Lockheed Hudson IIIA
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The Lockheed Hudson was a military version of the American Lockheed 14 Super Electra airliner and was ordered for the Royal Air Force in June 1938. Hudsons entered service with Coastal Command in 1939. Used extensively over United Kingdom waters on anti-submarine and general reconnaissance duties, Hudsons were also used overseas.
When Hudsons reached obsolescence in the maritime role they were stripped of their armament and re-employed as transports. Some of these aircraft were used in the very hazardous task of carrying Allied agents into and out of Nazi-occupied Europe.
Although never in the forefront of wartime publicity the Hudson can nevertheless claim an impressive list of firsts including:
The first Allied aircraft to shoot down an enemy while operating from the British Isles.
The first aircraft to capture a U-boat. U-570 surrendered to a No.269 Squadron Hudson on 27 August 1941.
The first aircraft equipped to carry airborne lifeboats for air sea rescue duties.
The RAF received just over 2000 Hudsons, 800 of which were purchased, the remainder supplied under American Lend-Lease contracts.