Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Canadian Warplanes 3: Handley Page Hampden

Handley Page Hampden

Data current to 8 March 2021.

(RAF Photo)

Handley Page Hampden (Serial No. L4302). 

The Handley Page HP 52 Hampden was a British twin engined bomber flown by the RCAF during the Second World War in Canada and overseas.  The Hampden served in the early stages of the war, bearing the brunt of the early bombing war over Europe, taking part in the first night raid on Berlin and in the first 1000-bomber raid on Cologne.

The Hampden in RCAF service included the 160 examples manufactured in Canada by the Victory Aircraft consortium.  Of the total built, 84 were shipped by sea to Great Britain, while the remainder came to Patricia Bay (Victoria Airport) BC, to set up No. 32 OTU (RAF) used for bombing and gunnery training.  Typical exercises at 32 OTU consisted of patrolling up the West Coast of Vancouver Island at night or flying out into the Pacific to a navigational map co-ordinate, often in adverse and un-forecast inclement weather.  Due to attrition from accidents, about 200 "war weary" Hampdens were later flown from the UK to Pat Bay as replacements.  The following RCAF units flew the Hampden:

No. 408 (Goose) Squadron, RCAF, with RAF Bomber Command between July 1941 and September 1942, Codeletters EQ.

No. 415 (Swordfish) Squadron, RCAF, as a torpedo bomber with RAF Coastal Command between February 1942 and November 1943, Codeletters GX.

No. 420 (Snowy Owl) Squadron, RCAF, with RAF Bomber Command between December 1941 and August 1942, Codeletters PT.

No. 32 Operational Training Unit RAF/RCAF, in Canada between May 1942 and February 1944, Codeletters DK, LB, OP and RO.

Handley Page HP 52 Hampden Mk. I (96), (Serial Nos. L4142, 45, 57, L6069, P1167, P1200, 30, P1311, P2067, P2133, P5298, P5336, 37, 99, P5400, 21-36, X3137, 49, AD751, 54, 67, AD961, AE258, 95, AE363, AJ988-99, AN100-22, 28-36, 38-47, 50, AT147).

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 5029693)

Handley Page Hampden, coded EQ, No. 408 Squadron, RCAF, with Sgt. A.W. Wood, Sgt. H.D. Murray, Sgt. D.L. Henderson and Sgt. W.M. Fraser.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3650859)

Handley-Page Hampden Mk. I, RCAF (Serial No. P5336), at Canadian Fairchild Ltd., c1942.

 (SDASM Photo)

Handley Page HP 52 Hampden Mk. I bomber.  

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3650859)

Handley-Page Hampden, navigators aft position layout.  RCAF Station Sidney, British Columbia.

 (RCAF Photo via Mike Kaehler)

Handley Page Hampden torpedo bomber, wireless operator air gunner Sgt. W.E. Bill Norquay, RCAF.  This RCAF Squadron Hampden brought a German U-boat to a standstill while on an anti-submarine patrol over the Bay of Biscay.  The U-boat was subsequently destroyed by a Consolidated Liberator of RAF Coastal Command,which had been sent out in response to the Hampden's signals.  Sgt Norquay is manning a Vickers K .303-inch machine gun.

 (RAF Photo)

Handley Page Hampdens of No. 408 Squadron, RCAF, being loaded with mines, 1942. 

 (RAF Photo)

Handley Page HP 52 Hampden Mk. I bomber.  

 (RAF Photo)

Handley Page HP 52 Hampden Mk. I bomber, coded X-KM, 1942  

 (RAF Photo)

Handley Page HP 52 Hampden Mk. I bomber.  

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3202993)

Handley Page Hampden Mk. I with groundcrew loading a torpedo into the bomb bay of an aircraft of No. 32 Operational Training Unit (Royal Canadian Air Force Schools and Training Units), Patricia Bay, British Columbia, 2 October 1942.

(RAF Photo)

Handley Page Hampden (Serial No. P1333), being bombed up. 

(IWM Photo, HU 107822)

Handley Page Hampdens, coded EQ, No. 408 Squadron, RCAF, being loaded with mines, 1942.

 (IWM Photo, HU 107823)

Handley Page Hampdens, coded EQ, No. 408 Squadron, RCAF, being loaded with mines, 1942.

(IWM Photo, CH 4742)

Handley Page Hampden of No. 408 (Goose) Squadron, RCAF, as aircrew return from a flight, Balderton in Nottinghamshire on 20 January 1942. 

 (Magnus Löwenstein Photo)

Handley Page Hampden (Serial No. AE436), coded JP-L, over England 1942. 

 (Author Photo, 2003)

Handley Page (Victory) Hampden Mk. I, RCAF (Serial No. P5436), coded HL-B, powered by a pair of 1000 hp Bristol Pegasus XVIII engines.  P5436 is a Canadian-built Hampden.  It was only flown for 100 hours before it crashed near Patricia Bay on 15 Nov 1942, during a torpedo dropping practice run.  Although the aircraft sank in 600 feet of water, the 4-man crew survived and was picked up by a Stranraer flying boat shortly after the crash.  The aircraft was fairly complete when it was recovered but badly corroded and fragile.  Recovery was achieved with the aid of a remotely controlled submarine aided by a video camera.  Restoration of P5436 was achieved using components from other Hampden crash sites in the rebuild.  It is currenly on display with the Canadian Museum of Flight, Langley, British Columbia.

 (Author Photo, 2003)

 (Author Photos, 26 Jan 2019)

Handley Page (Victory)Hampden Mk. I, RCAF (Serial No. P5436), coded HL-B, powered by a pair of 1000 hp Bristol Pegasus XVIII engines.  P5436 is a Canadian-built Hampden.  It was only flown for 100 hours before it crashed near Patricia Bay on 15 Nov 1942, during a torpedo dropping practice run.  Although the aircraft sank in 600 feet of water, the 4-man crew survived and was picked up by a Stranraer flying boat shortly after the crash.  The aircraft was fairly complete when it was recovered but badely corroded and fragile.  Recovery was achieved with the aid of a remotely controlled submarine aided by a video camera.  Restoration of P5436 was achived using components from other Hampden crash sites in the rebuild.  It is currenly on display with the Canadian Museum of Flight, Langley, British Columbia.

 (IWM Photo, HU 91926)

Three Handley Page Hampden Mk. Is of No. 49 Squadron, RAF, based at Scampton, Lincolnshire, UK. They are flying southwards in 'vic' formation over Wellingore airfield. The nearest aircraft is (Serial No, AD980), coded EA-V, the formation leader is (Serial No. AE354), coded EA-S, and the furthest is Serial No. AE240), coded EA-P.  Handley Page Hampden (Serial No. AD980), coded EA-V, was transferred to the RCAF, re-coded EQ-Y.  It was lost on 6 June 1942.  AE354 and AE240 were lost in 1941.  (Brad Gossen)

 (RAF Photo)

Handley Page Hampdens, possibly with RAF Coastal Command, c1942.

 (RAF Photo)

Handley Page Hampden (Serial No. P1166), coded EQ-X, No. 408 Squadron, RCAF, 1942.  Struck off charge 23 Dec 1943.  (Brad Gossen)

 (RAF Photo)

Handley Page Hampden (Serial No. AE201), coded GX-Q, No. 415 Squadron, RCAF, 1942.  AE201 was destroyed on ground at Thorney Island when (Seril No. P2065) blew up beside it while re-fuelling, on 26 February 1943.  (Brad Gossen)