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WW2 Aircraft

While the early-built models of the Halifax were heavily used by Bomber Command and made valuable contributions to operations, the aircraft's performance was considered unsatisfactory for the most part, mainly due to the underpowered Merlin engine, which meant that it could not fly at the higher altitudes needed to avoid enemy fighters, which were becoming increasingly effective throughout Early on, Air Chief Marshal Arthur Harris , head of Bomber Command, was scathing in his criticism of the Halifax's performance in comparison to the new Avro Lancaster , primarily of its bomb-carrying capability: an average Halifax was calculated to drop tons of bombs in its lifetime, compared to a Lancaster's Harris continued to have a poor opinion of the Halifax, despite the fact that later Hercules-engined machines had lower loss rates and higher crew survival rates after abandoning the aircraft than Lancasters, and came very close to the Lancaster's speed and altitude performance.

The Halifax was progressively outnumbered in front-line service over occupied Europe as more Lancasters became available from onwards; many squadrons converted to the Lancaster. Production of the Halifax continued, supposedly because it was more efficient to keep building it than to stop its production and convert to building another aircraft.

But any new facilities were devoted to the Lancaster. Harris's view of the Halifax changed sometime after spring On 2 June , in a response to a telegram sent by Frederick Handley Page, congratulating Harris on the success of the first bomber Cologne raid , he stated: "My Dear Handley Page. We much appreciate your telegram of congratulation on Saturday night's work, the success of which was very largely due to your support in giving us such a powerful weapon to wield. Between us we will make a job of it.

Following the invasion of Europe in , the Halifax resumed daylight bombing operations, performing semi-tactical strikes upon enemy troop concentrations, gun emplacements, and strongpoints along the French coastline with a reportedly high degree of accuracy. Bombing activity became increasingly brazen throughout late as the Luftwaffe became incapable of putting up effective opposition against them.

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During the latter half of , the bombing of German-held oil facilities became a major priority of the offensive. In spite of heavy fire from anti-aircraft defenses , no bombers were downed and the refinery was severely damaged in places. Barton of No. Barton continued to fly the Halifax while other crew members bailed out, he was killed in the aircraft's crash-landing, but the remaining crew survived due to his actions.

Large numbers of Halifax bombers were also operated by Coastal Command , who used it to conduct anti submarine warfare , reconnaissance and meteorological operations. The Halifax was heavily used to deploy mines in the vicinity of enemy-held ports. According to Moyes, within the final few months, bomber losses had fallen to all-time lows while raids were frequently regarded as having been highly successful.

In particular, these models had been 'tropicalised' with an eye towards their potential use in the Pacific War against the Empire of Japan. On 25 April , the Halifax performed its last major operation against the enemy during an attack upon coastal gun batteries on Wangerooge in the Frisian Islands of the North Sea.

Upon the end of the conflict, Bomber Command quickly disbanded the majority of its Halifax-equipped squadrons; the aircraft themselves were transferred to Transport Command. By , the majority of Halifax bombers were deemed to be surplus and scrapped. The Pakistan Air Force , which had inherited a number of Halifax bombers from the RAF, also continued to operate them and become the last military user of the type, retiring the last aircraft in During the excavation, the bodies of three crew members were recovered and later given proper burial.

Handley Page Halifax

Several items from the plane were used in restoration of NA, while other items were transferred to museums. The airframe was melted down and used to construct the ceiling of the RAF Bomber Command Memorial in London , which was unveiled in In , 41 civil Halifax freighters were used during the Berlin Air Lift , operating a total of 4, sorties carrying freight and 3, carrying bulk diesel fuel.

Nine aircraft were lost during the airlift. With the airfreight market in decline, most of the civilian Halifaxes were scrapped on their return to England. The last civilian-operated Halifaxes were withdrawn from service in late Halifax 57 Rescue is a Canadian organization dedicated to the recovery and restoration of Handley Page Halifaxes. Since its inception in the organization has recovered two aircraft, including Halifax NA, one of only three complete examples in the world.

The aircraft was moved to the National Air Force Museum of Canada in Trenton, Ontario where it was unveiled in after a full restoration.


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During the recovery, the bodies of three crew members were removed and given a proper burial. Several parts of the aircraft were used in the restoration of NA, and the airframe was melted down and later used to construct the RAF Bomber Command Memorial in London , which was unveiled in At present, Halifax 57 Rescue is working to recover two aircraft. The first is HR, located off the coast of Sweden. Once the aircraft has been raised, it will be moved to the Bomber Command Museum of Canada in Nanton, Alberta for restoration. The second aircraft the organization is seeking to recover is LW off the coast of Scotland.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Royal Australian Air Force [36] No. Royal Canadian Air Force [37] No. Royal Air Force [41] No. This section may lend undue weight to certain ideas, incidents, or controversies. Please help to create a more balanced presentation. Discuss and resolve this issue before removing this message. December Combat aircraft of World War II. Chapter 1. Recommendations 'The rudder overbalance, which is manifest when both port airscrews are feathered, would cause great fatigue to a pilot attempting to keep straight and level under such conditions, and modification action is necessary in order to overcome this defect.

Retrieved: 15 September London: Orbis Publishing, Retrieved 17 June Yorkshire Air Museum. National Air Force Museum of Canada. Retrieved 16 April Barnes, C. Handley Page Aircraft since London: Putnam, Bingham, Victor F Buttler, Tony.

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Hinckley: Midland Publishing, Clarke, R. Handley Page Halifax Portfolio. Clayton, Donald C. Handley Page: An Aircraft Album. Jones, Geoffrey Patrick.

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Night Flight: Halifax Squadrons at War. London: William Kimber, Falconer, Jonathan. Bomber Command Handbook — Stroud, England:Sutton Publishing, Lake, Jon Halifax Squadrons of World War 2. Osprey Publishing. Halifax Variants. Wings of Fame, Vol. Aerospace Publishing. Merrick, Keith A. The Handley Page Halifax. Moyes, Philip J.

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The Handley Page Halifax B. Norris, Geoffrey. Rapier, Brian J. Halifax at War.

Diary of a Bomb Aimer : Flying with 12 Squadron in World War II

Roberts, Nicholas Aircraft Crash Log No. Roberts, R. The Halifax File. Air Britain Historians. Robertson, B Halifax Special. Ian Allan.


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Robinson, Ian Scutts, Jerry. Halifax in Action Aircraft in Action series, No. Stachiw, Anthony L. Catharine's, Ontario, Canada: Vanwell Publishing, Retrieved 10 December Halifax at War: The Story of a Bomber 76 min. Toronto: Nightfighters Productions, Handley Page aircraft. Type W HP. The book is particularly emotive as he wrote in the common parlance of those wartime days and truly reflects the emotions, fears and feelings of those caught up in that mighty conflict. His diligent observations of life in the RAF from joining-up, crossing the Atlantic and training in the New World bring back wartime life as it really was.

His descriptions of the perils of flying on bombing raids deep into the heart of Germany truly reflect the many different aspects of life in a front-line squadron in a way that can only be told by one who was there. He retired and moved to Swinton, a village in the Scottish Borders. He died in He has published widely and his interests range from the social history of medicine to the history of Royal Air Force Bomber Command in Lincolnshire.

Bomb Aimer. Diary A; A Sargent : Portraits of Artists and Friends.