Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Canadian Warplanes 3: The Second World War, Handley Page Halifax

Canadian Warplanes 3: The Second World War, Handley Page Halifax

Data current to 4 Dec 2018.

The Handley Page Halifax was a four-engined heavy bomber of the Second World War, developed to the same specification as the Avro Lancaster and Short Stirling four-engined heavy bombers.  The Halifax was a direct predecessor of the Lancaster, and both became capable strategic bombers, many of which were operated by the RCAF during the War.

The Halifax made its first flight on 25 Oct 1939, and entered service with the RAF on 13 November 1940.  It quickly became a major component of Bomber Command, performing routine strategic bombing missions against the Axis Powers, many of them at night.  Production of the Halifax continued until April 1945.  During their service with Bomber Command, Halifaxes flew a total of 82,773 operations and dropped 224,207 tons of bombs, while 1,833 aircraft were lost . The Halifax was flown in large numbers by the RCAF, RAAF, Free French AF and Polish forces.

Various improved versions of the Halifax were introduced, incorporating more powerful engines, a revised defensiuve turret layout and increased payload.  It remained in service with Bomber Command until the end of the war, performing a variety of duties in addition to bombing.  Additionally, specialised versions of the Halifax were developed for troop transport and paradrop operations.  Following the end of the Second World War, the RAF quickly phased the Halifax out of service, after the type was succeeded in the strategic bombing role by the Avro Lincoln, an advanced derivative of the Lancaster.  (Wikipedia)

RCAF Nos. 405, 408, 415, 419, 420, 424, 425, 426, 427, 428, 429, 431, 432, 433, and 434 Squadrons flew Halifax bombers during the war.

Handley Page HP 57 Halifax Mk. V (4), (Serial Nos. DG399, EB127, 38, 57), HP 61 Halifax Mk. VI (1), (Serial No. RG814), for a total of 5 aircraft operated by the RCAF in Canada.

 (RAF Photo)

 (RAF Photo)

Handley Page Halifax B Mk, II (Serial No. W7710), LQ-R, Ruhr Valley Express, 405 Squadron RCAF, ca 1942.  (IWM Photo CH 6614)

Handley Page Halifax B Mk, II (Serial No. W7710), LQ-R, Ruhr Valley Express, 405 Squadron RCAF, ca 1942.  (RAF Photo)

Handley Page Halifax Mk. II, RAF (Serial No. JP121), ca 1943.  (RAF Photo)

Handley Page Halifax Mk. II, RAF, B-FY, ca 1943.  (RAF Photo)

Handley Page Halifax Mk. III, RAF (Serial No. LV837), ca 1944.  (RAF Photo)

Handley Page HP 57 Halifax Mk. III bomber in RCAF service, operating from an airfield in England, ca 1944.  (RCAF Photo)

Handley-Page Halifax bombers preparing for takeoff, RCAF No. 425 Sqn, 23 Nov 1944.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4752276)

Handley Page HP 57 Halifax Mk. III bombers in RCAF service, operating from an airfield in England, ca 1944.  (RCAF Photos)

Handley Page Halifax B Mk. III (Serial No. HX290), 433 Sqn, RCAF tail gunner in front of his Boulton Paul four gun turret.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3614993)

Handley-Page Halifax, (Serial No. LK640), Q, RCAF Iroquois Sqn, 16 Nov 1943.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4542802)

 (Robert Taylor Photos)

Handley Page Halifax A. Mk. VII, RAF (Serial No. NA337), National Force Museum of Canada.  This Halifax served with No. 644 Squadron RAF, based at RAF Tarrant Rushton during the Second World War, is a transport/special duties version that was shot down in April 1945.  This aircraft was retrieved from the bottom of Lake Mjøsa in Norway in 1995, and was taken to CFB Trenton, Ontario, where restoration was completed in 2005.  NA337 is a Halifax A. Mk.VII Special Duties aircraft built by Rootes Motors, at Liverpool Airport and is now preserved at the National Air Force Museum of Canada at CFB Trenton.

 

Handley Page HP 57 Halifax bomber on a raid over Europe, ca 1944.  (Library & Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4002568)

Handley Page HP 57 Halifax bomber of No. 6 Group flies over the smoke-obscured target during a daylight raid on the oil refinery at Wanne-Eickel in the Ruhr on 12 Oct 1944.  111 Halifaxes of 6 Group and 26 Avro Lancasters of No. 8 Group took part in the raid.  (IWM Photo C4713)

Handley Page Halifax Mk. V "Medicine Hat", bomb mission tally.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4542794)

Handley Page Halifax Mk. 5, Series 1A, "Yehudi", "Laraine Day", 16 Nov 1943.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4542798)