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Halifax - Aircraft Profile - Handley Page : Halifax

Halifax

Manufacturer : Handley Page
Number Built : 6177
Production Began : 1941
Retired : 1952
Type : Bomber

Royal Air Force heavy Bomber with a crew of six to eight. Maximum speed of 280mph (with MK.VI top speed of 312mph) service ceiling of 22,800feet maximum range of 3,000 miles. The Halifax carried four .303 browning machine guns in the tail turret, two .303 browning machines in the nose turret in the MK III there were four .303 brownings in the dorsal turret. The Handley Page Halifax, first joined the Royal Air Force in March 1941 with 35 squadron. The Halifax saw service in Europe and the Middle east with a variety of variants for use with Coastal Command, in anti Submarine warfare, special duties, glider-tugs, and troop transportation roles. A total of 6177 Halifax's were built and stayed in service with the Royal Air Force until 1952

Halifax


Latest Halifax Artwork Releases !
A Royal Air Force Bomber Command Halifax Mk.III returns to its Yorkshire airfield in the middle of winter from another bombing raid over occupied Europe. A superb low cost art print and a fitting tribute to the aircrews who flew the Halifax bomber during World War Two.
Yorkshire Warrior by Keith Aspinall. (PC)
 Sadly, but two examples of the Handly page Halifax exist today - the unrestored W1048 at the RAF Museum at Hendon, and the Yorkshire Air Museums pristine LV907 Friday the 13th, a rebuild from the remains of HR792.

A Friday in Winter by Keith Woodcock. (PC)
 The legendary <i>Friday the 13th</i> completed 128 missions, making it one of RAF Bomber Command's most successful aircraft, and marks the most operations by a Halifax aircraft.

Handley Page Halifax Mk.III LV907 of No.158 Sqn - 'Friday the 13th' by G Henderson.
 With the departure of No 1 Group in May 1943, No 4 Group's 78 Sqn Halifaxes arrived at Breighton in Yorkshire from where they would continue to operate until the end of the war.  Halifax III LW291 (EY-M) is depicted snowbound in the Winter of 1944, not long before it was lost over Grossmutz whilst taking part on a raid on Berlin on 20th January 1944. <br><br>Crew of EY-M : <br><br>Pilot : Flight Sergeant F Moffat RCAF (killed),<br>Navigator : Flying Officer W McGreggor RCAF (killed),<br>Bomb Aimer : Flying Officer R Selman RCAF (killed),<br>Wireless Operator : Flight Sergeant H H Bennett (taken prisoner),<br>Flight Engineer : Sergeant N Legg (killed),<br>Rear Gunner : Sergeant W Ruelhoff (killed,<br>Mid-Upper Gunner : Sergeant J Stewart (killed).

White-out at Breighton - Tribute to No.78 Squadron by Ivan Berryman.

Halifax Artwork Collection



Handley Page Halifax LK797 LK-E. by M A Kinnear.


Friday the 13th by Ivan Berryman.


D-Day Invasion : Tribute to the Glider Troops by Ivan Berryman.


Operation Ebensburg by Ivan Berryman.


Unseen and Deadly by Ivan Berryman.


SOE Drop by Ivan Berryman.


Halifax Mk.III NA337 by Ivan Berryman.


Operation Mallard by Ivan Berryman.

Out of the Night - The First To Go In by Robert Taylor.

Action This Day by Richard Taylor.


The Hard Way Home by Robert Taylor.


Halifax Legend by Robert Taylor


Mutual Support by Philip West.

Welcome Sight by Stephen Brown.

Leading the Way by Gerald Coulson.


Halifax - The Heavy Brigade by Keith Woodcock.


Top Cover by Robert Taylor.


Friday the 13th by John Young.


Dawn Breakers by Anthony Saunders.


White-out at Breighton - Tribute to No.78 Squadron by Ivan Berryman.


Handley Page Halifax Mk.III LV907 of No.158 Sqn - 'Friday the 13th' by G Henderson.


No.76 Squadron Halifax by Ivan Berryman.

Yorkshire Warrior by Keith Aspinall.


Halifaxes by Keith Woodcock.


Yorkshire Relish by Keith Woodcock.


A Friday in Winter by Keith Woodcock.

Pathfinder Halifax by Nicolas Trudgian.

Halifax Bombers by Barry Price.


Handley Page Halifax by Gleed.

Squadrons for : Halifax
A list of all squadrons from known to have used this aircraft. A profile page is available by clicking the squadron name.
SquadronInfo

No.10 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 1st January 1915

Rem acu tangere - To hit the mark

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No.10 Sqn RAF

No.10 Sqn was formed on 1st January 1915 (from elements of No. 1 Reserve Squadron) moving to to St Omer, France in July 1915. The squadron flew BE2C's in August 1915 in the role of spotters for the Indian Corps during the Battle of Loos. During the Battle of Arras in April 1917 the squadron carried out some bombing sorties. After the First World war had ended No.10 squadron served in Germany before returning back the the UK and was disbanded in the winter of 1919. No.10 squadron was reformed in January 1928 as a heavy bomber squadron nad based at Upper Heyford. The squadron was equipped with Hyderabads, and over the following 10 eyars the squadron flew an assortment of bombers, including Hinaidis, Virginias and Heyfords. In January 1937, the Squadron was re equipped with Whitley bombers and moved to Dishforth. For the first few months of the Second World War, No. 10 Squadron carried out leaflet-dropping missions over Germany and in late 1941 was re equipped with the Halifax bomber. In May 1945, the squadron moved form Bomber Command to Transport Command and was re equipped with Dakotas. After the war the squadron was disbanded in 1947 only to be bought back into service for the Belrin Airlift in 1948 again flying the Dakota. Once the emergency was over the squadron again was disbanded. The squadron was again reformed during the 1950's and equipped with Canberras and was involved in operation during the Suez Crisis and during 1958 to 1964 the squadron was again re equipped with Victors based at Cottesmore. In July 1966 No.10 squadron were to be come the first squadron to be equipped with VC10s and since then were involved in air to air refuelling and tanker transport. The squadron was disbanded in October 2005 at Brize Norton, but reformed once again on 1st July 2011 flying Airbus Voyager aircraft.


Battle Honours of No 10 Squadron

Western Front 1915-1918
Loos, Somme 1916
Arras, Somme 1918
Channel and North Sea 1940-1945
Norway 1940
Ruhr 1940-1945
Fortress Europe 1940-1944
German Ports 1940-1945
Biscay Ports 1940-1945
Berlin 1940-1945
Invasion Ports 1940
France and Germany 1944-1945
Norway 1944
Rhine
Gulf 1991
Iraq 2003.


