Handley Page Halifax II

The Handley Page Halifax is a British Royal Air Force (RAF) four-engined heavy bomber of the Second World War. This is an unrestored Handley Page Halifax II at RAF London.

The Halifax shared with the Lancaster the major burden of Bomber Command’s night bombing campaign against Nazi Germany but unlike the Lancaster, which only served as a bomber during the war, the Halifax was used extensively on other duties including glider-tug, agent dropping transport and general reconnaissance aircraft in Coastal Command.

W1048 was built by English Electric. Assigned to 102 Squadron at RAF Topcliffe on 27 March 1942. Sent to 35 Squadron at RAF Linton-on-Ouse on 9 April 1942. On 27 April, it was one of 31 Halifaxes that flew from RAF Kinloss as part of raid on the German battleship Tirpitz. W1048 made her attack at 03:00 hours, during which she was hit by the intense flak which set the starboard outer engine on fire. Pilot Don MacIntyre made a wheels-up landing on frozen Lake Hoklingen in Norway but the aircraft sank 12 hours later. It was discovered by divers in 1971 and recovered on 30 June 1973 by the RAF Sub-Aqua Association. It has been left unrestored.

The Halifax was in the process of being replaced as a front line bomber in 1945 but it continued in service with Coastal and Transport Commands after the war. The last operational flight was made by a Coastal Command Halifax in March 1952 while operating from Gibraltar.