Handley Page Hampden Trench-Art Model
A twin engine medium bomber, the Hampden was often referred to by late Father as the "Flying Suitcase", which he flew for the final time with 144 Squadron on the night of 25/26 August 1941 from North Luffenham, on an 'Op' to Mannheim piloting AE265 Pl. Mission accomplished he ran out of fuel on the way home and forced landed at Ypenburg Airfield in Holland, then under Luftwaffe management and he and his crew went 'in the bag' for the duration. He always spoke fondly of the Hampden as a responsive aircraft to fly but he did not regard it highly as a weapon of war in 1941! The Hampden was powered by Bristol Pegasus radial engines first flew in 1936 and entered RAF service in 1938. Like the Blenheim, the Hampden took heavy losses in the daylight role but performed adequately at night, bearing the brunt of the early bombing war over Europe and taking part in the first night raid on Berlin and the first 1,000-bomber raid on Cologne. It was retired from RAF Bomber Command service in late 1942 but served on with Coastal Command. Guy Gibson of course started on Hampdens' before progressing to great things! Our fine model has been in my personal collection since 2002 but as part of a current thinning out process it is time to rehome it. A particularly detailed example, it is mounted on an oak and brass stand and never having had props fitted it gives a good impression of the aircraft in flight. The engine nacelles are particularly well detailed and the pencil thin rear fuselage is shown to good advantage. The wingspan is 8.75" (22 cm) and the model stands 6.5" high (16 cm), measured to the top of the fail fin. Like most trench-art that comes our way we sadly have no history with it but clearly period and probably made by a flight mechanic working on a Hampden Squadron at the time. Please also check out the fine Blenheim trench-art model we have also listed today, which would date to the same period.