No.102 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 9th August 1917
Fate : Disbanded 27th April 1963
Ceylon

Tentate et perficite - Attempt and achieve

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No.102 Sqn RAF

No. 102 squadron was formed at Hingham in Norfolk in August 1917 and was equipped with FE2b and FE2ds and operated as a night bomber squadron. 102 squadron went to France and operated behind German lines with their main targets being railway stations, railway lines, and railway trains, specialising in night attacks. In March 1919 after the war had finished, 102 squadron returned to Britain and disbanded on the 3rd of July 1919. On the 1st of October 1935, 102 squadron was reformed at RAF Worthy Down with the role again as a night bomber squadron, initially using Handley Page Heyford aircraft. In October 1938, 102 Squadron became part of the newly formed No.4 group of Bomber Command based at RAF Driffield and was now equipped with the new Armstrong Whitworth Whitley bomber. 102 squadron dropped leaflets in the night from 4th to 5th September 1939 over Germany. The squadron spent six weeks on convoy escort duty under the command of Coastal Command from 1st September until 10th October 1940 flying from Prestwick. 102 Squadron returned to bomber command and soon after Leonard Cheshire won his DSO. On the night of 12th/13th November 1940, Whitley V P5005 found itself slightly off course above the primary target due to problems with the intercom. Changing instead to a secondary target, some railway marshalling yards near Cologne, Pilot Officer Leonard Cheshire suddenly felt his aircraft rocked by a series of violent explosions that caused a severe fire to break out in the fuselage, filling the cockpit with acrid black smoke. As DY-N plunged some 2,000 feet, Cheshire managed to regain control and the fire was eventually extinguished. For bringing his aircraft safely home to 102 Squadrons base after being airborne for eight and half hours, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. 102 Squadron continued for the next thirty-six months to fly night sorties (including the thousand bomber raids) over Germany. In 1944 the squadron attacked rail targets in France in preparation for the invasion. In February 1942 the squadron was adopted by the island of Ceylon, which paid for aircraft for use by the squadron. The squadron transferred to Transport Command on 8th March 1945 and in September 1945 re-equipped with Liberators. The squadrons main role was the return of troops and POWs back from India and it disbanded on the 28th of February 1946. No.102 Squadron used the following aircraft : Fe2b from August 1917 to July 1919. Handley Page Heyford from October 1935 to May 1939 - specifically Mk.II from October 1935 to April 1937 and Mk.III from December 1935 to May 1939. Armstrong Whitworth Whitley from October 1938 to February 1942, specifically Mk.IV from October 1938 to January 1940 and Mk.V from November 1939 to February 1942. Handley Page Halifax from December 1941 to September 1945, specifically Mk.II from December 1941 to May 1944, Mk.III from May 1944 to September 1945 and Mk.VI from July 1945 to September 1945. Consolidated Liberator Mks.VI and VIII from September 1945 February 1946. English Electric Canberra B.2 from October 1954 to August 1956.

No.103 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 1st September 1917
Fate : Disbanded 31st July 1975

Nili me tangere - Touch me not

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No.103 Sqn RAF

No 103 Squadron RFC was formed on 1st September 1917, at Beaulieu, Hampshire and in 1918 was employed on day-bombing and reconnaissance missions on the Western Front flying DH9 aircraft. 103 Squadron was disbanded in 1919. In August 1936, as No.103 (Bomber) Squadron, was reformed and flew Hawker Hinds. With the outbreak of World War Two, 103 Squadron were equipped with Fairey Battles and given the role of short-range day-and night-bombing attacks. Their first misison was on the 10th of May 1940 : 4 Fairey Battles were sent to bomb German troops advancing through Luxembourg. From the four aircraft, three were lost. Their other missions included bombing the Meuse bridges and the invasion ports. The squadorn would later be re-equipped with heavier bombers with longer-range - the Wellington bomber (Oct 1940-Jul 1942) followed by Halifaxes (Jul 1942-Oct 1942) and finally Lancasters. In August 1943, it contributed 24 Lancasters to the force of 600-odd Bomber Command heavies which was sent to make the first-ever raid to Peenemunde to bomb the German V-weapons experimental station. The most distinguished Lancaster of them all, Lancaster III ED888 M2 (Mike Squared), was flown by 103 Squadron flying initially 66 missions before being transferred to 576 Squadron where it flew another 65 missions before returning back to 103 squadron to fly a further 9 missions plus, logging a total of 140 missions and totalling 974 operational hours. The aircraft made its first operational sortie - to Dortmund on 4/5th May 1943, This was a Bomber Command record but the aircraft Mike Squared was not saved from the scrap yard to be preserved and was finally scrapped in 1947. 103 Squadorns last bombing mission was on 25th April 1945 when 16 Lancasters bombed SS barracks at Berchtesgaden, but still had a roll to play as on 7th May 1945 : 19 Lancasters from the squadron dropped supplies to Dutch at Rotterdam.

No.113 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 1st August 1917
Fate : Disbanded 10th July 1963

Velox et vindex - Swift to Vengeance

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No.113 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.138 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 20th September 1918
Fate : Disbanded 1st April 1962.

For Freedom

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No.138 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.147 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 1st May 1918
Fate : Disbanded 15th September 1958

Assidue portamus - We carry with regularity

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No.147 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.158 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 4th September 1918
Fate : Disbanded 31st December 1945

Strength in unity

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No.158 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.161 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 1st June 1918
Fate : Disbanded 2nd June 1945

Liberate

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No.161 Sqn RAF

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No.171 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 15th June 1942
Fate : Disbanded 27th July 1945

Per dolum defendimus - Confound the enemy

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No.171 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.187 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 1st April 1918
Fate : Disbanded 2nd September 1957

Versatile

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No.187 Sqn RAF

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No.190 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 24th October 1917
Fate : Disbanded 21st January 1946

Ex tenebris - Through darkness

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No.190 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.192 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 5th September 1917
Fate : Disbanded 21st August 1958

Dare to discover

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No.192 Sqn RAF

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No.199 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 1st June 1917
Fate : Disbanded 15th December 1958

Let tyrants tremble

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No.199 Sqn RAF

Based at Lakenheath, August 1943.

No.202 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 1st April 1918

Semper vigilate - Be always vigilant

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No.202 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.224 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 1st April 1918
Fate : Disbanded 31st October 1966

Fedele all amico - Faithful to a freind

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No.224 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.251 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : May 1918
Fate : Disbanded 30th September 1946

However wind blows

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No.251 Sqn RAF

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No.295 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 3rd August 1942
Fate : Disbanded 31st October 1948

In caelo auxilium - Aid from the skies,/i>

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No.295 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.296 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 25th January 1942
Fate : Disbanded 23rd January 1946

Prepared for all things

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No.296 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.297 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 22nd January 1942
Fate : Disbanded 15th November 1950

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No.297 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.298 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 24th August 1942
Fate : Disbanded 21st December 1946

Silent we strike

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No.298 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.299 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 4th November 1943
Fate : Disbanded 15th February 1946

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No.299 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.301 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 26th July 1940
Fate : Disbanded 10th December 1946
Polish

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No.301 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.304 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 22nd August 1940
Fate : Disbanded 18th December 1946
Polish - Land of Silesia

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No.304 Sqn RAF

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No.346 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 16th May 1944
Fate : Disbanded 27th November 1945
French G.B2/23 Guyenne

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No.346 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.347 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 20th June 1944
Fate : Disbanded 21st November 1945
French G.B1/25 Tunisie

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No.347 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.35 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 1st February 1916
Fate : Disbanded 28th February 1982
Madras Presidency

Uno animo agimus - We act with one accord

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No.35 Sqn RAF

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No.405 Sqn RCAF


Country : Canada
Founded : 23rd April 1941
Fate : Disbanded 5th September 1945
City of Vancouver

Ducimus - We lead

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No.405 Sqn RCAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.408 Sqn RCAF


Country : Canada
Founded : 15th June 1941
Fate : Disbanded 5th September 1945
Goose.

For freedom

2nd RCAF Squadron to be formed overseas.

