RAF army co-operation aeroplane made famous by its role in resistance operations.
The Lysander entered service in 1938, Four squadrons went to France in the Air Component of the British Expeditionary Force in 1939. Intended for reconnaissance and artillery spotting, the aircraft were also used for ground attack and aerial re-supply - one even shot down a Heinkel 111 bomber.
From 1942 army co-operation Lysanders were replaced by faster type, but the aircraft continued to be used for air-sea rescue, target towing and communications work.
In 1941, the Special operations Executive (SOE), tasked with activating and supplying resistance in occupied Europe, was allocated Nos 138 and 161 Squadrons. Based at Tempsford and Bedfordshire, these squadrons used bombers for parachute drops of agents and supplies. To pick up agents, however, they needed a small aeroplane with Short Take-off and Landing (STOL) capability and for this the Mark III Lysander was ideal.
1,750 Lysanders were produced between 1937 and 1942.