In 1940 a Royal Navy Blackburn Skua (Serial No L2940) made a forced landing on a frozen lake in Norway, having been shot down by a German Heinkel.

It was recovered in 1974, and this exhibition shows it as it lay on the lake bed.

The Blackburn Skua can claim several significant firsts to its name. It was the Fleet Air Arm's first stressed skin mono-plane aircraft and also the first British aircraft specifically designed for dive-bombing duties. It was also first British built dive bomber and the first aircraft to shoot down an enemy aircraft in WW2 (a Dornier flying boat on 25th Sept 1939)

Blackburn Skuas entered service with the Fleet Air Arm in November 1938, as a successful update and replacement for the Hawker Osprey and Nimrod biplane fighter aircraft, in service at the time.

Shooting down the first enemy aircraft of World War II would be a notable achievement for any record, and this too can be claimed by a Blackburn Skua. On 25th September 1939, Lt. Cdr. B.S. McEwan RN (803 Naval Air Squadron) and P.O. Brian Seymour, operating from H.M.S Ark Royal, shot down a German Dornier Do18 flying boat whilst on air patrol off the Norwegian coast.

Blackburn Skuas were at the forefront of the Norwegian campaign, often operating at the extreme limit of their range and under gruelling North Sea conditions. Despite these limiting factors, Skuas of No. 800 and 803 NAS, managed to successfully dive bomb and sink the German cruiser Konigsberg, in Bergen Fjord, Norway, on the 10th April 1940.

No fewer than 4 front line and 22 second line and training Fleet Air Arm squadrons operated Blackburn Skuas between 1938 and 1941.

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