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No.408 Sqn RCAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.415 Sqn RCAF


Country : Canada
Founded : 20th August 1941
Fate : Disbanded 15th May 1945
Swordfish

Ad metam - To the mark

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No.415 Sqn RCAF

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No.419 Sqn RCAF


Country : Canada
Founded : 15th December 1941
Fate : Disbanded 5th September 1945
Moose

Moosa aswayita - Beware of the moose

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No.419 Sqn RCAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.420 Sqn RCAF


Country : Canada
Founded : 19th December 1941
Fate : Disbanded 5th September 1945
Snowy Owl

Pugnamus finitum - We fight to the finish

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No.420 Sqn RCAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.424 Sqn RCAF


Country : Canada
Founded : 15th October 1942
Fate : Disbanded 15th October 1945

Castigandos castigamus - We chastise those who deserve to be chastised

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No.424 Sqn RCAF

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No.425 Sqn RCAF


Country : Canada
Founded : 25th June 1942
Fate : Disbanded 5th September 1945
Aloutte

Je to plumerai - I shall pluck you

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No.425 Sqn RCAF

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No.426 Sqn RCAF


Country : Canada
Founded : 15th October 1942
Fate : Disbanded 31st December 1945
Thunderbird

On wings of fire

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No.426 Sqn RCAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.427 Sqn RCAF


Country : Canada
Founded : 7th November 1942
Fate : Disbanded 31st May 1946
Lion

Ferte manus certa - Strike sure

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No.427 Sqn RCAF

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No.428 Sqn RCAF


Country : Canada
Founded : 7th November 1942
Fate : Disbanded 5th September 1945
Ghost

Usque ad finem - To the very end

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No.428 Sqn RCAF

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No.429 Sqn RCAF


Country : Canada
Founded : 7th November 1942
Fate : Disbanded 31st May 1946
Bison

Fortunae nihil - Nothing to chance

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No.429 Sqn RCAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.431 Sqn RCAF


Country : Canada
Founded : 11th November 1942
Fate : Disbanded 5th September 1945
Iroquois

The hatiten ronteriios - Warrior of the sky

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No.431 Sqn RCAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.432 Sqn RCAF


Country : Canada
Founded : 1st May 1943
Fate : Disbanded 15th May 1945
Leaside

Saeviter ad lucem - Ferociously toward the light

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No.432 Sqn RCAF

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No.433 Sqn RCAF


Country : Canada
Founded : 25th September 1943
Fate : Disbanded 15th October 1945
Porcupine

Qui s'frotte, s'y pique - Who opposes it gets hurt

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No.433 Sqn RCAF

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No.434 Sqn RCAF


Country : Canada
Founded : 13th June 1943
Fate : Disbanded 5th September 1945
Bluenose

In exelcis vincimus - We conquer the heights

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No.434 Sqn RCAF

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No.460 Sqn RAAF


Country : Australia
Founded : 15th November 1941
Fate : Disbanded 10th October 1945

Strike and return

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No.460 Sqn RAAF

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No.462 Sqn RAAF


Country : Australia
Founded : 7th September 1942
Fate : Disbanded 24th September 1945

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No.462 Sqn RAAF

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No.466 Sqn RAAF


Country : Australia
Founded : 15th October 1942
Fate : Disbanded 26th October 1945

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No.466 Sqn RAAF

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No.47 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 1st March 1916

Nili nomen roboris omen - The name of the Nile is an omen of strength

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No.47 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.502 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 15th May 1925
Fate : Disbanded 10th March 1957
Ulster (Auxiliary)

Nihil timeo - I fear nothing

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No.502 Sqn RAF

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No.51 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 15th May 1916

Swift and sure

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No.51 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.517 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 7th August 1943
Fate : Disbanded 21st June 1946

Non nobis laboramus - We work not for ourselves

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No.517 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.518 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 6th July 1943
Fate : Disbanded 1st October 1946

Thaan iuchair againn-ne - We hold the key

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No.518 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.519 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 7th August 1943
Fate : Disbanded 31st May 1946

Undaunted by weather

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No.519 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.520 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 20th September 1943
Fate : Disbanded 25th April 1946

Tomorrow's weather today

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No.520 Sqn RAF

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No.521 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 1st August 1941.
Fate : Disbanded 1st April 1946

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No.521 Sqn RAF

521 Squadron was formed on the 1st August 1941 from No 1401 Flight at Bircham Newton, it continued to conduct meteorological reconnaissance duties. 521 Squadron flew Hudsons and Blenheims for North Sea patrol duties, Spitfires and Mosquitoes over Europe. It was disbanded when it was divided into Flights again, No's 1401 and 1409. But on the 1st September 1943 it was reformed in its previous role at Docking. 521 Squadron was re equipped with Hampdens, Hudsons and Gladiators, with Venturas arriving in December 1943. In August 1944 Hurricanes joined the Gladiators and Hudsons returned to replace the Venturas in September 1944. In December 1944 Flying Fortress IIs arrived for long range sorties and these were operated together with Mk IIIs from May 1945 until February 1946. Halifax Mk.III bombers replaced the Flying Fortresses in December 1945 and following the withdrawal of the Fortresses, 521 Squadorn was disbanded on 1st April 1946 at Chivenor.

No.578 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 14th January 1944
Fate : Disbanded 14th April 1945

Accuracy

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No.578 Sqn RAF

578 Squadron was formed from C flight of No.51 Squadron as a heavy bomber squadron at Snaith, Yorkshire on 14th January 1944. Equipped with the Handley Page Halifax B.III, 578 was part of No.4 Group, Bomber Command and began operations on 20th/21st January 1944. During its short operational career, the squadron completed 2,271 operational sorties, lost 77 aircraft and among the awards given to squadron personnel were 1 VC, 3 DSO's, 143 DFC's and 82 DFM's. 578 Squadron, Royal Air Force was disbanded on 15th April 1945 whilst based at Burn.


No.58 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 8th June 1916
Fate : Disbanded 4th June 1976

Alis nocturnis - On the wings of the night

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No.58 Sqn RAF

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No.620 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 17th June 1943
Fate : Disbanded 1st September 1946
Transport Command

Dona ferentes adsumas - We are bringing gifts

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No.620 Sqn RAF

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No.640 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 7th January 1944
Fate : Disbanded 7th May 1945

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No.640 Sqn RAF

Full profile not yet available.

No.644 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 23rd February 1944
Fate : Disbanded 1st Spetember 1946
Special Duties

Dentes draconis serimus - We sow the dragon's teeth

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No.644 Sqn RAF

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No.76 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 15th September 1916
Fate : Disbanded 31st December 1960

Resolute

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No.76 Sqn RAF

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No.77 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 1st October 1916
Fate : Disbanded 10th July 1963

Ease potius quam videri - To be, rather than seen

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No.77 Sqn RAF

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No.78 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 1st November 1916

Nemo non paratus - Nobody unprepared

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No.78 Sqn RAF

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No.96 Sqn RAF


Country : UK
Founded : 8th October 1917
Fate : Disbanded 21st January 1959

Nocturni obambulamus - We prowl by night

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No.96 Sqn RAF

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Signatures for : Halifax
A list of all signatures from our database who are associated with this aircraft. A profile page is available by clicking their name.
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Flight Lieutenant Tom Austin DFC AE
Flight Lieutenant Tom Austin DFC AE

After joining the RAF in 1941 Tom Austin qualified as a pilot on Harvard's, then converted into Halifax's. During the war years other aircraft he flew included Wellingtons, Stirling's and Lancaster's. While flying Wellingtons as part of 199 Squadron during a raid over Dortmund, his aircraft was badly damaged but Tom managed to limp home, crash landing at Mildenhall.

