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Stock No. 289

Price = n/a


Handley Page Hampden Trench-Art Model - Click for the bigger picture

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 a dummy Luftwaffe airfield near Ypenburg in Holland 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! Almost half of the 714 Hampdens built were lost on operations, with 1,077 crew killed and 739 reported as missing; becoming a POW in '41 almost certainly saved my Father's life.

The Hampden was powered by Bristol Pegasus radial engines and 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 in late 1942 but served subsequently with Coastal Command in the torpedo bomber role. Guy Gibson of course started on Hampdens' before progressing to great things!

Our fine model has been in my personal collection since 2001 but as part of a current thinning out process it is time to rehome it. A particularly detailed example, it is mounted on an aluminium base, with original black paintwork, that is now showing some age wear. Interestingly the base is engraved with the letter 'H', perhaps the makers reference to the aircrafts name. The model is without props, but as such gives a good impression of the aircraft in flight and looks impressive from all angles, with the pencil thin rear fuselage shown to good advantage. The wingspan is 7.0" (18 cm) and stands 5.0" high (13 cm), measured to the top of the tail fins. 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. The Hampden instrument panel and original oil painting shown in the gallery listing are from my own collection and are for reference purposes only and are definitely not for sale!

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