Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   
Canadian Warplanes 3: de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito

Data current to 22 April 2021.

 (RCAF Photo)

de Havilland DH 98 Mosquito aircraft of 418 Squadron, with (Serial No. NT137), coded TH-H, centre.

The de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito was a British twin-engine shoulder-winged multi-role combat aircraft, introduced during the Second World War.  It was one of few operational front-line aircraft of the era whose frame was constructed almost entirely of wood.  Nicknamed The Wooden Wonder, it was affectionately as the "Mossie" to its crews.

When Mosquito production began in 1941 it was one of the fastest operational aircraft in the world.  The first variant was an unarmed, high-speed, high-altitude photo-reconnaissance aircraft.  Originally conceived as an unarmed fast bomber, the Mosquito's use evolved during the war into many roles including low to medium-altitude daytime tactical bomber, high-altitude night bomber, pathfinder, day or night fighter, fighter-bomber, intruder, and maritime strike aircraft.  It was also used by the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) as a fast transport to carry small high-value cargoes to, and from, neutral countries, through enemy-controlled airspace.  The crew of two, pilot and navigator, sat side by side, but a single passenger could ride in the aircraft's bomb bay when necessary.

The Mosquito FB Mk. VI was often flown in special raids, such as Operation Jericho, an attack on Amiens Prison in early 1944, and precision attacks against military intelligence, security and police facilities (such as Gestapo headquarters).  On the 10th anniversary of the Nazi' seizure of power in 1943, a morning Mosquito attack knocked out the main Berlin broadcasting station while Hermann Göring was speaking, putting his speech off the air.  Göring later said: "It makes me furious when I see the Mosquito.  I turn green and yellow with envy.  There is nothing the British do not have.  They have the geniuses and we have the nincompoops."

The Mosquito flew with the RCAF and other air forces in the European, Mediterranean and Italian theatres.  After the end of the Second World War Spartan Air Services flew 10 ex-RAF Mosquitoes, mostly B.35's plus one of only six PR.35's built, for high-altitude photographic survey work in Canada.  There are approximately 30 non-flying Mosquitos around the world with four airworthy examples, two in the United States, one in Canada and one in New Zealand.  (Wikipedia)

A total of 1,032 (wartime + 2 afterwards) Mosquitos were built by de Havilland Canada at Downsview Airfield in Downsview Ontario (now Downsview Park) in Toronto Ontario, including the following versions:

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito B Mk. VII, Canadian version based on the Mosquito B Mk V bomber aircraft.  Powered by two 1,418 hp (1,057 kW) Packard Merlin 31 piston engines; (16), (Serial Nos. KB303- KB305, KB307- KB311, KB314, KB318- KB324).  First flown on 24 September 1942, the B Mk. VII only saw service in Canada, with 25 being built.  Six were handed over to the USAAF.

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito B Mk. XX, Canadian version of the Mosquito B Mk IV bomber aircraft; (98), (Serial Nos. KB101- KB114, KB121, KB126- KB129, KB134- KB137, KB142- KB145, KB163- KB165, KB167- KB170, KB172- KB179, KB243- KB260, KB274- KB297, KB299, KB327, KB330- KB340, KB342), another sources state 145 were built, 145 built, of which 40 were converted into F-8 photo-reconnaissance aircraft for the USAAF.

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito FB Mk. 21, Canadian version of the Mosquito FB Mk VI fighter-bomber aircraft. Powered by two 1,460 hp (1,090 kW) Rolls-Royce Merlin 31 piston engines; (1), (Serial No. KA101), another source states three were built. 

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito T Mk. 22, Canadian version of the Mosquito T Mk III training aircraft; (4), (Serial Nos. KA873- KA876).

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito FB Mk. 24, Canadian fighter-bomber version.  Powered by two 1,620 hp (1,210 kW) Rolls-Royce Merlin 301 piston engines; (2).

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito B Mk. 25, an improved version of the Mosquito B Mk. XX Bomber aircraft.  Powered by two 1,620 hp (1,210 kW) Packard Merlin 225 piston engines; (51), (Serial Nos. KA936, KA942, KA982, KA984- KA999, KB370- KB386, KB412, KB414, KB418- KB420, KB428, KB478- KB480, KB585, KB587, KB596- KB598, KB642), another sources states 400 were built.

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito FB Mk. 26, an improved version of the Mosquito FB Mk 21 fighter-bomber aircraft.  Powered by two 1,620 hp (1,210 kW) Packard Merlin 225 piston engines; (197), (Serial Nos. KA103, KA109- KA133, KA143, KA144, KA252, KA288, KA303, KA328, KA332, KA336, KA340, KA347, KA348, KA350, KA352, KA371, KA372, KA375, KA376, KA379- KA388, KA390-405, KA408- KA411, KA414, KA415, KA418- KA486, KA488-540),  another source states 338 were built.

