Navigation Schools
1 AONS Prestwick Number codes
2 AONS Yatesbury Not known
3AONS Bobbington K6160,K871 6
4 AONS Ansty Not known
5 AONS Weston-super-Mare Not known
6 AONS Staverton N5245, N5262
8 AONS Sywell Not known
9 AONS Squires Gate Not known
10 AONS Grangemeouth R3347
11 AONS Watchfield Not known
Staff Pilot Training Unit
Cark 71-93
No.1 Coast Artillery Cooperation Unit
Gosport then
Thomey Island Not known
Air Transport Auxiliary Training Unit
White Waltham AA, AB, AC,
etc.
AVRO ANSON WAR PAINT PAGE 13
MISCELLANEOUS UNITS
The Royal Navy in England had six
squadrons equipped with Ansons though
these did not arrive until later in World War
2. Apart from the normal training duties
they were fi tted with ASV radar in a pod
Prototype Anson IV R981 5 which was re-
englned at Boscombe Down with Wright
Whirlwind engines in late 1941. It was intended
to go to Canada but did not do so until March
1942 and was re-serialled 10257. (IWM)
PAGE 14 AVRO ANSON WARPAINT
- ----- ---
AVro- Ai\SCili"MK.I,Nc5:"21, No.1 Reconnaissance & Medium Bombing
Squadron, Irish Air Corps, 1938. Ught Green BS.381CI278 fuselage and
e n ~ i n e nacelles with Aluminium cabin framing, wings and tailplane and
polished metal cowlings; white serial on fuselage. Orange/white/green
stripes on wings
under the nose although earlier ai rcrft had
the forked aerial on the nose and wings. As
has been previously mentioned the two pre-
war civil Avro 652s that originally belonged
to Imperial Airways were impressed into the
Royal avy as DG655 and DG656 and
became part of 81 1 Squadron at Lee-on-
Solcnt and were used for communications
dut ies.
The Air Transport Auxi liary used the
Anson to collect pilots who had been deliv-
ering aircraft from the factories to opera-
tional bases throughout Britain. It was not
unusual to see several Ansons in the early
evening descending on White Waltham,
their main base, carrying crews and their
parachutes back home. Ferry pools were
also set up at Bristol and ottingham. Many
stories have been told about these aircraft as
although the number of passengers should
have been restricted to nine often as many
as 13 coul d be aeeomodated when neces-
sary. A rather long take off run was needed
and the only problem according to one
Anson pilot was whether the bottom would
fall out.
1
o fatal accidents occured to these
Anson Mk.ll FP738 fitted wi th smooth cowled
Jacobs engines was In use with 7 SFTS, 15
SFTS then 9 AOS In Canada. (MAP)
Ansons due to deficiencies in the aircraft
themselves but there were a few incidents in
one of which a Typhoon collided in mid-air
wi th the Anson when ir was landi ng al Aston
Down and the crew were ki lled. Afier D-
Day the ATA extended its activities to the
Continent and Ansons crossed the Channel
for the first time. During the Amhem battle
24 ATA Ansons were loaded with supplies
for the front line and it is recorded that
although these trips were highly successful
one Anson was shot down by the accurate
Gcm1an defences that remained at Dunkirk.
aturally the Anson was used for exper-
imental duties as it was a very reliable air-
crafi and had plenty of room for the instal -
lation of addit ional equi pment. Before the
war an Anson was used for early radar
experiments and one of the first airborne
radar sets was installed in K6260 in August
1937. It was used by Coastal Command and
on 3 September of that year when all other
aircraft were grounded due to fog, ships of
the Home Fleet were identified in the
Channel near Dover, by ASV echoes. The
same aircrafi funher proved the effective-
ness of the equipment by aircraft taking off
from HMS Courageous being seen as
echoes on the airborne radar screen.
Duri ng the wi nter of 1940 when the
Luftwaffe's night artaeks on England
reached their zenith, scientists deduced that
the enemy were using radio beams to guide
bombers to their targets. As early as 21 June
1940 an Anson of the Blind Approach
Training Unit took otr at dusk from RAF
Wyton and using a shon wave receiver
began a search for the frequencies used. It
took some time and a number of unsuccess-
ful attemps before the signals were picked
up by an Anson fl ying in the Nottingham
area and when the system was understood
specific countermeasures which actually
bent the beam were introduced and dummy
Above: Size and position of underwing
serial, when carried. Note that K6163
illustrated on page 3 (top profile) car
ried these mar1dngs also above the
wings
Above: Position of 20 Inch
wide bands, 40 inches
away from wingtips, above
and below wings as
applied to Irish Air Corps
finrshed in the early
scheme of light green
overall
Below: 'B' scheme camouflage
panem applied to aircrah with
odd-ending serial numbers; a
mirror image, known as 'flo:
scheme was applied to those
with even-ending serial numbers
(see inside front cover)
Above: Position of 2-colour
Irish Air Corps boss; note that
the green sector always faces
port. Position and size of 3-
colour boss similar
Below: Position of trainer
markings on RCAF Ansons;
e.g. N9982
AVRO ANSON WAR PAINT PAGE 15
targets bui lt onto which German raiders
expended their bomb loads. Because of the
importance of this work which was the
beginning of Radio Countenneasures as we
know them today a special unit was set up in
No.80 Wing specifically to combat this and
other systems used by the Germans in the
battle of the night skies. Several small units
withi n the Wing were set up including
No.l473 Flight based at Finmere, a satell ite
of RAF Bicester, engaged in radio counter
measures and indeed developing simi lar
equipment for the RAF.
Long before the USAF developed HC-
130s with the capabi li ty of picking up a man
over land or sea, experiments were conduct-
ed by Ansons MH 129 and NK234 from
RAE Famborough in 1945. A long hook
was fitted under the fuselage designed to
connect wit h a nylon rope suspended
between two poles and attached to the vic-
tim.
Air Sea Rescue also became part of the
Anson's work. A miscellany of aircraft
including Lysanders, Walrus, Dcfiants and
later Spitfires formed six squadrons with
Above: Anson V 12417 has been restored by the aviation musem, Hamilton, Ontario and was formerly
CF-HOT. Below: Part of No. 16 OTU this Anson Mk. I N3337:N was shipped to Australia and became
part of No. 1 Air Navigation School at Parked NSW. (MAP)
PAGE 16 AVRO ANSON WARPAINT
An RAF export to Canada this Anson Mk.l has
been locally modified to have part of the cabin
glasshouse blocked in to combat severe winter-
conditions. The aircraft was part of No.10 AOS
Chatham, New Brunswick (G.Neal)
bases and small detachments all round the
coasts of the UK.
Although the Hudson was at first thought
to be ideal for this work the need for these
aircraft's participation in the Batt le of the
Atlantic ruled them out and the Anson was
used instead. No.279 Squadron formed at
Bircham Newton in November 1941 fol-
lowed by No. 280 Squadron at Thomey
Island in 1942. Special equipment which
included marine markers, smoke fl oats and
visual signa lling equ ipment apart from
dinghies under the wings and later one
Lindholme 'D' type dinghy under the fuse-
lage were used.
The Anson was ideal for low-level area
search where a downed crew might have
come down in the sea. When spotted and
reported it was often the job of the Walrus to
land on the sea providing it was not too
rough and pick up the survivors. The work
of the ASR squadrons is hardly ever men-
tioned at length in records of the war but
they saved the lives of many aircrcw by
their steadfast and often dangerous flights
low down over the sea.
It is not generally known that Ansons
took part in the Special Duties squadrons
based at Tempsford with Nos.l38 and 161
Squadrons. Much of the work of landing
and picking up agents was the task allocated
to the Lysander but Asons did part of this
work because of the need for longer range
and the numbers of people involved.
A SON Mk.X TO 18
With the Anson Mk. VI to IX a llocated to
potential Canadian production the next in
line was obviously the Mk.X. This turned
out to be a British version fitted out for the
carriage of freight or as an air ambulance. It
differed slightly from the Mk.l in external
-
Above: Anson Mk.l 6358 apent it.s t ime in
Canada at navigation schools Including I ANS, 2
ANS and the CNS. Right: A rare picture of an
Anson Mk.lll with Jacobs engines and the cabin
windows blocked off. 11371:111 belonged to 38
SFTS, Esteven.
appearance as it did not have a turret and
internally the floor was strengthened to take
heavy loads and in the special ambulance
version the pon side of the cabin could be
opened to allow access for stretchers whilst
the egincs were still ntrming.
In addilion to lhc pilo1 three strelchers
could be taken on board together with a
medical orderly and three walking wounded
accommodated in the remainder of the seat-
ing.
Ansons continued to play an imponant
pan in RAF Training Command afler the
end of World War 2. Even though the ntn
down of the armed forces continued as all
ranks went through the Pcrsoncl Dispatch
Centres for demobil isation a number of nav-
igation schools continued to train new air-
crew. The two main home-based ones were
o.5 Air avigation School at Topcliffe and
o.l 0 A S at Driffield. The chool of Air
Traffic Comrol at Watchfield and the return
of the School of General Reconnai ssance
which was re-establ ished at Lcuchars all
\
used Ansons. Meanwhile the RAFVR
Volunteer Schools at Uswonh. Teversham
and Dcsford were established with Anson
Mk.l s to stan the pre-war style of weekend
training for those who joined.
