History[edit | edit source]

Ordered under contract No 963679/38 to spec 38/34,[2] and built by Fairey as c/n F4289,[3] P4073 was assigned to 700 squadron aboard HMS Malaya. On 8 March 1942 P4073 ran out of fuel whilst shadowing the German battlecruiser Scharnhorst,[4] and landed at the sea not far from Canary Islands. The Spanish Merchant "Cape of Good Hope" got an SOS call to go to find the Swordfish, picking up and raising his three crew members aboard the plane to take it to Santa Cruz de Tenerife. [N 1] The Swordfish was transferred to Las Palmas, the Naval Base in Puerto de La Luz.

Model of P4073 in Spanish markings.[1]

The British Embassy reclaimed the floatplane and in late 1943 Spanish Goverment agreed to buy it by 1,200,000 pesetas.[N 2] The Swordfish was put on the strength of the Spanish airforce as HR6-1 on 6 December 1943, serving with 54 Escuadrille, Puerto de le Cruz, Teneriffe, Canary Islands. The aircraft was retired during March 1945 at Las Palmas, Gran Canaria,[4] and scrapped in 1946.[1]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. The crew was interned until 1942 when they returned to Britain.
  2. The payment covered a batch of aircraft, which also included a Blenheim and - possibly - a Beaufighter.[1]

Sources[edit | edit source]

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