Fairey Swordfish V4435 ?

Kyles of Bute, off Tighnabruaich Pier













Aircraft Type Photo


BELOW: A Fairey Swordfish torpedo bomber similar to that featured here. Note the torpedo slung underneath.


Fairey Swordfish at UK Flying Display in 2002


Photo: 2002 Mr. Peter Noble. UK Flying Displays and Museums. Courtesy, Wikipedia. GNU Free Documentation License






Aircraft Type and Background


RN (FAA / NAS) Fairey Swordfish / V4435 (?)



(Torpedo bomber)


Aircraft Type Nickname: "Stringbag"; "Blackfish"


Designed originally as a 3-seater reconnaissance aircraft, and equipped with a Bristol Pegasus nine cylinder radial engine, the Swordfish was converted later to a torpedo bomber.


By the time WWII arrived, this large bi-plane had become obsolete. Nevertheless, it was used with great effect against several targets during WWII, including attacks on Norway and against the German battleship, Bismarck.


Six Swordfish aircraft were involved in action against the German warships, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen. All, however, were shot down by covering German fighters.



BELOW: The cockpit of a Fairey Swordfish showing instruments and controls.


view of fairey swordfish cockpit instruments


Photo: 2008 'GJC1'. Released by the author under Creative Commons License.






Aircraft Accident Details


The background to this incident is unknown. However, an eye-witness told of how the Swordfish ditched, and later sank, in the Kyles of Bute about 600m off Tighnabruaich Pier.


The incident occurred on 21 May 1942.






Aircraft Crew Survivors


The three crew members of this Fairey Swordfish escaped after the aircraft ditched, and before it sank. However, their names are not known.






Crash Site Photos


Although divers have searched the  area several times, the location of the wreck has not yet been identified. Therefore, there are no photos for this aircraft.























Crash Date / Site


Accident Date: 21 May 1942


Accident Site:

Kyles of Bute, off Tighnabruaich Pier

(underwater, 600m East of pier.)




Region: Argyll and Bute (Kyles of Bute)


Nearest towns or villages:

Tighnabruaich [map] or Kames.


Nearest large towns: Dunoon (by road) or Rothesay (by road and CalMac ferry.)


OS Grid Ref. N/A


GPS Ref: N/A


Latitude N 55 54.6 (unconfirmed)


Longitude W 5 12.8 (unconfirmed)


Present Condition: Unknown. Wreck site not yet located.




Aircraft Details


Registration or Serial: V4435 (?)


Operator: Royal Navy (FAA / Naval Air Squadron)


Operating Station: (Possibly) RNAS Campbeltown. Base also for RAF Machrihanish; HMS Landrail, and Disembarked Squadrons.


Station Location: Machrihanish, Campbeltown, Argyll, Scotland.


Current Airport Status: Military Airport closed 1997. Operational Civil Airport.


Current Airport Name: Campbeltown (Machrihanish) Airport (IATA: CAL / ICAO: EGEC)





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