The advent of the Berli n Air Lift and the
increase in tension bclwcen the Western
All ies and the Soviet Union saw the limited
establi shment of overseas training bases in
order to train aircrew for the continuance of
a from line air force for Britain as pan of
ATO.
o.3 A S was set up at Thornhill,
Southern Rhodesia which although its early
establishment was to train both pilots and
navigators soon reformed with all pilot
training on Tiger Moths and Harvards at
llcany and the navigators remaining at
Thornhill. The first Ansons to be used came
from ex-Middle East stock and were a
mixed bag. The plan was to fly Anson Mk. ls
from Egypt overland via Kenya and
orthcrn Rhodesia but although a number
stancd out on the journey only a few actual-
ly made it to Thornhill. the others falling by
the wayside due to technical faults which it
was not possible to rectify without consider-
able cost. These were eventually replaced
by the Anson Mk.20 which wi ll be detail ed
later. Training also cont inued in Canada and
the USA though in almost al l of these cases
pilot training was the requirement.
With so many surplus Ansons available
in various pans of the Commonwealth many
were sold off to private owners and small
airlines. It was possible in some cases to buy
a complete aircraft for as litt le as 7.50 in
fl y-away condi tion. Others were bought as
spares to keep the remaining ones airborne.
A simi lar situation happened in Canada
where Ansons. panicularly the all-wooden
Mk. Vs. were bought by such companies as
Spartan Air Services who used Anson
Mk. Vs for 20 years aflcr the war for photo-
Anson Mk.l A4-34 was part of the batch dellv-.
ered to the RAAF pre-war. II was used for
coastal patrols with either No.1, 2 or 21
Squadrons before being relegated to training
duties with No.1 SFTS In May 1940. (MAP)
AVRO ANSON WARPAINT PAGE 17
Fleet air arm units using Ansons
Squadron History, bases and codes
720 Formed 1 August 45 at Ford. Moved to Gospon 27 May 48 and disbanded into 771
Squadron January 1950. Codes FD8 at Ford changing to 600:FD and 603:GJ at Gosport
732 Formed May 45 as Night Fighter Training School at Drem. Disbanded into 784 Sqdn
November 45. Codes - individual letters and a number
735 Formed August 43 as an ASV Training unit at lnskip. Moved to Burscough March 44.
Disbanded April 46. Codes AH7 at Burscough.
737 Formed March 44 as ASV training unit at lnsklp.Moved to Arbroath August 44 then
Burscough April 45, Disbanded November 45. Codes: A2 at Arbroath then BE to BU.
740 Formed December 43 as Communications Unit at Machrihanish and disbanded there on
1 September 1 945. Codes: M9.
7 45 Formed March 43 as pan of No.1 Air Gunners School at Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
disbanded March 45. Used Anson Mk.lls Codes: A2 to Z2
747 Formed March 43 at Feam, then to lnskip June 43 to become part of No.1 Naval
Operational Training Unit. Returned Fearn January 44 then Ronaldsway July 44 Disbanded
at Crail December 45. Ansons used for airborne interception training. Codes AR2 at
Ronaldsway
750 Formed April 45 as part of Observer School at StMerryn, Ansons replaced by Sea Princes
May 53. Codes:600:MF to 606:MF.
766 A few Ansons used by this unit when part of No.1 Operational Training Unit at lnskip in early
44. Used for ASV radar training. Moved to Rattray January 46 then Lossiemouth August 46
becoming Operational Flying School. Disbanded around March 49 Codes: 400:LM to
402:LM at Lossiemouth
771 Used by fixed wing element of this Fleet Requirements Unit at Ford and Lee-on-Solent from
March 48 to November 48. Took over Ansons of disbanded 720 Squadron and used until
unit disbanded into 700 Squadron in August 55. Codes: 585:FD, 591 :FD and 592:FD at
Foird. 550:LP and 551 :LP at Lee-on-Solent
783 Formed January 41 as an ASV training unit at Arbroath. Moved to Lee-onSolent May 47.
Disbanded November 49. Codes: AO at Arbroath, 600:LP to 612:LP at Lee-on-Solent plus
letters A to M on nose
784 Formed June 42 as a night fighter training squadron at Lee-on-Solent. Moved to Drem
October 42 then Dale January 46. Took over Ansons of 732 Squadron November 45
Disdanded September 46. Codes: BOA at Drem to D3 then F3 at Dale.
792 Formed January 48 as a night fighter training unit at Culdrose.Disbanded August 50. Codes
640:CW to 642:CW,.
RN Air Signal Squadron Formed at Hamble Novermber 49 to take over radar training of 783
Squadron. Operated by Air Service Training until contract terminated in November 53.
Codes 600 to 608 plus individual letter on nose
Ansons also used by Royal Navy Station Flights from mid-war and remained until replaced
by Sea Princes in 1953.
PAGE 18 AVROANSON WARPAINT
graphic mapping work. Many modifications
were made to the original aircraft like the
fitting of six passenger scats and in Mk.ls
the side windows being blocked out into
smaller portholes. A lot of very interesting
colour schemes came to the fore.
COMMUNI CATIONS ANSONS
The Anson had long been used for passen-
ger, freight and general communications
work during the war so it was logical that
post-war development should initially be
concentrated on thi s role. Very few RAF
Stations did not have one available. The
Mk.X led the way but concurrentl y the
C. Mk.Xl and C.Mk.XII came into being.
These differed lit1lc from each other exter-
nally. The cabin roof was heightened, they
had Cheetah Mk.XIX engines and hydrali-
cally operated undercarriage and naps.
Three square cabin windows replaced the
glasshouse of the earl ier versions and
smooth cowlings were standard over the
engines. The prototype Mk.XI NK870,
made its maiden flight at Yeadon on 30 July
1944 and several were convened as VIP
transpons.
The Anson Mk.XII was similar but had
Cheetah XV engines and was fitted with
spinners for the Rotol variable pitch propel -
tors. Many of these were ambulance ver-
sions and the first was a converted Mk.l
with the first ambulance version being seri-
alled NLI53 which flew on 27 October
1944. A total of90 were built. A small num-
ber were taken into civi l use and a Mk.XII.
MG 159 was given the civil registration G-
AGNI and handed over to the internal air-
lines at that time being run by the
Associated Airways Joint Committee. Other
Mk XIs and Xlls were then in use registered
G-AGLB and ' LM which served the Air
Attache in Madrid, Spain.
From this point on the allocation of Mark
variants were put forward but none entered
production status. The Mk.XIII was to be a
dual controlled advanced trainer with a crew
of three. The Mk.XIV was to have been a
three-seat gunnery trainer with Rotol pro-
pellers and a hydralic undercarriage. The
Mk.XV was intended as a six seat naviga-
tion trainer in two versions one with and the
other without the benifit of a hydraulically
operated undercarraigc. The Mk.XVl would
have been a navigation and bombing trainer
fitted with Cheetah XV engines but that was
the end of the line because for some
unknown reason the Mk.XVII was never
allocated.
Some time later and because of an over-
seas order the Anson Mk.IS was resurected
and the missing variant taken up for a much
modified C.l9 for Afghanistan fitted with
ten seats and Cheetah 17 engines for police
patrol, communications and aerial survey
work. A total of 13 were ordered registered
YA-A.251 to YA-A.262.
A funher variant the Mk.ISC. I 2 of
which were ordered by the Indian govern-
Above left: Three Anson formation including
N5057:L In foreground. Shipped to South Africa
It was re-serialled 1151 of 61 Air School In 1941.
Left: Anson Ml<.l N9838:X was originally issued
to the School of Air Navigation but was shipped
to Canada in November 1940. (MAP}
--------------------
Avro Anson Mk.l, OTZCB (NAS). No. 21 Squadron (15 Transport
Wing), Belgian Air Force. Aluminium overall with national markings in six
positions; code and serial in black
Mk.Hl, - No:-02 (4X-FHM).1Sraeli AtrFor;.-early
f950s. Aluminium overall with black anti-dazzle panel and
cabin lraming; two red bands around each wing and one
around rear fuselage. National markings in six positions: serial
in black
---...-'T"'- - . - -- - - ---- -
--------
Avro Anson Mk.l, N9982/9982. RCAF. Dark Earth/Dark Green upper-
surfaces with Trainer Yellow undersides. rear fuselage. fixed areas of
tailplane and areas above wings: 'B' roundels above wings. Serial
on fin in black. '9982' being repeated 1n large on rear fuselage
AVRO ANSON WARPAINT PAGE 19
The Australians ordered 62 Anson Mk.ls before
World War 2. A4-1 seen here on its first test
flight on 20 November 1936, was the first to
arrive after re-assembly at laverton following
which it went to No.21 Squadron on coastal
patrol duties (MAP)
mcnt for use as civil radio and navigation
trainers for student aircrew destined for
Indi an Airlines had opaque instead of the
Afghanistan transparent nose were regis-
tered VT-CXT to VT-CYE.
ANSON C.Mk.XI X
One of the best known and most prolific
post-war variants of the Anson was the
C.Mk.XIX or C. l 9 as it became known. It
came about due to the requirement s laid
down by the Brabazon Committee which
was established to look into the needs of
civil airlines in the post war period.
