Avro Anson in RAAF Service

by Steve Mackenzie

Avro Anson GR.1 A4-3 over country late 1930s. Photo RAAF Official 000-152-735

As most of you would be aware, Airfix has announced that they will be releasing (probably late this year) an Avro Anson in 1/48th scale. This is to have both styles of windscreen (the early sloped style used on the GR.1 variant) and the later upright style used on most trainer airframes. It will also have the closely cowled 'helmeted' style of engine cowlings (used AFAIK on all wartime RAAF airframes) and the later 'smooth' style of cowlings possibly suitable for post war civil conversions (the Aussie civil airframes were actually fitted with redundant Oxford cowlings) but basically they should be the same. It includes the familiar turret often seen on training airframes and we assume a blanking piece for when not required.

I have drawn up a few interesting options for this issue and will do some more (there are 100s to choose from) later in the year when the kit gets issued and we can have a good look at one. Originally in 1936 the RAAF purchased 48 of the GR.1 variant for use as General Duties airframes and they served with all of the extant bomber Sqns in the period 1937-1940. Later the survivors were passed onto the training units.

Avro Anson GR.1 A4-3 with 22 Sqn RAAF in pre war colours for the roundels. Overall Silver doped, Black serials as seen in the heading photo.

Avro Anson GR.1 A4-1 of 21 Sqn in camouflage 1940. By 1939/40 many Ansons were operating in camouflage (Foliage Green/ Earth Brown locally painted in Australia) often with Black under surfaces. Red/Blue roundels on fuselage and upper wing, Red/White/Blue under the wings. (1940 standard).

Avro Anson GR.1 A4-1 with 21 Sqn RAAF in camouflage (Foliage Green/ Earth Brown with Black under surfaces). Med Sea Grey code and fuselage serial. White serial under the wing, there was another under the other wing facing in the opposite direction.

Many of the GR.1 airframes ended up with 1 FTS (later 1 SFTS under the EATS scheme) in overall Silver dope with Yellow training bands around the wings and fuselage.

Avro Anson GR.1 A4-19 of 1 FTS RAAF in overall Silver dope with Yellow training bands around the wings and fuselage. Black serials, repeated large on the fuselage as was common in training units. The Red '6' on the nose is an 'in unit' I.D number, a system in use at the time with 1 FTS. Standard Red/White/Blue roundels as used prior to the removal of the Red in September 1942.

Avro Anson T.1 W2083 shown in the colours that it arrived in from the UK and later with 3 SFTS at Essendon in 1941/2. Pentland had the lower photo on P.48 of 'RAAF Camouflage and Markings 1939-45 Vol 1' and claimed that the under surfaces were Yellow (as used on some RAF trainers). But the Yellow fuselage band does not match the lower surfaces, so I believe that these were painted RAAF Sky Blue. He also claimed that it was a GR.1 version with the sloped windscreen which it is clearly not in the photos. Top photo RAAF Official.

Avro Anson T.1 W2083 of 3 SFTS 1941/2. Unusual scheme of RAF Dark Green/ Dark Earth with RAAF Sky Blue lower surfaces. A1 style fuselage roundels were uncommon. Yellow fuselage band and '83', also Yellow training bands around the wings. Light Grey serials.

Hit next to go to the 2nd page on Avro Ansons with the RAAF.