Flight Lieutenant Eric Barnard
Flight Lieutenant Eric Barnard

Having trained as a Rear Gunner on Halifaxes he joined 10 Sqn with whom he completed 32 Operations including raids over France and Germany.

Warrant Officer William Bell
Warrant Officer William Bell

Bill joined the RAF in 1941 and was posted to 103 Squadron at RAF Elsham Wolds as a Navigator on Halifaxes. He was later transferred to 166 Squadron, and was on his 20th operation, flying to Berlin in November 1943 when he was shot down and ended up as a PoW in Stalag Luft IVb. He escaped on three separate occasions but was recaptured every time - the war finished just before his fourth attempt!


Air Vice Marshall Donald Bennett

15 / 9 / 1986Died : 15 / 9 / 1986
Air Vice Marshall Donald Bennett

Born in Australia, Bennet had joined the RAF before the war. He became widely experienced in flying all types of aircraft including fighters, flying boats and heavy bombers commanding 77 squadron, flying Halifaxes. In 1942, whilst commanding 10 Squadron, he was shot down on one of the attacks on the Tirpitz, but evaded capture and returned to England. Widley regarded as a navigation expert beyond comparison, he was personally selected by Arthur Harris to form the Pathfinder Force and his uncompromising attitude and ceaseless devotion to his men made him a legendary figure in WWII history. He died 15th September 1986.

Flying Officer Edward Bowles
Flying Officer Edward Bowles

Joining 429 Squadron RCAF based at East Moor in Yorkshire in late 1942, Edward Bowles was a Bombardier on Halifaxes. He flew 33 combat missions, his aircraft shooting down two Me109s on one mission.

Flight Lieutenant Bernard W Brown
Flight Lieutenant Bernard W Brown

Flight Lieutenant Bernard Walter Brown was accepted for a short service commission in 1938, and after being accepted arrived in England in September, training at 5 E&RFTS, Hanworth and in late January 1939 he was posted to 5FTS, Sealand. He then went to No 1 School of Army Co-Operation at Old Sarum for a course on Lysanders in August 1939, and soon after joined 613 Squadron. Bernard Walker Brown was flying one of six Hectors detailed to dive-bomb gun emplacements near Calais. On the way to the target, he test-fired his forward gun but a fault caused the muzzle attachment to fly off, penetrate the fuselage and hole the main fuel tank. He jettisoned his bombs and turned back and make a forced-landing. In August 1940 he volunteered for Fighter Command, converting to Spitfires. He joined 610 Squadron at Biggin Hill. In late September he went to 72 Squadron, but on the 23rd was shot down by a Bf 109. He bailed out of the aircraft, badly wounded. Returning to active duty in November 1940, he was posted to 8FTS, Montrose for an instructor's course, after which he went to Rhodesia, subsequently instructing at Cumalo. In 1943, he trained with Transport Command, becoming a ferry pilot. He flew between the United Kingdom and the Middle East. He transferred to the RNZAF in January 1944 and by the end of the year was flying Halifaxes. He was released in 1945 to fly Dakotas with BOAC and later joined BEA, flying with the airline until his retirement in 1972.


Air Commodore Wilf Burnett DSO OBE DFC AFC

26 / 11 / 2006Died : 26 / 11 / 2006
Air Commodore Wilf Burnett DSO OBE DFC AFC

Canadian Wilf Burnett joined the RAF before the war and at the outbreak of hostilities was flying Hampdens. He completed his first tour of 30 operations in September 1940, flying with 49 Sqn at Scampton. His crew had bombed invasion barges in the Channel ports, mined enemy waters, operated against the Ruhr, and taken part in the first raids against Berlin. In July 1941 he was posted to 408 (Goose) Sqn RCAF, at Syerston, where one night in January 1942, returning from Hamburg, their Hampden crashed in extreme weather. Wilf was the sole survivor, and he was hospitalised. Recovering he was accepted to command 138 (Special Duties) Sqn at Tempsford who were engaged in dropping agents and supplies to the Resistance in occupied countries flying Halifaxes, later Stirlings. He died 26th November 2006.


Group Captain Dudley Burnside DSO OBE DFC*

20 / 9 / 2005Died : 20 / 9 / 2005
Group Captain Dudley Burnside DSO OBE DFC*

Dudley joined the RAF in 1935 and in 1937 went to India flying on the North West Frontier, and Iraq. At the outbreak of war he went to Burma and in 1942 was fortunate to escape when his airfield was overrun by the Japanese. Escaping back to England he took command of 195 Squadron RCAF flying Wellingtons. In 1943 he became CO of 427 Squadron on Halifaxs, later converting to Lancasters. In the Korean War he commanded a Flying Boat Wing operating Sunderlands. He retired from the RAF in 1962. He died 20th September 2005.


Wing Commander Charles C Jock Calder DSO* DFC
Wing Commander Charles C Jock Calder DSO* DFC

Twice mentioned in dispatches. No's 78, 76, 158 and 617 Squadrons. 'Born 12th July, 1920. Joined RAF early 1940. Training E.F.T.S. Prestwick, S.F.T.S. Little Rissington, O.C.U. Abbingdon. Joined 78 Whitley Squadron approx May/June 1941. Some three months later posted to 76 Halifax Squadron as deputy Flight Commander. Awarded D.F.C. Nov/Dee 1941 posted as O.C. 76 Squadron Training Flight. Approx June 1942 transferred to Riceal to form Halifax O.C.U. Promoted to Squadron Leader. Approx August 1943 appointed O.C. 158 Squadron, promoted to Wing Commander. March /April screened and posted as C.F.I. Marston Moor O.C.U. Volunteered tojoin 617 Squadron. Application approved approx September 1944. Remained with 617 until screened approx January 1945. Awarded bar to D.S.O.


Squadron Leader Pat Carden DFC AE

28 / 6 / 2008Died : 28 / 6 / 2008
Squadron Leader Pat Carden DFC AE

Joining the RAF in 1932, after qualifying as a pilot, he served as an instructor until 1942, when he joined 15 Squadron at Mildenhall, flying Lancasters. Volunteering for the Pathfinder Force he joined 35 Squadron at Gravely on Halifaxes, followed by 582 Squadron on Lancasters, taking part in many bombing sorties over Normandy, including two missions on D-Day. He finished the war having completed 66 operations. Pat Carden sadly died 28th June 2008, aged 96.

Flying Officer Don Carruthers
Flying Officer Don Carruthers

Joining the RAF in 1941 he trained as a wireless operator and completed his ops training at Lossiemouth on Wellingtons where he formed up with a crew that was to stay together for his entire operational career in Bomber Command. In 1943 he was posted to 466 squadron at Leconfield on Wellingtons before converting to the Halifax. He and his crew volunteered for the Pathfinder Force and joined 35 squadron on Halifax's and then Lancasters. In 1945 having completed a total of 63 operations he moved to Transport Command flying Dakotas in India with 238 squadron and then Calcutta with 52 squadron. He left the RAF in 1946.