What was needed was an aircraft that
could land and take off over fairly short dis-
tances. had a good load carrying capacity
for either passengers or freight and was a
reliable. easy to maintain. workhorse for the
expected regional airlines in Bri tain and
elsewhere. Avros built 48 Avro C. l 9s for the
British civil market most of whi ch were
operated by Rai lway Air Services who had
14. Others went overseas including G-
AGUI-I and Uf which went into service for
the King of Ethi opia. Others found their
way on to the civil registers of Belgi um and
Egypt.
The RAF also ordered the Avro XIX and
introduce the designation C. l9. It was simi-
lar to the earlier Mk.XII but had superior
intemal fittings, a sound-proofed cabin and
the now standard oval cabin windows.
The prototype C. l 9 Pl-!806 was followed
by 263 producti on aircraft before the last of
the line VP538 came otr the Yeadon line in
RAAF Anson Mk.ls EG504:MK-S and R9935:
MK-K In SEAC markings late in the war when
attached to No.67 Squadron at Laverton,
Victoria. A Beauflghter, Harvard and Beaufort
can be seen in the background (MAP)
PAGE 20 AVRO ANSON WAR PAINT
1947. Additionall y 20 of the original
Mk.XIIs in RAF usc were converted to
C.l9s.
The first C. l 9s. si milar to the X I and
XII had the original Mk. l wi ngs but Avros
made further changes whi ch could be rctro-
fi ncd to existing aircraft. Metal wings of
one foot greater span and much sharper
taper and metal tailplanes became stan-
dard. Modified aircraft and the following
producti on verions were known as the
Series 2 and this type of construcrion was
Not an unusual occurance judging by accident
records during the war. These two RAAF
Ansons came to grief in a landing accident in
New South Wales (APN)
used for all versions thereafter.
POST-WAR TRAINERS
Although many Anson Mk.ls were still in
service at the RAF's training establ ishments
the need for a more modern multi-engincd
trainer became obvious. The advent of the
navigation trainer 1n
nose, repositioned 0/F
revised canopy and long
on engine nacelles.
- " --------- --,,..----
BabS/Rebecca aerials
on trainer versions only.
AVRO 652A ANSON T.Mk.22
Used as radio and a1r electronics tra1ner.
Differs from T.Mk.21 by having D/F loop
positioned over second cabin window.
no astrodome and extra VHF aerial on
cabin roof.
Anson C.19 WD413 was converted
Into a C.21 and then served with
Bomber, Fighter and Training
Command Communications Flights
In turn until It was sold in January
1978 to become G-BFIR. (APN)
Standard navigation trainer for Rhodesian Air Training Group
Alterations from C.19 include glazed nose for bomb aimer, long
exhausts on outboard side of engine nacelles. astrodome. D/F loop
moved back to line above fourth cabin window, revised canopy
framing and different internal fit.
Drawings by Alan W.Hall
Avro ANSON
Mks. C.19 to 1.22
Anson T.21 VS590 served with No.2 ANS and then went to Watllsham, Drlffleld and Leu chars
In those Station's communications Flights. It was scrapped In June 1960. (APN)
Landing light
under wing on
Avro XIX only.
Position of underwing serial
Position of
o'
0
0
o : ~ r - ; -
. i
O f
- ~ ~
: I
I
: I
' I
' t
0 0
- ~ ~ ~ ~ \ ~
0:"
AVRO ANSON C.19
Underside plan view
U)Jj.IQI .-,V110\oo0 I VUI IVOI.
AVRO 652A ANSON T.Mk.21 Used as
UK. Note
loop from
exhaust
Extra VHF aerial
on T.Mk.22
Baggage stowage
D!F loop offset
to starboard.
AVRO ANSON C.19
Front view
Jt= ~ ; - - + l \
Nose opens upward.
Scrap view of port
and starboard sides
of Anson C. 19 nose
without engine nacelles
in place
AVRO ANSON C.19
Upper surface plan view
0 .
o:
00
0
---,
w
1:72.nd SCALE
-----
-
Enlarge by 150% for 1 :48 scale
_1 f
FHt
Metres
A-A
Inner port side
~
c-c o-o
FUSELAGE AND WING
CROSS SECTIONS
Fill 100W 7 Imp. galls.
lA
rs
rc 10
Cockpit framing
differs from trainer versions
~ @ #27 - ~
Entrance
AVRO 652A ANSON C.19
Civil and military feeder liner and
communications aircraft. Both
versions similar but RAF aircraft had
landing lights in wing leading edges.
See plan for civil version. 0/F loop
was sometimes transparent perspex.
Lo
- - - - - - - - ~ -
AVRO 652A ANSON C.Mk .19

C) I I
I I
I I
w
NOTE: The Anson Mk.VI was
basically a Mk.V with a Bristol 8.1
I I
Mk.IV midupper turret.
I I
The Mks.VII,VIII and IX were not
used.
I I
I
I

I
I
0
0 I II I
.... _:..-.
? 1
T
-
T


......,




Q


/
o l-
o
!
-i I I 1--
1
I I
AVRO ANSON Mk.ll
Two Jacobs L6MB engines
Moulded plywood construction
AVRO ANSON Mldll
Two Jacobs L6MB engines
AVRO ANSON Mk.IV
Two Wright Whirlwind engines
AVRO ANSON Mk.V
Two Wright Whirlwind engines.
Entire fuselage of Vidal
construction.
JANSON
Mks.I-X
CROSS SECTIONS
C-C
WING CROSS SECTIONS
F-F
AVRO ANSON Mk.f or Mk.X
Both aircraft identical extemally
but Mk.X had reinforced freight
floor
Glazed nose panels
for bomb aimer
1:72nd SCALE
-----
-
Enlarge by 150% for 1:48 scal e
Fee t
Metres
I
! !
.j
~
Bri stol 8.1 Mk.IV turret
Two .303 Browmng machine
guns. Fitted to some aircraft
1nclud1ng sole Mk.VI prototype
AVRO ANSON GR.Mk.l
Front view
Twin landing lamps in
port wing only. Filled
to most training Ansons
in place of the single
lamp in the nose of the
ooerational variant.
Top plan view of revised and
subsequently standard, cockpit
glazing.
n
~ ~
Anson GR.Mk.1 scrap
vi ew of nose showing
.303 Browning machine
gun fitted on port
side only
Front view of Anson T.Mk.l
with revi sed cockpi t glazing
Twin radius rod
undercarriage
fitted to Anson
Mk.ll, Ill. V and VI
~ - -
e c e s s If! upper
AVRO ANSON GR.MK.1
Underside plan view
~ /,_. a,l
Drawings by Mike Keep
AVRO ANSON GR.MK.l
Upper surface plan view
~
"'P-- -
Recess 1n upper
fuselage for gunbarrel
in stowed position
AVRO ANSON GR.MK.1
Starboard side view
o1
-
AVRO ANSON GR.MK.1
Port side view
I I
! ~
c1
cJ
I
81
.303 Vickers ' K' gun in
manually operated Armstrong
Whitworth turret
AVRO ANSON GR.MK. 1
Rear view
~ ~ - - -
Short span ailerons as lilted
to later Mk.l and all subsequent
Anson aircralt. The flaps on the
wing undersurfaces were lengthened
accordingly.
! I
FUSELAGE CRm
B B
Anson on floats. 3158:2RB was a unique con-
version by No.35 Squadron SAAF at Congella
Dockyard, South Africa. It was used for instruct-
Ing new crews in the elements of waterborne
techniques before they graduated onto the
squadron's Sunderlands (A.W.Hall)
Cold War and the need to train new aircrew
added impetus to the need and in view of the
inclement weather sutrered in Britain nego-
tiations were put in hand with the Southern
Rhodesian government to re-establish three
airfields in that country for the training of
both pi lots and navigators.
The first airfield was to be Kumalo near
Bulawayo which became the headquarters
of the Rhodesian Air Training Group.
Already mentioned was o. 3 Air
avigation School at Thornhill. near
Gwclo in the Rhodesian midlands which
although it started out training both pilots
and navigators soon sent all pilot training
to ll c1my.
The author has first hand knowledge of
these moves as an RAF Signaller doing his
ational Service he was posted to Thornhill
amongst the first RAF people to return to
that station post -war. With no aircraft avail-
able it was some time before the first
Ansons arrived. These were ex-Middle East
stock and although half a dozen eventuall y
made the journey from the Maintenance
Units they were regarded as an imerim
measure umil later versions of the Anson
could be produced.
These Mk.ls were a mixed bag. Some
were camouflaged and others remained all
The Fleet Air Arm had six Anson equipped units
which were engaged In training radar operators
in the ASV role. These Anson Mk.ls were used
late In the war and beyond for this purpose.
silver. They were all in need of overhaul and
Thornhill's six hangers were full of Ansons
in various broken down forms. It is recalled
that when one of the first emerged it was to
be air tested and the author went along as
the Signall er in the rear scat. The pilot Fig
Of't'r Pienaar. a South African. opened the
throttles at the end of the nmway and the
Anson sped along the runway but would not
get airborne. Not knowing exactly what to
do about it the pilot actually ran out of run-
way, bounced over the boundary fence and a
road. hit the open coulllry on the other side
and eventually staggered into the air. The
three on board thinking that their end had
come wait ed for the crash but Picnaar man-
aged to get the Anson to stay in the ai r long
enough to get it round a very curtai led cir-
cuit and back on the ground again.
