1942 Avro Anson Mark 2

Named after a British Admiral of the 18th Century, the Avro "Anson", nicknamed 'Faithful Annie' by those who flew it, entered RCAF service in 1940 after serving in the RAF Coastal Command at the outbreak of World War II. It was the first RAF aircraft to have a retractable undercarriage which was a comparative novelty in 1936.

The Avro Anson MK I was to be the standard twin-engined trainer for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. By May, 1940 British production could not keep up with the demand for aircraft in Canada and Federal Aircraft Ltd. was established in Montreal to produce the Mk II version. In August, 1941 the first Canadian built Anson flew. It featured the considerable use of plywood to save stocks of steel for other purposes.

Anson II's were used primarily to train pilots to fly multi-engine aircraft such as the Lancaster. However wireless operators, navigators, and bomb-aimers used the Anson as well. As a training aircraft the Anson was docile, forgiving, and easy to fly.

The Anson first flew in 1935 and went on to serve in a wide variety of roles during the Second World War. Over 11 000 were built and Ansons were still flying for the Royal Air Force in 1968.

“Oh, the Crane may fly much faster
Inside she may be neat,
But to me the draughty Anson
Is very hard to beat.
Her plywood may be warping,
Her window glass may crack,
But when you start out in an Anson.
You know that you'll come back.”

-Andy, No. 7 SFTS (Fort Macleod) 1943

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