27 May 2022
Corgi Bristol Beaufort MkI, Kenneth Campbell - VC Winner
REF NO: AA28901
New tooling from Corgi in the shape of the Bristol Beaufort MkI in 1/72 scale, commemorating the actions of Flying Officer Kenneth Campbell and his crew on Sunday 6th April 1941.
The protection of Britain’s sea lanes during World War II was a crucial battle. Throughout the first few months of conflict, the German capital ship Gneisenau and her sister vessel Scharnhorst were posing a serious raiding threat and, on receiving news that the ships had entered Brest harbour to undergo repairs in late March 1941, the RAF immediately planned raids.
On Sunday 6th April 1941, Bristol Beaufort Mk.I N1016 (OA-X) took off from RAF St. Eval in Cornwall. The weather was poor and it was the only aircraft to make it to the rallying point. Descending to almost wavetop height. Pilot Flying Officer Kenneth Campbell, expertly lined up his Beaufort for the optimum attack angle, only releasing the single torpedo when he was sure it would strike the Gneisenau.
Having sustained heavy damage during its attack run, Bristol Beaufort N1016 crashed into the harbour almost immediately, tragically claiming the lives of all on board. The attack had successfully blown a huge hole under the waterline, causing Gneisenau to return to the dry dock from where it had only just emerged. It would be out of commission for almost six months and it is impossible to gauge how many lives were saved as a result of the heroic actions of this Beaufort crew.
For displaying valour in the face of extreme peril and without regard for his own safety, Flying Officer Kenneth Campbell was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, an honour he would surely have gladly shared with the rest of his crew.
Featuring detailed crew figures, parts for optional undercarriage positioning - either retracted or down - rotatable propeller, and torpedo load, it's another wonderful piece of tooling from Corgi. Limited to 1,900 pieces, this Beaufort is a wonderful replica that is a fitting tribute to the men lost on that heroic, but fateful mission.