Group Captain Leonard Cheshire VC OM DSO** DFC*

31 / 7 / 1992Died : 31 / 7 / 1992
Group Captain Leonard Cheshire VC OM DSO** DFC*

One of the most courageous and determined bomber leaders of World War II, Leonard Cheshire flew four operational tours, starting in June 1940 with 102 Squadron on Whitley bombers at RAF Driffield. In November 1940, he was awarded the DSO for getting his badly damaged aircraft back to base. He completed his first tour in January 1941, but immediately volunteered for a second tour, this time flying Halifaxes with 35 Squadron. He became Squadron Leader in 1942, and was appointed commanding officer of 76 Squadron later that year. Leonard Cheshire ordered that non-essential weight be removed from the Halifax bombers in a bid to increase speed and altitude, hoping to reduce the high casualty rates for this squadron. Mid-upper and nose turrets were removed, and exhaust covers taken off, successfully reducing the loss rate. In July 1943 he took command of 617 Squadron. During this time he led the squadron personally on every occasion. In September he was awarded the Victoria Cross for four and a half years of sustained bravery during a total of 102 operations, leading his crews with careful planning, brilliant execution and contempt for danger, which gained him a reputation second to none in Bomber Command. Sadly, Leonard Cheshire died of motor neuron disease on 31st July 1992, aged 74.

Warrant Officer Reg Cleaver
Warrant Officer Reg Cleaver

Served with 419 (Moose) Squadron RCAF. Reg Cleaver was a Flight Engineer and Co-pilot on Halifaxes until On his 17th operation on 24 June 1943, on a raid to Wuppertal, his aircraft was shot down by German Fw190 nightfighters. After initially evading capture he was eventually captured in Holland where he was beaten by the Gestapo and taken as a PoW to Stalag Luft 6 until the end of the war.

Flight Lieutenant David Codd DFC
Flight Lieutenant David Codd DFC

Joining the Army in 1938 he initially served with Royal Engineers at Dunkirk before volunteering for aircrew and transferring to the RAF in 1941. He qualified as a navigator and in 1942 joined 10 squadron at Leeming on Halifax's before moving to 35 squadron with the Pathfinders, again on Halifax bombers. In 1943 his aircraft was shot down near Cologne and he became a POW at Stalagluft 3, having completed 42 operations. He returned to England in May 1945 and left the RAF in 1947.

Flight Lieutenant Tommy Coles DFC
Flight Lieutenant Tommy Coles DFC

Having completed training as a pilot, he joined 158 Sqn with whom he completed 37 Operations on Halifaxes and was awarded the DFC

Warrant Officer Tom Cosby
Warrant Officer Tom Cosby

Having completed his training as a Flight Engineer he served on Halifaxes with 578 Sqn but was shot down in March 1944 on his 12th Op by a German night fighter. He was eventually captured and spent was a PoW until his liberation at the end of the War.

Flt Lt Alan Cresswell DFC AFC
Flt Lt Alan Cresswell DFC AFC

A pilot flying Whitleys for 10 OTU Operational Detachment over the North Atlantic, Alan completed a further 27 Operations flying Halifaxes with 76 Squadron over NW Europe.

Miss Lettice Curtis
Miss Lettice Curtis

Joined the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) in July 1940 having been taken on to ferry Tiger Moths. Although we were later allowed to ferry other training types such as Oxfords and Masters, it was not until the autumn of 1941 that women were allowed to fly operational aircraft types. I flew my first Hurricane in August 1941 and my first Spitfire a couple of weeks later. After a brief course on a Blenheim I was cleared to fly without any further training, twin-engine bombers up to the Wellington. In November 1943 I was sent on a Halifax course, which due to unserviceability and bad weather closed, restarting in February 1943 at Pocklington where I was cleared for ferrying Halifaxes. After that without further training, I ferried Lancasters and over 100 Stirlings. In November 1945 I ferried 14 Liberators.

Air Marshal Sir John Curtiss KCB KBE
Air Marshal Sir John Curtiss KCB KBE

John Curtiss trained as a navigator in RAF Bomber Command. He joined his first operational squadron - 578 Squadron, in 1944, flying Halifax IIIs. He later flew as a Halifax navigator with 158 Squadron at RAF Lissett. After the war Sir John held many high ranking posts in the RAF, and was Air Commander Falklands Operations in 1982.

Flight Lieutenant Jack Dundas DFC
Flight Lieutenant Jack Dundas DFC

Jack Dundas joined 424 (Tiger) Sqn No 6 Group RCAF on 25th May 1944. He flew on D-Day 5th/6th June and ended a relatively fast tour on the Halifax flying two missions on the same day over Duisberg, 14th October 1944.

Lishman Y Easby
Lishman Y Easby

Lishman Y. Easby (Wireless Operator) joined the RAF in 1941 after service in the Home Guard. He was selected for training as a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner but after training as a W/Op he was posted to Coastal Command 159Gp HQ, Liverpool, and served in 1942 as a ground wireless operator. Later in the year he was called for training as a W/op (air) which was followed by an air-gunner course. Following this he was posted to an Operational Training Unit and joined Ron Clark and his crew as a W/op on 4 engined aircraft — the two jobs were separate. The crew were later posted for further training, first on Halifax and then on Lancasters; then posted to 100 Sqn, Waltham, near Grimsby, where they were given a brand new Lancaster which they named the Phantom of the Ruhr. Their Flight Engineer, Harold Bennett DFM painted its name and insignia on the nose of the aircraft. The same name today adorns the Lancaster which flies as part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. In the Phantom they completed 21 ops to Germany and two to Italy, after which the Phantom was taken in for extensive repairs due to enemy damage. The crew completed a further four ops which then completed their tour. For their 27th op the crew were transferred to 625 Sqn Kelstern (Lincs) which turned out to be their final operation and they were then disbanded. Lishman Easby was then posted to OTU near Shrewsbury to help with the training of new crews. Later he was posted to 298 Sqn Transport Command with another pilot (Ian Forbes) and crew where they received training in towing Horsa Gliders in preparation for an airborne attack on Singapore. However, the war ended suddenly and the Sqn was posted to India and eventually to Burma to take part in Operation Hunger. This entailed dropping sacks of rice on isolated villages thus saving them from famine. This ended his service and he was released from service in 1946. He agreed to his name being held in reserve as a Minute Man until aged 45. During this time he could be called back in an emergency for immediate service. However, this never happened.

Flying Officer Jack Easter
Flying Officer Jack Easter

Joining the RAF in 1940 he was a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner on both Halifaxes and Liberators with 148 Sqn which served on Special Duties carrying out supply drops and pick-up missions to resistance groups. Before leaving the RAF in December 1945 he had completed 75 Operations and over 500 hours of flying.

Flying Officer John Evans
Flying Officer John Evans

John joined the RAF in late 1942. He qualified as a pilot and was posted to 158 Squadron at RAF Lissett. His 12th operation on 12th May 1944 was to Hasselt, where his Halifax was shot down by a night fighter. He evaded capture with the help of the Resistance in the Freteval Forest, and got back to England in September 1944.

Squadron Leader John Fisher DFC
Squadron Leader John Fisher DFC

John Fisher served with 644 Squadron flying Special Duties Halifaxes on supply drops to resistance movements throughout North West Europe, and dropping personnel for SOE duties. On the night of 5th June, he flew Halifax LL219 towing a Horsa glider as part of the assault on Pegasus Bridge. In two operations on D-Day + 1 he towed two further gliders into the Normandy area. He later flew two more glider operations over Arnhem, and another on the Rhine crossing. He received the DFC (USA) which was presented to him by General Jimmy Doolittle.