In the subsequent Board of Enquiry it
was established that although the engines
had been overhauled it had been forgotten
that as Thornhill was some 6.000 feet alti-
tude above sea level the engines had not
AVROANSON WAAPAINT PAGE 21
RCAF Units
using Ansons
Unit Base Version Code
Service Flying Training Schools
1 Camp Borden 1111 AA,AB etc
2 Uplands II Serial only
3 Calgary 1111 Serial only
4 Saskatoon 1111 Serial only
5 Brantford 11111111 Unknown
6 Dunnville II Unknown
7 Macleod 11111111 Serial only
8 Monkton 1111 Senal only
9 Summerside II Serial only
1 0 Dauphin II Serial only
11 Yorkton 1/ 11 Serial only
12 Brandon 1/11 Unknown
13 St .Hubert/N.Battleford II Letters/Nos.
14 Aylmer!Kingston II Serial only
15 Claresholm 1111 Unknown
16 Bagersville IIIIIIIIN Serial only
t7 Souris II Serial only
18 Glmli!Souris IW Numbers
t9 Vulcan II Unknown
31 Kingston II Serial only
32 Moose Jaw I Serial only
33 Carberry 111 1 Numbers
34 Medicine Hat II Serial only
38 Estevan 1/ 11 Not known
41 Weyburn 1/11 Not known
1 ANS Rivers I Numbers
2ANS Pennlield Ridge IN Not known
3ANS Portage La Prairie V Serial only
3tANS Port Albert I Letters/Nos.
32ANS Charlottetown I Numbers
33ANS Mount Hope I Numbers
1 AOS Malton IN Letters/Nos.
2AOS Edmonton IN Letters/Nos.
3AOS Regina/Pearce I Not known
4AOS London IN Various
5AOS W i n n i p e ~ W Numbers
6AOS PrinoeAbert I Not known
7AOS Portage Ia Prairie W Various
8AOS Ancienne Lorette W Letters
9AOS StJohn w Letter/Nos.
10AOS Chatham w Letter/Nos.
1 BGS Jarvis 1111 Unknown
2BGS Mossbank 1/11 Unknown
3BGS MacDonald II Unknown
4 BGS Fingal 1111 Unknown
5BGS Daloe 1/ 11 Unknown
6BGS Mountain View II Unknown
7BGS Paulson 1/ 11 Numbers
8BGS Lethbridge 1111 Unknown
9BGS MontJoli II Unknown
tOBGS Mount Pleasant 1111 Unknown
31 BGS Picton 1111 Unknown
CFS Trenton IN Serial only
1CNS Rivers IN Unknown
1 SoiFC Patricia Bay v Unknown
t FIS Trenton 1/11 Into CFS
2 FIS Pearce II Unknown
1 GAS Summerside W Numbers
31 GAS Charlottetown IN Numbers
t IFS Deseronto!Trenton liN Unknown
t NAGS Yarmouth II FAA 745 Sqdn
tANS Summerside V Numbers
60TU Com ox Unknown
3t OTU De bert Unknown
320TU Patricia Bay I Unknown
34 OTU Pennfield Aid?e 1/11 Unknown
360TU Greenwood Unknown
AOS=Air Observer School
ANS=Air Navigation School
BGS=Bombing & Gunnery School
CFS=Central Flying School
CNS=Central Navigation School
SofFC=School of Flying Control
FIS=Fiying Instructors School
GAS=General Reconnaissance School
IFS=Inltlal Flying School
RNS=Reconnaissance and Navigation School
NAGS= Naval Air Gunnery School
been calibrated for this and consequently
did not develop sufficient power for the
take-off. Surprisingly the Anson had flown
down from the Middle East without any
probl ems as some of the airfields through
which it staged were also hot and high.
Immediate changes were made and the other
Ansons had no problems thereafier.
PAGE 22 AVAO ANSON WARPAINT
In spite of the fact that a live snake was
found under the floorboards of one of the
other Ansons that had come all the way
from Egypt undetected, the Anson Mk.l s
went into service for about nine months
before they were withdrawn and the latest
shi ny new Anson Mk.20s arri ved albeit that
these were shipped to South African ports,
re-assembled and fl own the relativly short
Fleet Air Arm Anson Mk.1NK201:999-SZ of the
Station Flight RNAS Sydenham seen post-war
In 1955. {Arthur Pearcy)
distance up to Rhodesia.
THE TWENTY SERI ES
With the Anson C.l9 replacing many Mk.ls
in the commuincations role it was not sur-
Above: An Air Sea Rescue Anson Mk.l dropping a dinghy to ditched alrcrew. The package can be
seen just below the aircraft' s tallplane. The picture was taken in May 1943 over the English Channel.
(IWM) Below: South Africa's original requirement for antll-submarine patrols off their long coastline
relied on the Anson Mk. I. There were six Coastal Flights and four operational squadrons using
Ansons apart from the many Air Schools for training purposes (IWM)
prisi ng that the Air Ministry sought to utilise
the improvements made to the training ver-
s ions. The Cold War and the renewed
requirement for aircrew hastened their deci-
sion to order navigation trainers for use both
overseas and at home. Specification T.24/46
was issued and the prototype VM305 made
A mixed bag of Ansons on a Canadian Air
Navigation School airfield. Some are still in their
European camouflage whilst others have been
repainted In overall trainer yellow. Serials also
vary between British and Canadian (IWM)
- AVroAnson Mk. lll, 6008. R oyal C ~ n a d i a n Air Force:-Dark -;arth/Dark
Green uppersurfaces with Trainer Yellow undersides, cowlings, rear fuse-
lage upper deck and panels above wings; serial in black on fuselage and
rudder. 'B' type roundels above wings
its first flight from Yeadon in May 1946.
Eventually 60 were built.
The Anson T.Mk.20 was destined for use
in Southern Rhodesia and the T.Mk.21 for
navigation schools in the UK. They differed
in that the T.20 had a transparent nose for
bomb aiming and small racks under the cen-
tre fuselage for 201b pract ise bombs.
The author was stati oned at Thornhill at
the time the first arri ved and the Mk.ls dis-
posed of as scrap. The aircraft could carry
three navigator trainees and an instructor
with the pil ot and wireless operator up front.
A loop aeri al for the TR. II54/55 was fitted
on the rear part of the cabin roof and a
astrodome up forward.
Having been used to the special wireless
operator's seat with its small desk fined
below the radio on the Mk.l and io spite of
havi ng to be the one called upon to wind up
the undercarriage, the new position for the
Signaller, as he was now called, was far
from convenient when it came to flying the
new aircraft. The TR 1154/55 was fitted on
AVRO ANSON WAAPAINT PAGE 23
Two Anson Mk.ls from No.321 Squadron on
patrol. Thi s rather unique unit was manned by
former Dutch aviators acknowledged by the
orange triangle on the tin ot each aircraft. (IWM)
1hc bulkhead behind the pilot's seal and the
Signaller had to be somcthig of a contor-
sionist to get at it when it was necessary to
change frequencies. In Rhodesia thi s didn't
mancr 100 much as the equipment was tuned
PAGE 24 AVRO ANSON WAR PAINT
before the pilot took his scat and remained
1ha1 way 1hroughout the trip. The morse key
was on the starboard coaming and one had
10 adapt to having no real position to rest
one's wrist when transmitting. But when it
came to bombing training it was also a dif-
ferent matter. The Signaller had to get out of
his scat, fold it up and go afi to allow the
trainee to get into 1hc nose. As 1he bombing
range wasn't far from Thornhill Signallers
were generall y dispensed wi th on these
trips.
Pilots soon converted to the Anson T.20
Typical scene at 8 SFTS Moncton, a Canadian
training base with Anson Mk.lls and a Harvard
In the background. Although modified by the
removal ot some cabin windows the foreground
Anson retains its UK serial number. (IWM)
South African Air Force operating units
Air School
41 AS
42AS
43AS
44As
45AS
47 AS
61 AS
62AS
64AS
65AS
66AS
History
Formed 30 December 1940 as
Type A School at Collondale,
East London. Anson equipped by
July 1941.
Formed 27 March 1941 as Type
A School. Equipped with Battles, Oxfords
and Ansons by August 1941 at
Date disbanded
18 May 1945
18 March 1945
South End, Port Elizabeth
Formed onl2 January 1942 at
The Kowie, Port Alfred but moved
15 September 1946
to Grahamstown in July 1945. Initially
an Air Gunnery School it had Battles
as well as Ansons. Changed role in
January1945 to include navigation
and ai r bombing
Formed on 12 January 1942
at Grahamstown as a Combined Type
A School for Observer, Navi gator. Air
Gunnery and Bombing School using
Ansons throughout its service.
Was originally No.5 Air Observer and
Navigator School at Weston-super-Mare
14 June 1945
20 August 1945
but was shipped to South Africa in September
1940 then based at Oudtshoorn. Bcame a
Type B School equipped throughout with
Ansons and a few Oxfords.
Shipped to South Africa i n January 1941
this unit was originally No.1 Air Observer
7 April1945
and Navigator School at Prestwick. It became
No.7 AONS at Queenstown. It was designated
a Type B school eqipped with Ansons
throughout its service
On 30 September 1940 an element of the 14 June 1945
School of General Reconnaissance
left Squi res gate for South Africa.
