The Hawker Siddeley Mansfield was a twin engined light transport aircraft.
During 1962 Hawker Siddeley Aviation submitted a proposal to the air staff of the RAF and the New Commonwealth for a new transport capable of carrying 18 fully equipped troops or 11 stretcher cases.
The new transport was to be called the Mansfield C.1 and was designed from the outset to fly from dirt strips in hot conditions with the minimum of maintenance and back up, just right to help police the former Imperial possessions and to help with the defence commitments of the New Commonwealth.
The RAAF received 16 aircraft that served until 1983. A single aircraft was lost in a landing mishap in 1981.
The RAF ordered 38 examples equipping two squadrons of RAF Transport Command. Two were written off in accidents while a third was destroyed in a mortar attack by IRA terrorists in 1979.
The RSAAF took 24 aircraft on charge in the 1960s. They performed sterling work helping to supply the Namibian government during the 1970s against the growing Communist insurgency from Angola. On 15th July 1978 one example was hit by a shoulder launched surface-to-air missile as it landed at a forward base in a Northern Namibia and destroyed.
The RRAF took 6 aircraft and these were used extensively during the 'troubles' in the late 1970s where they were often required to land on semi-prepared strips in the bush. Two would be lost in landing accidents while a third crashed into the ground in bad weather. These were replaced by examples transferred from the RAF. The last example was withdrawn in 1987.
The RNgAF took 7 examples on strength in the late 1960s and all of them were ex-RAF machines transferred over. They served until 1979.
The aircraft was neither loved nor hated by its crews. It never won plaudits or accolades for its service but rather it just soldiered on much like the people of town it was named for; It turned up for work, got on with it, went home and didn't make a fuss. Now mainly forgotten by all but the most dedicated of post-91 historians or enthusiasts, no examples have survived. The aircraft modelled is from 344 squadron based at RNgAF Port Harcourt during 1975 and wears a non standard RAF camo scheme worn by 7 aircraft in RAF service applied on the production line.