Warrant Officer Laurie Godfrey
Warrant Officer Laurie Godfrey

As a WOP/Air Gunner he joining 408 Sqn, only the second RCAF squadron formed overseas, serving on first Halifaxes and Lancasters completing 32 operations.

Warrant Officer Harry Gough
Warrant Officer Harry Gough

Harry joined the RAF in 1943 as a Rear Gunner in 10 Squadron affectionately known as 'Shiny 10' at RAF Melbourne, part of 4 Group. At the beginning of the war they were equipped with Whitleys, upgrading to the Halifax in December 1941. On 8th July 1940, they moved to RAF Leeming, Yorkshire and again on 19th August 1942 to RAF Melbourne, Yorkshire. Harry completed 33 operations.

Flight Lieutenant James Hampton
Flight Lieutenant James Hampton

James Hampton enlisted in the RAF in 1945 and trained as a Flight Engineer. He flew Halifaxes operationally with 76 Squadron from RAF Holme-on-Spalding Moor in Yrokshire. He was also the youngest and only survivor of three brothers. After leaving the squadron he flew on flight testing.

Flying Officer Sir Michael Hanham DFC
Flying Officer Sir Michael Hanham DFC

He joined the RAF straight from school in 1942 and initially qualified as a navigator but then retrained as a flight engineer in 1943. He volunteered for the Pathfinder Force and joined 35 squadron as a flight engineer on Halifax's and Lancasters, completing 55 operations with this unit. In May 1945 he became a Flying Control Officer and was posted to India, leaving the RAF in 1946.

Squadron Leader Ian Hewitt DFC*
Squadron Leader Ian Hewitt DFC*

Ian was originally a Navigator on Whitleys with 58 Squadron, before joining 35 Squadron. Shot down attacking the Tirpitz in Halifax S for Sugar, he managed to crash land and escape into Sweden. Through a successful PoW exchange Ian was flown back to England in a Mosquito and went back to operations with 405 Squadron RCAF.


Air Chief Marshal Sir Lewis Hodges KCB CBE DSO DFC*

4 / 1 / 2007Died : 4 / 1 / 2007
Air Chief Marshal Sir Lewis Hodges KCB CBE DSO DFC*

Lewis Hodges flew with 49 Sqn from June 1940 until he was shot down over occupied France in Sept 1940 and taken prisoner by the Vichy French. He managed to escape and made his way back to England, rejoining 49 Sqn. He took part in the attacks against the German Channel dash operation in Feb 1942. In Nov of that year he joined 161 (Special Duties) Sqn, flying Halifaxes, Lysanders and Hudsons landing and parachuting agents into German occupied territory. Among the people he brought out of France were two future Presidents - Vincent Auriol and Francois Mitterand. He died 4th January 2007.

Flt Lt Matt Holiday DFC
Flt Lt Matt Holiday DFC

Matt joined the RAF in March 1939 and was originally posted to 10 Squadron and later to 77 Squadron. He completed 52 operations as a Mid Upper Gunner on Halifaxes. On a raid to Dusseldorf they were attacked by fighters and broke away from the bomber stream, but after evasive action they followed on later and bombed Dusseldorf on their own, resulting in the whole crew receiving instant awards.

Flight Lieutenant Harry Hughes DFC DFM AE*
Flight Lieutenant Harry Hughes DFC DFM AE*

After joining the RAF in March 1941, Harry Hughes trained as a Navigator. On completion of training he was posted to join 102 (Ceylon) Squadron at RAF Pocklington flying Halifaxes. Harry completed his first tour with 102 Sqn. For his second tour Harry was posted to join 692 Squadron at Graveley, as Navigator (B). Equipped with Mosquito light bombers, 692 Squadron was part of the Light Night Striking Force of N0.8 (PFF) Group, Bomber Command; famous for its fast striking raids on Berlin using 4000lb cookie bombs.

Lieutenant General Chester Hull CMM DFC CD
Lieutenant General Chester Hull CMM DFC CD

Joining the RCAF, Chester Hull was posted overseas in 1943. Joining the 420 (Snowy Owl) Sqn, No6 Group RCAF, he flew the Halifax against targets such as the V weapon sites. He became Sqn Commander of 428 (Ghost) Sqn RCAF, completing his tour on 30th December 1944. he retired in 1974 as Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff.

Warrant Officer Harry Irons DFC
Warrant Officer Harry Irons DFC

Joining the RAF at the age of 16 in 1940, he did 2 full tours as a Rear Gunner with 9 Squadron and took part in nearly all the famous raids of Bomber Command. He finished in 1945 at 158 Squadron flying Halifaxes.

Warrant Officer Eddie Jones
Warrant Officer Eddie Jones

A Wireless Operator, he served on Halifaxes with 428 Sqn RCAF, he was shot down in April 1944 on his 29th 'Op by a German night fighter whilst on a mission to Germany. After being taken PoW he spent time in various camps all with W.O Reg Cleaver.

Flt Lt Eric Kemp DFC
Flt Lt Eric Kemp DFC

Flew with 578 Squadron on Halifaxes

Warrant Officer Ernest Kenwright DFC DFM
Warrant Officer Ernest Kenwright DFC DFM

Joining the RAF in 1940 he was initially posted to Cardington as a driver and ended up on the Isle of Sheppey releasing explosive met balloons in order to hamper enemy aircraft. Volunteering for aircrew he attended a gunnery course at Stormy Down in 1942 and shortly after joined 51 squadron at Snaith in Yorkshire, as a Rear Gunner on Halifaxes. In 1943 after many operations with the main force he volunteered for the Pathfinders and joined 35 Squadron at Gravely on both the Halifax and Lancaster. He remained with this unit until the end of the war completing 82 operations and left the RAF in 1946

Pilot Officer Bill Leckie, AEM, KW
Pilot Officer Bill Leckie, AEM, KW

Bill Leckie was born in Glasgow, Scotland on 23rd June 1921, joined the Royal Air Force in June 1941 and went to St Johns Wood on the 15th of September 1941. Bill Leckie started his flying training on the 4th of April 1942 at Stoke Orchard near Cheltenham in Tiger Moths. He went to Canada on the 26th of May 1942 at Monkton for further training until June before going on to Detroit and on to Pensacola, Florida on the 1st October 1942, flying Stearman and Catalina Flying boats until 31st March 1943 when Bill went to Prince Edward Island for further training. Back in the UK, Bill was expecting to join a Coastal Command squadron flying Catalinas but was transferred to Bomber Command and a conversion course on to Whitleys at Kinloss Scotland on the 22nd of February 1944, and joined 77 Squadron at Full Sutton on the 19th July 1944 on Halifaxes, flying 6 bombing missions, one being the bombing of the Flying Bomb Factory at Russesheim, before transferring to 148 Special Duties squadron on the 19th of August 1944 and going to Brindisi. Pilot Officer Bill Leckie was involved in the dropping of supplies (guns, ammunition and food) to the Polish during the Warsaw uprising. This was a costly mission and many aircraft were lost. (Bill was flying Halifax JD319 (FS - G). For his efforts in air-dropping supplies during this period, Bill Leckie was awarded the Polish Cross of Valour (KW). Pilot Officer Bill Leckie was also the Pilot for Operation Ebensburg on Sunday 8th April 1945. Halifax B.II Series 1 (Special) JP254 of 148 Special Duties Squadron carried out the misison to drop four SOE agents and their equipment near Alt Aussee salt mine in the Austrian Alps. Thier mission was to secure and protect 6,755 items of the worlds greatest works of art that had been looted and stored by the Germans as they swept across Europe. With the allied forces closing in, the Germans had planned to blow up the entire store to prevent the artworks from falling into the hands of the liberators. Once on the ground, the four agents linked up with local resistance fighters and the mine and its valuable contents were eventually secured, the explosives made safe and the entire cache taken into the safe keeping of the 80th US Infantry Division as the German occupation of Europe crumbled. Bill Leckie stayed with 148 Squadron until 18th May 1945 when he was posted to Cairo with 216 Squadron (Dakotas) of Transport Command and on 1st January 1946 to 78 Squadron flying Dakotas again until 1st June 1946 , finally leaving the RAF on the 18th September 1946.