It became No.I School of General
Reconnaissance at George and later
renamed 61AS equipped throughout
with Ansons.
Formed at Bloemfontein in 1940 24 February 1945
11 becamethe Central Flying School for the
SAAF with a number of Ansons on
strength.
Formed in February 1941 at Tempe 20 December 1945
for signals and wireless training with
a number of Ansons on strength
Formed at Youngs Field in August
1940 as an Armourers School sharing
a number of Ansons with 66 AS.
The two were combined to form 68 AS
Formed at Youngs Field and later
combined with 65 AS.
10 September 1945
67 AS Formed at Zwartkop in November 1940
as the Air Photography School with a
few Ansons on strength. Continued
during post-war period.
Other SAAF uni ts with Ansons
No.3 I Coastal Flight Formed in September 1940 from A
Flight No. 32 Squadron at Cape
Town. Moved to Maputa and then
Port Elizabeth. Renamed No.22 Sqdn
in 1942.
No.32 Coastal Flight Formed September 1940 out of
No.32 Sqdn at Durban. Moved to East
Africa in 1942 and later formed the
basis of Nos.20 an 23 Sqdns.
No.33 Coastal Flight Formed September 1940 out of 'B'
Flight No. 31 Squadron at
Wingfield. Moved to Port Elizabeth
and then Durban in 1942. Eventually
renamed No. 25 Sqdn.
No.34 Coastal Flight Formed i n South Africa but operated
from Mombasa in 1940. Disbanded in
1943 aircraft going to No.28 Sqdn .
No.36 Coastal Flight Formed in South Africa but operated
in East Africa until disbanded in 1942
a1rcraf1 going to Nos.20 and 23
Sqdns
No.37 Coastal Flight Operated in East Africa until1942
when aircraft went to No. 20 Sqdn.
No. 12 (Bomber) Squadron Used Ansons when based at
Waterkloof in 1940
No.28 (Transport) Squadron Basaed Almaza. Cairo. Used Ansons
from 1943-44 and again from 1945-
51.
No.32 Squadron Flew Ansons from Cape Town.
Reduced to No.32 Fhght in January
1940.
No.35 Squadron Sunderland unit but had one Anson
on lloats for water operations of flying
boats. Based at Congella, Durban
No.60 (Photographic) Squadron Formed from No.62 Sqdn at Nairobi
1n 1940. Used Ansons till 1941 and
agam 1n Western Desert 1942-43.
No.61 (Communications) Squadron Formed in 1940. Based at Zwartkop
and used Ansons till 1945 some filled
for ambulance duties.
No.62 (Survey) Squadron Formed in November 1940 from No.
1 Survey Flight at
Nairobi . Amalgamated 1nto No.60
Sqdn 1n December 1940.
Reserve squadrons formed Nos 141 to 145. 14 7 and 161 us1ng Ansons.
Most were part of Ai r Schools and used Ansons for patrol work and anti
submarine searches.
Additionally No.I Navigation Flight was basd at Grahamstown along
with a Gunnery Flight.. Bombing Gunnery and Navigation School used
Ansons at Longboorweg from 1945to1947.
The only Anson Mk.VI 13881. It was fitted with
Pratt & Whitney engines and had a twi n-gun
Bristol turret for air gunner trai ning. It was
struck off charge In 1947. (IWM)
but to be on the safe side one aircran VS504
was locally fitted with dual controls and
first trips were always made on thi s
machine. It was also 'cry con\'cnicnt for
people such as the author b..:cause the pi lot s
were onl y too pleacclto hand O\'Cr the Oying
AVRO ANSON WAR PAINT PAGE 25
Old and new. Seen at 3 Air Navigation School,
RAF Thornhill, Southern Rhodesia, the two ver-
sions of Anson used for training at that unit. In
the foreground one of the camouflaged Anson
Mk.ls NK475:Z-H flown down from the Middle
East whilst one of the newly arrived Anson
Mk.20s Z-D is In the background (Author)
to the chap in the right hand seat when on
three hour cross country flights.
It was the Signall er's task to maintain
communications with base and get position
repon s during these quite long flight s.
Rhodesia at that time was fairly sparsely
covered for land marks and although one
could navigate between two points by
knowledge of the small vi llages and town-
ships over which one passed it was a very
good idea to take posi tion repons because
the student navigators often got it wrong
and their instructors were wont to let them
make their mi stakes relying on those up
front to know where they were!.
The Mk.21 was exactly the same as the
Mk.20 but without the transparent nose. It
had the same six crew members and was
built in responce to Air Ministry
Specification 25/46. A total of 252 were
built at Yeadon staning with the prototype
VS562 which first flew in May 1948. The
Mk.21 was isued to os.l and 2 Air
Navigation Schools the basic navigation
schools and the RAF College, Cranwell.
Many went to Reserve Flying Training
Uni ts of which 19 were established through-
out the British Isles.
Finally the RAF required an aircraft that
could be used for trai ning Signallers and for
the embryo electronic schools. For this pur-
pose the Mk.22 was bui lt which differed
externally from the Mk.2 1 by having the
D/F loop moved forward above the second
cabin window and the deletion of the
astrodome. A total of 54 includi ng the pro-
totype VM306 were built. These went to
Nos I and 4 Radio Schools, o.l Air
PAGE 26 AVRO ANSON WAR PAINT
Above: No shortage of labour at RAF Thornhill as many Rhodesian African Ri fles soldiers were avail-
able for jobs like this. Being pushed back Is Anson T.20 VS504:ZZ. (Author) Below: RAF THornhill
from the air. The road over which the Anson on air test bounced over before just getting airborne Is
In the foreground. This was due to the fact that the airfield was 6,000 ft above sea level. (Author)
Signallers School and the Air Electronic
School.
CIVILANSONS
The first production civi l Avro 19 Series I
G-AGPG was rolled out in June 1946 and
remained in the service of A. V. Roc and Co.
for 16 years. It was convened to a Series 2
in 1952 and sold to Skyways Ltd at Lympnc
ten years later.
The largest fleet of civi l Avro 19 Series I
aircraft was that of Railway Air Services
which operated 14 of them on routes from
Croydon to Scotland. the Isle of Man and
Belfast until 1947. The Ministry of Civil
Aviation also had six at Gatwick for airport
radio calibration and inst rument rating
tests.G-AHIC went to the College of
Aeronautics, Cranfield as an aerodynamic
test vehicle with experimental aerofoil sec-
tions flown vcnically on the roof.
Most of the Series I aircraft were modi-
fied into Series 2 with metal tapered wings
and tai l unit. A number found their way
overseas six being flown to onh Africa in
1958-59 for usc on local services in Algeria.
Two went to the Ethiopian Government and
VH-RCC was flown from Gatwi ck to
Australia in 1962 for Nicholas Air Charter.
Some surplus Anson C.J9s from the RAF
were allocated civil registrations in 1967 but
none were used commercially.
OVERSEAS MILITARY SALES
Many Ansons of a wide variety of marks
were sold overseas before the war and in the
immediate post war period. In a lot of cases
they fonncd the basis of the new air forces
in European countries such as Holland
Belgi um and Norway.
Belgium
Transport Flights were established in
England for the new Belgian Air Force with
a number of Mk.ls which went to Everc air
base in 1947 though few survived for long.
One was used by No.7 Wing as a sqaudron
hack flying crews to the Fokker works in
Holland to pick up newly built Meteor F.Ss
in 1950.
o.21 Smaldcel had Ansons which were
split into a separate Flight when the unit
received DC-4s for long range transporta-
tion.
The main Transport Flight also had C-
47s its personnel having been part of
No.525 Squadron during the war. Known as
the Vcrbi ndingsflight it took two Anson
Xll s. NB.I and NB.2 when it left RAF
Hendon in August 1946. The Flight later
became No.367 Squadron later to be
renamed 21 Smaldeel and used for commu-
nications work.
Czechoslovaki a
Three Ansons were suppl ied to
Czechoslovakia, a Mk.l NK535 and two
Mk.XII s PH650 and PH651. The latter
crashed into the sea ofl' the Danish coast in
February 1946. The fate of the other is not
recorded.
Denmark
Four Ansons from ex-RAF stocks were sup-
plied to the embryo Danish Air Force after
the amalgamation of the avys organisa-
Above and below: The Interior of Anson V 12417 ex-CF-HOT preserved In a Canadian museum in fly-
ing condition. The aircraft had been used for aerial survey work hence the side facing seats and
holes In the floor for cameras. The aircraft was flown by the author making full use of the dual con-
trols fitted. It had a hydraulic undercarriage and was of all wooden construction. (Author)
AVRO ANSON WARPAINT PAGE 27
Overseas registered civil Ansons 1. Avro XIX
Srs 2 00-DFA had a varied career. It served In
the Congo, was acquired by Sabena and came
to Coastal Air Transport at Le Zoute in 1953.
Later It was acquired by Kemps Aerial Surveys
and finally to the Strathallan Aircraft Collection.
2.Avro XIX Srs.1 served in the UK with Hunting
Air Travel and sold In 1962 to Australia for use
by Nicholas Air Charter Pty Ltd. Burned for fire
practice in April 1966. 3.EL-ABC was an Avro
XIX Srs.2, was registered to the Ministry of
Supply and converted to an anti-locust sprayer.
