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

Canadian Warplanes of the Second World War, Handley Page Hampden

Data current to 31 Dec 2018.

The Handley Page 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 Hampden was flown by:

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

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

No. 420 (Snowy Owl) Sqn, 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).

Handley Page HP 52 Hampden in flight.  (RAF Photo)

Handley-Page Hampden Mk. I, P5336.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3650859)

  

Handley Page HP 52 Hampden Mk. I bombers.  (RAF Photos)

 (Author Photos)

Handley Page (Victory) HP 52 Hampden Mk. I, RCAF (Serial No. P5436), HL-B. Langley, British Columbia.

Handley Page Hampden Mk. I with groundcrew loading a torpedo into the bomb bay of a aircraft of No. 32 Operational Training Unit (Royal Canadian Air Force Schools and Training Units), Patricia Bay, British Columbia, 2 October 1942.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3202993)

Handley Page HP 52 Hampden being bombed up.  (RAF Photo)

Handley Page Hampdens of No. 408 Squadron, RCAF, being loaded with mines, 1942.  (IWM Photo, HU 107822)

Hampden of No 408 (Goose) Squadron, RCAF, as aircrew return from a flight, Balderton in Nottinghamshire on 20 January 1942.  (IWM Photo, CH 4742)