Mr. I J Lewis
Mr. I J Lewis

Met his crew at Heavy Conversion Unit in August 1944, being the last member to join them and he was then posted to 158 Sqdn. Lissett to fly on Halifax IIIs on 20 August 1944, and completed his tour after 41 ops.

Squadron Leader Reg Lewis DFC
Squadron Leader Reg Lewis DFC

Reg Lewis was a navigator in Bomber Command, first with XV Squadron, and then 214 Squadron, both on Stirlings. In August 1943 he was posted to 138 (Special Duties) Squadron based at Tempsford. Here he flew Halifaxes, dropping agents and arms into occupied Europe. In February 1944, after flying agent Francis Cammaerts over France, Reg was shot down but evaded capture and made his way to and over the Pyrenees into Spain, and home.

Warrant Officer Fred Maltas
Warrant Officer Fred Maltas

Fred joined the RAF as a Flight Engineer and was originally sent to 51 Squadron at RAF Snaith on Halifaxes. He then joined 35 Squadron as they undertook their Pathfinder duties. On his 2nd operation to Krefeld on 21st June 1943 his Halifax HR799 was shot down, and Fred ended up as a PoW in Stalag Luft VI.

Flight Lieutenant Edward Ted McGindle
Flight Lieutenant Edward Ted McGindle

Englishman Ted McGindle was studying in Australia at the outbreak of the Pacific war and joined the RAAF in April 1942. After initial training he gained his wings and graduated as a Sgt Pilot. Ted sailed for England and attended 21 OTU Morton-in-the-Marsh in March 1944 where he selected his crew and converted to Wellingtons. Ted McGindle converted to Halifaxes and in August 1944 was posted to 640 Sqn - 4 Group where he completed 11 operations. Later that month he transferred to 462 Sqn RAAF, equipped with Halifaxes and based at Driffield. On his 19th operation on 6th October 1944 to the synthetic oil plants at Sterkrade, Ted McGindle was awarded an immediate DFC and three of his crew immediate DFMs for bringing their crippled Halifax and wounded crew home to Woodbridge. During this seven month period he received four promotions from the rank of Sgt Pilot to Flt Lieutenant and acting Flight Commander in March 1945, completing his operational tour at the age of 21.

Flying Officer Tony Monk
Flying Officer Tony Monk

Flight Engineer on Halifaxes with 76 Squadron. Shot down on his 24th Operation to Nuremburg 30 -31 March 1944 he spent the next 14 months as a PoW.

Warrant Officer John Morrison
Warrant Officer John Morrison

With 35 Sqn he flew as a WOP/Air Gunner on Halifaxes taking part in 24 'Ops' but was shot down on the attack on the Tirpitz in April 1942. After being captured he spent the rest of the War as a PoW in several camps including Stalag Luft III.

Flt Lt Bluey Mottershead DFC
Flt Lt Bluey Mottershead DFC

Completed a full tour of Operations in 1943 flying Halifaxes for 158 Sqn at Lissett.


M/Sig R D Pearson
M/Sig R D Pearson

Joined the RAF in 1943 to begin training as an Air Gunner. After the usual short attachments at various training stations eventually ending up at No 2 AGS Dalcross. Air firing was carried out from an Avro Anson. There was always a mad rush to be first aboard the aircraft on every detail, not from enthusiasm, but from trying to avoid winding up the undercarriage after take off. M/Sig Pearson went from Dalcross to Kinloss to join a crew flying Whitleys and several months later ended up at 158 Sqdn Lissett to commence operations on Halifaxes. After half a tour and very happy at Lissett his crew were posted onto a PFF Sqdn, 635 Sqdn Downham Market. His first operation, and very nearly his last, was a daylight raid on Hamburg. On the bombing run, they had the misfortune to be selected by the pilot of a ME262 as his victim. He was not spotted until he was dead astern and blazing away with the four 30mm cannon in the nose. Evasive action was given and the pilot promptly stood the Lanc on its nose. Unfortunately not all the cannon shells missed and they lost quite a piece of fuselage leaving ammo belts hanging out in the slipstream. After regaining level flight, they were attacked again by another ME262, but this time they were lucky. Both ME pilots decided to push off and find some other sitting duck! Despite these attacks, they carried on and bombed, making their way home across the North Sea, not a pleasant journey. The pilot received an immediate award of the DFC. M/Sig Pearson finished the war out at Downham Market and after the war in Europe ended was posted to 83 Sqdn Conningsby for Tiger Force training and operations against the Japanese. Fortunately the war in the east ceased just as they were ready to depart. He was demobbed in May 1947, but was not happy out of uniform so was back in again at the end of 1949 as an A/G flying on Lincolns at 9 Sqdn. Binbrook. He had a short detachment with 617 Sqdn at Shallufa, Egypt and at the end of 1952 was posted onto B29 aircraft with 15 Sqdn. Coningsby. After six months he was posted to Little Rissington on a Link Trainer course and then to FTS Syerston as a Link instructor to Naval cadet pilots. In 1955, he was required to either remuster to a ground trade or take another aircrew trade. He was posted to Swanton Morley to take training as an Air Signaller and from then to St Mawgan 228 Sqdn on Shackletons. Next came a posting to Northolt in a drawing office drawing En-Route charts and Terminal Approach Procedures. Back to flying in 1961 and a posting to 224 Sqdn Gibraltar and then to Air Traffic Control School at Shawbury. On completion of this course came a posting to RAF Lyneham as Local Controller and thence to RAF Colerne as Approach Controller. He left the service in 1968.


Flight Lieutenant Geoffrey Perks DFC
Flight Lieutenant Geoffrey Perks DFC

Joining the RAF in July 1941 he trained as a pilot in the USA and was posted to 420 Sqn as part of no 6 Group (RCAF) initially flying Wellingtons. The unit then converted to Halifaxes and he moved firstly to 427 Squadron and then 434 Sqn still flying this aircraft. In November 1944 he joined OTU as an instructor on Halifaxes, converting to Mosquitoes in January 1945. He then joined 571 Sqn as part of the Light Night Strike Force, flying the B Mk XVI and dropping 4000lb cookie bombs over Germany. He left the RAF in 1946 but rejoined, finally leaving in 1958


Flight Lieutenant John Petrie-Andrews DFC DFM
Flight Lieutenant John Petrie-Andrews DFC DFM

John Petrie-Andrews joined the RAF in 1940. After training as a pilot, in January 1943 he was posted to join 102 (Ceylon) Squadron at Pocklington for his first tour, flying Halifaxes. In February 1943 he transferred to 158 Squadron, still on Halifaxes. John the joined 35 Squadron, one of the original squadrons forming the Pathfinder Force. Here he flew first Halifaxes before converting to Lancasters. John Petrie-Andrews completed a total of 70 operations on heavy bombers, including 60 with the Pathfinders.