Became G-AKUD In 1954 with Aerocontacts,
Gatwlck and then sold in Liberia as EL-ABC. 4.
One of a number of Anson Vs acquired by
Spartan Air Services with a magnetometer
under the fuselage. The names Ottawa and
Calgary appear on the fusleage. 5.Anson Mk.l
PAGE 28 AVAO ANSON WAAPAINT
VA-SDK of Kanyang Airways was based at
Kallang, Singapore alter having had three previ-
ous Far Eastern owers. 6. Anson Mk.l NK843
was converted into G-AIOB In 1947 and sold to
Sweden operating as SE-BRW with Alrtaco in
1950. 7. Anson Mk.l was first registered as G-
ALUM for Transair, then to Independent Air
Travel and sold in Denmark as OY-DYC for
newspaper flights. It was on one of these in
February 1956 that it had engine failure and
crashed. The remains were kept by Transalr for
spares. 8. Avro XIX Series 2 ex-VM305 was orig-
inally registered to Air Couriers {Transport) at
Croydon but later acquired by W.S.Shackleton
Ltd and sold abroad to C.Agar registered in Iran
as EP-CAA, in March 1960. It was damaged
beyond repair and scrapped alter an accident in
September 1960. {Photos from APN and MAP)
lion with that of the Anny They became
ground inslruclion airframes and consisiCd
of one Mk. l and three Mk.Xs. All were used
by the Technical Training School at Avno.
Egypt
Egypt was one of 1he coumries that ordered
Anson Mk. ls before the war. The first an
Avro 652 Mk.ll was suppl ied in November
1936 as SU-AAO where it was later re-seri-
allcd as W204. Three Anson Mk.ls were
del ivcred in 1938 for usc in communica-
tions work and in 1939 became part of No.
3 Communications Squadron. Three more
were provided from ex-RAF stocks in
Avro Anson Mk.IX, PH6041R. Malta Communications Flight, 1946. Extra
Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate uppersurfaces with Azure Blue under-
sides; code in white. 'C' roundels above wings
Station Flight RAF Halton, 1948.
around fuselage and wings; black anti
the latter repeated under the wings
Avro.Anson C.19, VM406, No. 12 Group CommtJnications -
Aluminium overall with white fuselage top decking; blue cheatline with
white surround to windows. Black anti-dazzle panel and serials under the
wing: serial on blue background on fuselage. Dayglo Orange nose, spin
wingtips and eng1ne cowling (the latter in adhesive strips)

Avro Anson C.19,Vl306.
overall with white fuselage
anti-dazzle panel, spinners
RAF Waddington, t 963. Aluminium
cheatline outlined in black. Black
latter repeated under the wings
- Avro Anson f.2o;'VM418/UC.G-:- Rhodesian Air Training
Group, Kumalo. Aluminiui'JI overall with yellow bands around rear fuselage
and wings; black anti-<laz21e panel, codes and serial, the latter repeated
under the wings. Port sp(nner is black. starboard spinner in black and white
AVRO ANSON WAR PAl NT PAGE 29
Anson T.21 VS562 was the prototype for this ver
slon.lt served In various establishments lnlcud-
lng AST Hamble, Napier, A&AEE and finally as
seen here with RAE Llanbedr. Note that the 0/F
loop has been moved forward when compared to
the other picture on the next page. (MAP)
January 1945 and an unspecified addition-
al number were given to Egypt subsequent
of which one was supposed to have ended
up in Iran. Eventuall y two squadrons
equipped with Ansons were formed. os. 3
and 4 based at Almaza <md Helwan respec-
ti vely.
Estonia
One Anson Mk.l was deli vered to the
Estonia Air Force in 1937. This was c/n.95 1
ex-RAF K8741 serialled 158 in that coun-
try's service.
Ethiopia
The Imperial Ethi opian Ai r Force took
PAGE 30 AVRO ANSON WAR PAINT
deli very of two Avro XlXs in January 1946.
They were registered G-AGUII and G-
AGUI becoming 120 and 121 when in serv-
ice wi th the communications and transport
unit formed at Bi shoflu.
Finland
The Suomen l lmavoimat ordered three
Anson Mk. ls before the war. Pilots received
training at Woodford and the first, AN- I 0 I,
made its delivery flight to Utti on 27
September 1936. It is noted that a Finnish
pilot at an air di splay on 15 May 1936 to
inaugurate Malmo airport , Helsinki, per-
formed two loops in one of the aircrafl to
the astonishment of the crowd. The three
Ansons were initially use for twin engine
training pending the arri val of Bristol
Blcnheims for the air force. They were also
used for aerial survey work before the
Russian auack on Fi nland during which
-
AN-103 crashed in February 1940. AN-102
was adapted to have a ski undercarriage in
1942-43 but crashed in 1943 being written
off. A -101 survived until 1947 when it
made it s last flight.
France
The Free French Air Force took delivery of
British civil Ansons. 1. G-ALXC was an Ansom
Mk.l which spent much of Its civil life with
Transalr Ltd. It went to the Federated Fruit
Company in1953 but was subsequently sold to
Eire as EIACO. It ended it days on the fire dump
at Southend. 2. Anson Mk.l GAIPC was regis
tered In 1946 to the College of Aeronautics,
Cranfield where it was used for aerodynamic
tests of various wing sections. 3. Anson XII G-
AIXW was in servicre with Transair Air Surveys
in 1960. 4. This Anson XIX G-AWML ex-TX166
was Intended for humaritan work In Biafra for
the Save the Children Fund but it never got
there. It ended its days in Weston-super-Mare
and was scrapped In 1970 (pictures by MAP and
APN)
Anson post-war prototypes. Left: Anson T.20
navigation trainer VM305 Lower left:Anson T.21
UK based navigation trainer VS562. Compare
with picture on facing page. Bottom left : Anson
T.22 radio trainer VM306. (MoO Air)
eight Anson Mk.ls in May 1943 which were
deli vered 10 Wesl Africa. These were
EG351. EG352. EG355. EG356. EG359,
EG360. EG363 and EG364. They were fol-
lowed in December 1944 by a funhcr nine
and all were in use wi1h I he Groupe Anois a1
Poinlc oire in French Equ31orial Africa.
Groupe A noi se was formed in Augus1 1942
for coas1al defence initially wi1h Lysanders
and 1hen Ansons as 1hcsc arri ved.
Post war I he Armcc de I" 1\ ir SCI up !rain-
ing units wilh a considerable number of
Ansons. The rnos1 imponam of these was
BE.710 which was 1hc French Mi li1ary
Academy 31 Salon-de-Provence and was a
rough equi valenl of 1hc RAF Coll ege,
Cranwell. By 1949 il had 3 I Ansons on
strcnglh. BE. 702 was formed at Avord fo r
muhi-enginc conversion and had detach-
ments at Cazaux. BE. 703 became the radio
training school. BE. 705 was the basic !rain-
ing school at Cognac. It was transfcrcd 10
Marrakech in 1949 and became BE.709.
Fnally BE.706 or EMNE trained navigators
and bombardiers at Cazaux. By 1949 it had
31 Ansons. II Martinets. 35 Wcllingtons
and 40 miscellaneous types on strength.
There were II overseas bases under
French command which used Anson Mk. ls.
Many were Escadri lle de Poli ce cl Sccurilc
units mostly in Africa and Madacascar.
The French avy (Aeronautique avale)
was also a prolific user of the Anson for
both communcati ons and training. An ini1ial
balch of 20 Ansons was delivered during
1946 wilh a few more arriving la1cr and sup-
plcmelll ed by surplus aircrafl from the
I"Armee de I'Air. By 1947 1hcrc was one
communications uni1 31 Qucrqucvi llc and
1wo !raining squadrons 50S and 52S. The
former al so had 1hc duty of giving officer
cadels from the nearby Ecole Navalc <II
The boss's aircraft. Anson C.19 VP526:LI was
allocated to the Rhodesian Air Tarining Group
Communications Flight and based at Kumalo. In
January 1952 it had an engine failure on take-off
and made a belly landing jusl outside Kumal o
airfield. (MAP)
AVROANSON WARPAINT PAGE 3t
Top right: Anson XII which retained the bomb
almer's position in the nose belonged to No.85
Bombing and Gunnery School until 1947.
Centre Right: Anson XII was originally with
No.84 Group Communications Squadron and
then for a period with the RAF In Germany. It
returned to England and was coded 3R-S before
ending Its days in 1961 In the Gaydon Station
Flight. Bottom right: Anson XII NL248 was orig-
inally with the Empire Central Flying School. It
had a period with the Central Gunnery School
and became a communications aircraft before
being struck off charge ln1958.
Lanveoc air experience nights as part of
their training. In October 1948 52S was re-
designated 56S and used Ansons to train
non-pil ot aircrew including radar training. It
was based at Agadi r, Morocco, after being
temporarily based at a number of different
airfi elds. One French Anson was perma-
nently based in the UK and used by the
aval Attache during 1945-46.
All French Ansons were goundcd in
August 1950 pending the outcome of
enquiries into the number of crashes to both
air force and naval Ansons thought to be due
to wing failure. None remai ned on unit
strength after January 195 1.
Greece
The Royal Hellenic Air Force took delivery
of 12 Anson Mk.l s in May-June 1939. They
were serialled TT51 to TT62 and were orig-
inall y given RAF serial numbers. For deliv-
ery purposes they were civil registered as G-
AFTU-'W. During the German invasion of
Greece five escaped to Egypt where they
were flown with both Greek and RAF seri-
als on the rear fuselage.
