Supermarine Walrus MkI Operation Torch North Africa 194272SW004
The Supermarine Walrus was a British single engine amphibious biplane reconnaissance aircraft, designed by R.J. Mitchell who was also responsible for the illustrious Spitfire. The aircraft first flew on the 21st June 1933. Operated by the Fleet Air Arm, it also served with the Royal Air Force and several Commonwealth forces. It was also the first British squadron service aircraft to incorporate a fully retractable undercarriage, completely enclosed crew accommodation and an all metal fuselage. Designed for use as a fleet spotter to be catapulted from battleships or cruisers, the Walrus was later employed in a variety of roles most notably as a rescue aircraft for downed aircrew and it continued in service throughout the Second World War.
Operation Torch was the codename of the World War II joint – and first - collaboration between the US and Allied Forces in the European-African arena. The Operation took place between 8th and 16th November 1942 with the aim of opening up a second front against the Axis powers prevalent in North Africa, therefore diverting the offensive in Europe. The Allied landings and conquest of key areas in Morocco and Algeria in particular resulted in an Allied victory against both the Vichy French and German forces.
Here, the Walrus is decorated as it took part in Operation Torch and appears in beige and dark earth desert camouflage colours with a pale blue underside. The blue and white US Forces star is printed on the upper and lower wings. The enclosed cockpit interior and the gun positions are both green. Note particularly the two guns fore and aft of the cockpit and the omission of bomb racks under the wings on this release.