Squadron Leader W C Pierce DFC
Squadron Leader W C Pierce DFC

Trained in the Commonwealth Air Training Plan, Wib Pierce was posted overseas in 1943. He joined the RCAF 433 (Porcupine) Sqn No6 Group RCAF, where he flew the Halifax Mk3 on almost all of his 36 operations over Europe. He returned home on VE Day, 1945.

Flight Officer Stephen J Puskas DFC
Flight Officer Stephen J Puskas DFC

Stephen Puskas joined 429 (Bison) Sqn No6 Group RCAF in February 1944. He completed 40 operations over Europe on the Halifax by August 1944. surviving a ditch in the North Sea, he went on to become an instructor at Training command, Ossington.

Flight Lieutenant John Rollins DFC AFC
Flight Lieutenant John Rollins DFC AFC

After joining the RAF in 1940 he was called up in early 1941 and entered OTU where he qualified as an observer and was then posted operationally to 466 Sqn at Leconfield on Wellingtons. At the end of 1942 he joined 35 Sqn as a Navigator at Gravely as part of the Pathfinder Force, initially on the Halifax and later converting to Lancasters. He remained with the Pathfinders until 1944 when he was posted to Stoney Cross to convert back to Wellington 1C's as a way of becoming reacquainted with two engined aircraft. he spent the remainder of the war flying Dakotas in the Far East and left the RAF in mid 1946.

F/O Tom Sawyer
F/O Tom Sawyer

Flew Whitleys with 10 Sqn from Leeming and then Halifaxes with 102 Sqn from Driffield - he completed 35 Operations, and then moved on to training aircrew on Stirlings towing gliders.

Flying Officer Tom Sayer DFM
Flying Officer Tom Sayer DFM

Tom was originally part of the RAFVR and was first posted to 10 Squadron as a pilot on Whitleys. He then transferred to fly Halifaxes with 102 Squadron at RAF Driffield and flew operationally from May to October 1943. He completed 35 operations in total. After a rest period he went to train new aircrew flying Stirlings who were involved in the towing of gliders for airborne operations during 1944 - 45.

Warrant Officer Dennis Slack
Warrant Officer Dennis Slack

Upon completing his training on Wellingtons, Dennis was assigned to 158 Sqn as a Bomb Aimer on Halifaxes. In 1943 he was shot down whilst on a raid to Berlin and spent the rest of the war as a PoW in Stalag Luft IV b.

Flt Lt Larry Taylor DFC
Flt Lt Larry Taylor DFC

Joined the RAF in 1937 as a Flight Engineer took part in the very first raid of the war dropping leaflets with 166 Squadron. He went on to fly Whitleys, Hampdens and Halifaxes, completing 51 Operations for 405/102/78 Squadrons.


Flt/Lt P G Taylor
Flt/Lt P G Taylor

Joined the RAF as an Aircraft Apprentice at Halton in 1938, aged 16. In 1940 he became airframe fitter on the Maintenance Unit and volunteered for aircrew in 1941. He was recommended for training as a Navigator, completed his ground training in the UK and his flying training in Port Albert, Canada. On completion, he was Commissioned and returned to the UK in January 1943, where he commenced familiarisation training in Tiger Moths (15 EFTS) and Ansons. In August 1943, along with a pilot, wireless operator and bomb aimer, he commenced training on Whitleys. From December 1943 to January 1944, he underwent training for conversion to Halifaxes and was posted to 10 Sqdn. After one operation he was transferred to 158 Sqdn (Lissett). On his tenth op. (18th April 1944) his aircraft was returning from a bombing raid on the marshalling yards at Tergunier (northern France) when they were attacked by a German night-fighter. The port wing of the aircraft was on fire, they went into a steep dive and the pilot shouted "Bale Out". Fortunately for him, the navigator position in the Halifax was next to the forward escape hatch and both he and the Flight Engineer were the only ones able to bale out, the other five crew members were all killed on impact. The Flight Engineer was captured the next day but Flt/Lt Taylor avoided capture and was sheltered by the Resistance in various safe houses until 28th July. By this time in the war French collaborators had infiltrated the Resistance Movement and were turning evading Allied airmen over to the Germans. Flt/Lt Taylor was betrayed and turned over to the Germans on 28th July. He was imprisoned in Paris with approximately 140 other Allied airmen captured in similar circumstances. When Allied forces closed in on Paris, all prisoners mainly French civilians were packed into cattle trucks and evacuated to Germany, destination unknown, which turned out to be Buchenwald concentration camp. Along with other airmen, he was subsequently transferred to Stalag Luft 3 on 21st October where he remained as POW until the Russian advanced forced evacuation of all POWs and a long trek, finishing near Hamburg just as Germany surrendered.

Flying Officer J A Tommy Thomas
Flying Officer J A Tommy Thomas

Trained in 1941/2 as a winch operator on Fairy Battles and Lysanders, target towing for Spitfire OUT. In 1942 Tommy remustered as Air Gunner and in 1943 he joined 161Special Duties Squadron at Tempsford on Halifax's B flight, He later detached to A flight on Hudsons and Lysanders for mail pick-up duties. His training and quick thinking saved him and Bob Large when on one memorable flight Tommy reacted instantly to a tow wire fouling the elevators of their Lysander. Between July 43 and July 45 he completed 33 Ops. out of Tempsford and Tangmere.

Warrant Officer Sam Thompson
Warrant Officer Sam Thompson

As a Mid Upper Gunner he was posted to 103 Sqn on Halifaxes before transferring to 9 Sqn where he completed 3 raids on the Tirpitz and also Berchtesgaden, completing 50 Ops in total.

Flying Officer Frank Walker
Flying Officer Frank Walker

Frank Walker joined the RAF in 1943, and did his original training in Glasgow. He was posted to 466 Squadron which was formed at RAF Driffield in Yorkshire on 10th October 1942, and changed over from Wellingtons to Halifaxes in September 1943. As a Rear Gunner on Halifaxes, Frank completed 36 operations before the end of the war.

Warrant Officer Ken Wheeler
Warrant Officer Ken Wheeler

Was a Rear Gunner with 102 Squadron on Halifaxes based at Pocklington. Operating during the last six months of the War, Ken saw action over Germany.


Warrant Officer Bill Wilcox DFM
Warrant Officer Bill Wilcox DFM

Bill was a Wireless Operator with 466 Squadron on Wellingtons, before being posted to 640 Squadron on Halifaxes. In 1943 he joined 35 Squadron, part of the Pathfinder Force, on Lancasters. He remained with this unit until the end of the war, completing nearly 60 operations.

Sqd Ldr Frank Williamson AFC
Sqd Ldr Frank Williamson AFC

Was at 10 Sqn and 102 Sqn at the same time as Tom Sawyer, he flew Whiltleys and Halifaxes and he completed 26 Operations.

Flight Lieutenant Tom Wingham
Flight Lieutenant Tom Wingham

With 76 Sqn he was a Bomb Aimer on Halifaxes before his aircraft was shot down on a mission to Dusseldorf on 22nd April 1944. Using several well-organised 'escape lines', which were set up by local civilians throughout parts of Europe to help keep evading aircrew fed and clothed, he eventually made it through to Allied Lines on 13th September 1944.

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