Post-war four RAF Anson Mk.XIIs were
loaned between 1945-46 and formed the
Royal Hell enic Air Force's Cornunications
Squadron based at Maleme. Addi tionally 36
ex-RAF Anson Mk. ls were given to the
Greeks in 1946-47.
Below: 1. Anson C.19 of the Fighter Command
Communications Flight. 2. Anson C.19 of RAF
Witterlng's Station Flight. One of the few to have
a chequerboard fin. 3. Metropolitan Communi-
cations Squadron Anson C.19 TX185 coded CB-
0 but at this time seconded to RAF Honington
Station Flight retaining its original codes. 4.
Although In standard colours this Anson C.19
VV963 has the badge of the School of Land/Air
Warfare on the nose. (APNIMAP)
PAGE 32 AVRO ANSON WARPAINT
Above: Originally allocated for navigation train-
ing as a T.21 with No.1 ANS, this Anson VS576
was pictured at the end of Its career when allo-
cated to the Station Flight at RAF Leconfield. It
was scrapped In January 1962 (MAP)
Indonesia
Litt le is known about several Ansons being
taken on charge by the Indonesian Air Force
between 1947-48. One was known to be
seriallcd Rl-00 I which was originally reg-
istered in Australia but broken up after cap-
ture by the Dutch at Magoewa in December
1948. The other two serials arc unknown but
again they were ex-Australian civil register.
Iran
After Iran declared war on Germany in
September 1943 48 Anson Mk.ls were
reported to have been delivered to the
Iranian Air Force via the maintcnace unit at
RAF l labbaniya. They arrived in three
batches between May 1944 and June 1945.
The Ansons equipped No.I (Bomber)
Squadron at Desham Tcppah ncar Tehran
and were possibly operational by 1945. In
adition an Anson Mk.XII was supplied for
the usc of the Regent of Iran.
Ireland
Ordered by the lrish Army Air Corps two
Anson Mk.ls were delivered to Baldonnel
on 20 March 1937. Two more were deliv-
ered on 19 January 1938 where they formed
No. I Reconnaissance and Medium
Bombing Squadron. A further five were
Centre right : Anson C.19 VM365 was initially
allocated to the Empire Radio School but after-
wards became a communications aircraft and
was part of 13 Group Communications Flight
when this pi cture was taken. Right: Anson C.19
VL306 had a varied career havi ng served with
Air Headquarters Ferry Unit and then in the
Middle East Communications Flight. Sub-
sequently It was based in Malta, returning home
to RAF Basslngbourn and then, as In this pic-
ture, at Waddington in 1964 with the Station
Flight. It was struck off charge In January 1969.
(MAP)
AVRO ANSON WARPAINT PAGE 33
PAGE 34 AVRO ANSON WARPAINT
Above: Seen on Its acceptance flight Anson
T.20 VS504 became part of the RATG and was
unique in having dual controls. Left: Exported
to India Anson Mk.18C was one of 12 used for
navigation and radio training for embryo Indian
Airlines pilots. (Harry Holmes)
delivered on 2 February 1939 as part of an
order for 12 but the remaining seven were
impressed by the RAF before they were due
to leave Speke airport on their delivery
flight and remained at No.36 Maintenance
Unit.
During the war the Ansons together with
Walrus amphibians were ba ed at Rineanna
aerodrome, (now Shannon airport) for
Below: Three Anson Mk.22 radio trainers
belonging to No.1 Air Electronic School fore-
shadow the RAF' s need for radar operators in
the post-war period. (Eric Taylor)
Above: Anson T.22 VV367 of the RAF Flying
College Signals Division, Cranwell. Below: One
of the many Anson T.21s used by the RAF
Volunteer Reserve units was VV996 W-RSA of
No.23 RFS. (MAP)
coastal patrols from Wexford to Lough
Swilly in the north-west of Eire but the bad
weather ofT this coast caused accidents in
which three were lost though one was
repairable. Two further accidents occured
and the Ansons were withdrawn from serv-
ice by the end of 1944 and scrapped.
Three A\TO XIXs were ordered in 1946
being deli,ered on 4 April that year. They
Avro Anson T.22,VV366ffCR-B, No. 1 Radio School.
Aluminium overall with black anti-dazzle panel, spinners, codes
and serials; yellow bands around rear fuselage and wings
I
AVRO ANSON WAR PAINT PAGE 35
equipped the General Purpose Flight being
used for training, communcations, freight
and reconnaissance work. Two were dam-
aged in accidents one being retained as a
ground instntctional machine but this was
also scrapped along wit h the other survivor
of the three in the early seventi es. One has
survived and is preserved for eventual
dip lay in the Irish Aviation Museum.
Israel
A number of Anson Mk.ls went to lsmel
post war of which nine were formerly UK
civil registered. They were in usc with
No.ll4 Squadron as multi-engined, naviga-
tion tminers and had an excellent safety
record. All were retired by early 1956 and
used for fire dump exercises or broken up.
Turkey ordered 25 Ansons before the war but
only sh( were delivered. Used for bombardier
training the last was withdrawn in 1946. (IWM)
PAGE 36 AVRO ANSON WARPAINT
Netherlands
A total of 25 ex-RAF Anson Mk.ls were
donated to the Royal Netherlands Air Force
after having been re-furbished at RAF
Pershore before deli very to Twenthc in
Holland. They were used by a number of
different units including Depot Yliegnligen
at Soestcrberg. the Tehnical Tmining Unit at
Declen, the twin-engine conversion unit at
Gilzc-Rijen and a communications and
transport unit known as No.334 Squadron
based at Yalkcnberg.
One other Anson C. l 9 YM325 was
bought from RAE Llanbedr for 200 and
coded 0-26 for display at the Soersterberg
Air Force Museum in 1971.
Norway
The Norwegian Air Force operated 12
Anson Xlls in the communications role
before their country was finall y libemtcd.
Anson T.21 , WJ561 , overflying Its test airfield at
Woodford, Cheshire during Its maiden flight on
13 May 1952. On the airfield can be seen sever-
al all-white Lancasters and a York transport air-
craft. The Anson was being flown by Avro's
chief test pilot. Jimmy Orrell . A total of 10,996
Anson had been built. (Harry Holmes)
They moved to Oslo-Fomcbu between 5
and 9 June 1945 but were disbanded when
the RAF withdrrew from Norway in
December 1945.
Subsequentl y ten Anson Mk.Is were
given to the Royal Norwegian Air Force by
August 1947. These were not in very good
condition, one being lost on delivery. The
remainder were re-furbished at Kjeller and
then used for radio and navigation training
One was modified for Search and Rescue
duties and all were eventually sold into civil
use in various countries.
Above: The USAAF used Ansons both in the UK
and for trai ning purposes in the United States.
This Is one of 50 Mk.lls supplied from Canada
and re-designated AT-20. (Harry Holmes)
Portugal
Reconditioned by Avros at Langar, 12
Anson Mk.ls were delivered to Portugal
between 1946-47 for liai son and transport
duties at Portela. They lasted a long time
some still being in service in 1957 after the
unil had been renamed Esquadra 82.
Unconfinncd information suggests that four
more were delivered 10 Portugal in 1947.
Saudia Arabia
One Anson Mk.l ex-G-AIXY was operated
by Ai rwork before August 1948 at Taif for
the British Training Mission. It was
scrapped in December 1949.
Syria
Six Ansons found their way to Syria from
The Anson was popular with many European
countries after the war. Below: A Mk.l with the
Dutch Ai r Force which had a Bristol dorsal tur-
ret for gunnery training. Lower Right: Norway
received 12 Anson Mk.ls for communications
dulles. Many required major overhaul which
was done In Norway (Harry Holmes)
unspecified origins between 1948-49. Two
were convened for bomber operati ons and
took pan duri ng the War of Independence in
May-June 1948 armed wi th two .303
machine guns in the rear turret and capable
of carrying a 500lb bomb load.
Turkey
Turkey was another pre-war country to
order Ansons. A total of 25 were ordered in
1938 and six of these were shipped to
Turkey in May 1940, the remainder not
being dispatched. They were al located to the
Air School at Eskisehir to replace DH.84
Dragons. Used as bombardier trainers and
light transports it is interesting to note that
the entrance door was on the starboard side
of the rear fuselage. The last two were
struck off charge in 1946.
United States of America
Due to the need for extra training aircraft 50
AVRO ANSON WARPAINT PAGE 37
Avros re-conditioned 12 Anson Mk.ls for export to Portugal in 1946-47 for communications and light
transport duties. They remained In service until1957. Originally based at Portela the unit was later
redesignated Esquadron 82. (Author)
Anson Mk. lls were transfered from Canada
to the USAAF as AT-20s in 1943. An Anson
Mk. IV was also loaned to lhe US in July
1942 but relumed in November of that year.