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito T Mk. III (24), (Serial Nos. HJ857, HJ866, HJ869, HJ871, HJ872, HJ874, HJ876, HJ879, HJ880, HJ882, HJ883, HJ958, HJ959, HJ965, HJ966, HJ974, HJ988, HJ989, HJ995, HJ996, HJ998, HJ999, LR533, LR536)

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito T Mk. 27 ,  Canadian-built training aircraft (19), (Serial Nos. KA877- KA895),

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito T Mk. 29, FB Mk. 26 fighters converted into T Mk. 29 trainers, (34), (Serial Nos. KA155, KA166, KA167, KA172- KA174, KA202- KA208, KA219- KA222, KA231- KA235, KA242- KA244, KA281, KA297-300, KA302, KA311, KA313, KA314), for a total of 444 aircraft with confirmed serial numbers.

A total of 1,032 (wartime + 2 afterwards) Mosquitos were built by De Havilland Canada at Downsview, Ontario (now Downsview Park in Toronto Ontario).

 (DND Archives Photo, PL-12273)

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito, No. 2 Service Flying Training School, Uplands, 21 Nov 1942. 

 (DND Archives Photo, PL-14571)

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito B Mk 25 (Serial No. DZ313), No. 105 Squadron, RAF, in flight with the port prop feathered, 25 Jan 1943.

 (DND Archives Photo, PL-14570)

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito B Mk. 25, 25 Jan 1943.

(RCAF Photo via the Canadian Aviation Preservation Association)

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito, RCAF (Serial No. KA100).  

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4818142)

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito with Wing Commander Russ Bannock, DSO, DFC and bar, and his Observer, Robert Bruce, 25 Sep 1944.

Russell "Russ" Bannock OOnt, DSO, DFC and bar (born 1 Nov 1919), was an RCAF Second World War ace and former chief test pilot for de Havilland Canada.  He was born in Edmonton in 1919 and worked as a commercial pilot before the Second World War, obtaining his private pilot's license in 1938 and his commercial pilot's license in 1939.

Bannock joined the RCAF and after receiving his pilot's wings in 1940, he was appointed as an instructor at RCAF Station Trenton, Ontario.  He was later posted to RAF Ferry Command, where he served from June to August 1942.  In September 1942, Bannock became the chief instructor with the Flying Instructor School at RCAF Station Arnprior in Ontario.  Bannock's request for overseas service was granted in 1944 and he joined No. 60 Officer Training Unit (OTU) based at RAF High Ercall, England.

In June 1944, Bannock was then transferred to RCAF No. 418 Squadron, flying intruder missions over Europe with the de Havilland Mosquito Mk. VI fighter-bomber.  He quickly proved adept at this type of operation and achieved his first victories.  In October 1944, he was promoted to Wing Commander and took command of the squadron.  Bannock also flew 'Diver' operations against the German V-1 flying bombs launched against London and southern England.  On one mission he shot down four V-1s in one hour.  He was awarded a bar to his DFC for his missions against the V-1s.

Bannock was transferred to RCAF No. 406 Squadron in November 1944, where he served as the unit’s commanding officer.  By April 1945, Bannock had destroyed 11 enemy aircraft (including 2 on the ground), 4 damaged in the air and 19.5 V-1's destroyed, for which he was awarded the DSO.  Bannock became the Director of Operations, RCAF overseas HQ, in London in May 1945, serving there until September 1945 when he attended the RAF Staff College.

Bannock retired from the RCAF in 1946 and joined the de Havilland Canada Aircraft Company as its chief test pilot, flying prototypes like the Beaver and various short take-off and landing aircraft.  In 1950 Bannock became Director of Military Sales and later Vice President and President from 1976 to 1978.  In 1968 he formed his own consulting business, Bannock Aerospace Ltd.

In 1956 Bannock was appointed an associate fellow of the Canadian Aeronautical Institute.  He was also the chairman of the Canadian Aerospace Industries Association’s Export Committee from 1964 to 1968 and was a director from 1976 to 1977.  Bannock was also President of the Canadian Fighter Pilots Association, Director of the Canadian Industrial Preparedness Association, and the Canadian Exporters Association.

In the late 1990s, his wartime navigator, Robert Bruce, recorded his Symphony in B flat, dedicated to Bannock and in part inspired by the night sorties they flew together.  In 2011 he was made a member of the Order of Ontario, "for his contributions to the aerospace industry”.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4993937)

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito with Wing Commander Russ Bannock, DSO, DFC and bar, and his Observer, Robert Bruce, 25 Apr 1945.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4542822)

de Havilland Mosquito, RCAF Intruder Squadron, ca 1944.