When the USAAF arrived in Europe
they did not bring communications aircrafi
with them consequent ly Ansons along with
many other types for second line duties
were supplied from UK stocks. No accurate
records seem to have been kept of these air-
craft and the exact numbers involved are not
known. By the end of 1944 most Ansons
had been returned to the RAF as the
USAAF had by that time been able to ship
their own communi cati ons aircraft to
Europe from the States. Quite a few were
based at either Warton, Lancashire. the
USAA F Depot or with the I st Combat Crew
Replacement Centre. Bovingdon. Herts
where four were noted by the author in early
1944. One Anson XII NL137 was allocated
to the Station Flight, Northolt in January
1945 and later rransfered to Headquarters
Flight Bovingdon. It returned to RAF
charge by late in 1945 going to No.I Ferry
Unit, Pershore.
FEW VARI ANTS
Comment should be made about the variety
of colour schemes of the RAF's communi -
cation Anson C. l9s. The basic scheme was
white top, silver elsewhere with a broad
blue cheat line over the cabin window area
but there were many variati ons. Each
PAGE 38 AVRO ANSON WAR PAINT
Station or Command had its fleet of Ansons
so each was marked wi th their ownership
above the cabin cheat line. Some in
squadron service also had their ownershi p
marked by the incl usion of a squadron or
unit badge and in one case a chequered fin.
One Anson was well known even after
the demise of most of the others and that
was a Mk. II G-ALIH bel onging to Ekco
Electronics Ltd which had a large bulbous
radar nose. A C.l9 Series 2 VM306 was
similarly modified in RAF service.
The last Anson to be built was Mk.21
WJS61 which flew on IS May 1946 and
handed over to the RAF by Sir Roy Dobson
on the 27th of that month. The Anson had
been in production for 34 years. longer than
any other British military aircraft and
including both civil and military versions. It
was said that 11.020 had been produced. But
thi s fi gure has since been disproved due to a
duplicated batch of serial numbers. The
actual fi gure was I 0,996.
The final flypast of RAF Ansons was
made by six C. 19s of the Southern
Communications Squadron from RAF
Bovingdon, Hert forshire on 28 June 1968.
This coincided with the closing of that
Station for RAF use although it had been
Continued on page 40
The three Anson C.19s delivered to the Irish Air
Corps in April 1946 and allocated to the
Gerneral Purpose Flight. One of the origi nal
Mk.ls can be seen i n the background.
1. The Interi or of the Mk.l Anson showing the
pilot's cockpit and the corner of navigator' s
desk. 2. The seating arrangement in the Anson
C.19's cabin. 3. Port side nose and cockpit area
of the Anson C.19. (Harry Holmes)
4. Port side cockpit and nose of the Anson C.19. 5. Canadian Anson Mk.V
forward fuselage. 6. The dorsal gun turret for a .303 machine gun on early
Ansons .7. Close up of the fluted engine cowling on early versions of the
Anson Mk.l. (MAP and author)
8. Early versions of the Anson Mk.l had a sloping canopy but this was
later changed to the style shown In 7 above. Another view of the early
fluted cowlings. 9. The Anson's tall unit. Although this is on a C.19 the
shape of the tall unit did not change much throughout all marks of Anson.
(MAP and APN)
AVRO ANSON WARPAINT PAGE 39
Contmued from page 38
used frequent ly by civil airlines for charter
services before that time.
Few Ansons have survived. ewark
Museum has a well preserved C. l 9 and
Avros themselves have rebuilt another in
civi l colours. In the mid-1990s two were
sti ll flying with Kemp Aerial Surveys on
aerial survey work and have been main-
tained since that time although in other
hands. The only Mk. l to have survived was
built in 1938 as 4877 and preserved post-
war as G-AMDA wi th the Skyfamc
Museum at Staverton after having been
operated by Derby Aviation and the London
School of Flying at Elstree. It was damaged
in a landing accident in November 1972 and
subsequently went to the Imperial War
Museum, Duxford where it remains sti ll
with the codes VX-F in a static display con-
dition.
PAGE 40 AVAO ANSON WAR PAINT
The very last Anson T.21 which was flown by test pilot Jimmy Orrell and handed over to Wing
Commander H. Budden at a ceremony attended by Sir Roy Dobson on 27 May 1952. The aircraft was
delivered In standard silver, white topside and blue cheat line with yellow trainer markings on the
wings and fuselage. It then served wi th No 22 Group Communications Flight t ill 1960 (Harry Holmes)
Avro Anson kits and accessories
Scale Variant Manufacturer Reference Remarks
Kits
1: 144 Anson C.19 Welsh Models WHPJW26 Vacuform kit
1:144 Anson C.XIX!T.22 Welsh Models WHPJW261 Vacuform kit
1:72 Anson C.19 Aeroclub ABAE75 Part vacuform
1:72 Anson Mk.l Airfix AX02009 Complete kit
1:72 Anson Mk. I Airfix AX269 Aeissue
1:72 Anson Mk. l Special Hobby SH7274 Future release
1:46 Anson Mk. I Sanger SAN4644 Vacuform
1:46 Anson Mk.XII/C.19ff.20ff.21 Sanger SAN4647 Vacuform
Decals
1:72 Anson Dutchdecal 0072055 Also Hudson
1:72 Anson Mk.l In Scale IS01472 FinnishAF
1:72 Anson Mk.l MPD Decals MP072542
Accessories
1:72 Anson Mk. I Aeroclub ABC006 Cockpit & turret
1:72 Anson Flightpath FHP72020 Brass etched
Avro An$0n Mk.-18C, VT-CXT, Indian aii'crewlraTriiiT,l949:-
Yellow overall with black marl(ings; registration repeated above and below
wings, with 'VT-' on the leh hand side and cxr on the right
I
- - --- - ---
7
Avro Anson XVIII, YA-6.252
1
Afghan Air Force, 1948. Aluminium overall with
black anti-dazzle panel, spil'jl1ers and registration; roundels in six positions and
registration repeated under
1
port and above starboard wing Inboard of roundel
Avro Anson C. 19, 141 Irish Air Corps. Aluminium overall w1th black anti-dazzle
panel, spinners and serial; tl)ree-oolour boss on fuselage sides and above wings.
20in wide orange/white/green bands underneath wings, 40in from wingtips
I
Avro Anson XIX (Srs-1), ECALF, M. Urena, Madnd, 1960. Aluminium
overall with black anti-dazzle panel and registration: red/yellow/red rudder
and wing stripes. Red spinners
I
Above: Anson Mk.l when preserved In the
hands of the Staverton Museum and before Its
carsh. (Flight) Left: In its previous colours as G
AMOA doing aerial survey work for Derby
Airways based at Burnaston.(APN) Lower left:
An Air Transport Auxiliary Anson Mk.1 used for
communications work with a woman ATA pilot
at the controls (IWM)
Previous Warpaint titles
Bristol Beauftghter 6.95, Blackburn Buccaneer
7.50, JunkersJu 87 Sluka 7.50, F100 Super
Sabre 7.50, Hawker Typhoon 7.50, Avro
Shackleton 7.50, Junkers Ju 88 7.50,
Hawker Hunter 11.50, Grumman F4F
WildcaVMartlet 7.50, Vickers Wellington
7.50, DH Sea Vixen 8.50, Fairey Swordfish
8.50, Fw 200 Condor 7.50, BAC Lightning
11 .50, Short Stirling 7.50, Hawker Sea Fury
7.50, Gloster Javelin 9.50, Douglas
Skyraider 8.50. DH Home! and Sea Home!
9.50, Supermarine Seafire (Gritton engined
variants) 9.50, Armstrong Whitworth Whitley
8.50. Gloster Meteor 16.50, Fairey Gannet
8.50, Oomier Do 217 8.50 Short Sunderland
9.50, Bristol Blenheim 9.50, de Havilland
Vampire 16.50, Fairey Firefly 11.50, Hawker
Sea Hawk 9.50, Avro Vulcan 9.50, RAFIRN
Phantoms 9.50, A20 Boston/Havoc 9.50,
Heinkel He 177 8.50 Avro Lincoln 9.50,
Fairey Barracuda 9.50 Handley Page Victor
9.50, Gloster Gladiator 11.50, F-105
Thunderchief 11 .50, Supermarine Walrus
9.95 Canadalr/Commonwealth Sabre 12.50
Fairey Fulmar 11 .50 Boulton Paul Defiant
9.95. F-104 Starlighter 14.50. DH Venom
11.50, B-57 Canberra 11.50. HP Halifax
12.50, F-101Voodoo 11 .50, Westland
Lysander 11.50, Fiat G.91 11.50, Bristol
Beaufort 11.50. Lockheed Neptune 11 .50,
Fa1rey Albacore 11 .50
Warpalnt Specials
No. 1 Republic P-47 Thunderbolt 18.50
No.2 Messerschmit1 Bf 109 18.50
WARPAINT ON THE WEB
For lull deta1is of all the above !Illes. an easy to
complete order form and ava11ab1hly look at
www.warpalnt-books.com
Published by Warpalnt Books Ltd. 352 Setbourne Road,Luton, Bedfordshlre LU4 8NU. Prlntod In England by Regal Litho Ltd., 352 Selbourno Road, Luton. LU4 8NU. Senos
llshed, edited ond designed by Alan W.Hall. Computer art work by Richard J.Coruana. 1 :72nd scale plans by Mlko Keep and Alan W.Hall The author Andrew Thomas and publishers wish to
acknowledge the help and advloo giVen by Harry Holmes, M1htary Aircraft Photographs, Aviation Photo News, Enc Taylor, lmpenal War Museum, G.Neal, Arthur Pearcy and MoD(Alr)