 (IWM Photo, CE 54)

Wing Commander F W Hillock, Officer Commanding No. 410 Squadron, RCAF, (left), and Flight Lieutenant P O'Neill-Dunne (right), standing in front of their de Havilland Mosquito NF Mk. II at Coleby Grange, Lincolnshire, with 300 feet of copper wireless cable which they brought back wrapped around the aircraft from an intruder operation over Holland.  On the night of 15 April 1943, Hillock (pilot) and O'Neill-Dunne (observer) mounted a Night Ranger operation to the Ruhr valley.  While flying at low level in poor weather they were suddenly confronted with the radio masts of Apeldoorn station.  Hillock threw the Mosquito into a vertical bank and flew straight through the antenna, tearing several away in the process.  He then continued with the mission before returning to Coleby Grange, whereupon it was discovered that, not only were they encumbered with the cable, but one wing tip had been sliced off by the breaking antenna and the other wing cut through to the main spar (damage visible on the left).

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4948344)

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito, night fighter. 

(RAF Photo)

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito bombing up.

  (RCAF Photo)

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito, RCAF. 

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 5013713)

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito, RCAF aircrew Cleveland, Day, Lt Luma (USAAF), Colin Finlayson. 418 Squadron, 3 Apr 1944.

 (IWM Photo, CH20880)

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito FB Mk. VI (Serial No. HX811), coded TH-K, No. 418 Squadron RCAF, in a blister hangar at Holmesley South, Hampshire, after suffering fire damage following the explosion of a flying bomb which HX811's crew shot down during a 'Diver' patrol.

(RAF Photo)

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito test firing at night. 

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3643722)

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito B Mk. XX, RCAF (Serial No. KB127). 

 (NACA Photo)

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito B Mk. XX, Canadian built, operated by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) 1945. 

The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) was an American federal agency founded on 3 March 1915, to undertake, promote, and institutionalize aeronautical research.  On 1 October 1958, the agency was dissolved, and its assets and personnel transferred to the newly created National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). 

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3650674)

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito B Mk. XX, RCAF (Serial No. KB174), T.  KB174 served with the RAF's No. 36 OTU at Greenwood, Nova Scotia, prior to being assigned to Eastern Air Command's Central Testing Establishment.  RAF No. 36 OTU was disbanded on 1 July 1944 and became RCAF No. 8 OTU.  On the same day, RAF Station Greenwood was also re-designated RCAF Station Greenwood, Nova Scotia.  

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3650675)

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito B Mk. 25, RCAF (Serial No. KB380), R, No. 8 OTU, RCAF Station Greenwood, Nova Scotia. 

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3224448)

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito FB Mk. IV, (Serial No. DK338), No. 105 Squadron, RAF, lost on 1 May 1943.

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4814396)

de Havilland DH.98 Moquito Mk. VI, RCAF No. 408 Sqn, (Serial No. NT137).

 (RuthAS Photo)

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito B. Mk. 25, CF-HML of Spartan Air Services, Ottawa, Ontario.

 (DND Photo via James Craik)

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito B. Mk. 25, Spartan Air Services.  CF-HMQ is on display in Edmonton, and CF-HMS is being restored in Nanton.

(DND Photos via Mike Kaehler)

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito (Serial No. KB336), later A535, CA&SM. 

 (Author Photo)

de Havilland DH 98 Mosquito B Mk. 35, RAF (Serial No. VA114), marked as (Serial No. HR147), TH-Z, "Hairless Joe", CF-HMQ.  Alberta Aviation Museum, Edmonton Aviation Heritage Centre, Alberta.

 (British Columbia Aviation Museum Photo)

de Havilland DH 98 Mosquito, B Mk. 35 (Serial No. VR796), Reg. No. CF-HMJ, Bob Jens.  North Saanich.  This aircraft is flying as (Serial No. LR503), GB-F, "F-for-Freddie", RAF 103 Sqn.  The aircraft was too late for the war but was with Spartan Airways, then used as a training aid for Air Cadets in Northern Ontario and eventually moved to BC and restored.   CF-HMJ made its first flight after restoration on 16 June 2014 at Victoria International Airport, BC.  The original LR503 served with No. 105 Sqn, RAF and later flew on a publicity tour of Canada.  This aircraft was built by Airspeed in the UK in 1948 and was later operated by Spartan Air Services from 1954 to 1963.  Vancouver, British Columbia.

 ( Photo)

de Havilland DH 98 Mosquito B Mk. 20 (Serial No. KB336).  Canada Air and Space Museum, Ottawa, Ontario.

 (Tomas Del Coro Photo)

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito FB Mk. 26, (KA114), Canadian-built, Reg. No. N114KA, Military Aviation Museum Virginia Beach Airport, Virginia.