This Web Site last updated on Friday, November 15, 2019

aircraft

 

Seldom, if ever, during World War 2 did an RAF bomber land on an English airfield with more damage than No. 51 Squadron's Halifax III MZ465 "Y-Yorker" after its bombing attack on Saarbrücken on 13/14th January 1945. Nine feet of the nose was chopped completely off when the Halifax collided with another bomber, but it struggled back to this country with only three of its flying instruments still working, to make a perfect landing. Some of the skin on the nose was bent round and gave some protection against the wind which whistled through the aircraft as it flew home at 7,000 feet. But the captain, Flying Officer AL Wilson, of Leicester, and the rest of his crew were frozen as they struggled to keep the aircraft flying. (The navigator and the bomb-aimer, neither of whom were then wearing parachutes, had fallen out of the aircraft at the time of the collision).

The damaged tail of Halifax II HR868/MH-B, which was attacked by a night-fighter on its way to Frankfurt on the night of 20-21 December 1943.

Handley Page Halifax B Mark II Series 1A, HR952 'MH-X', of No. 51 Squadron RAF receiving a mixed load of 500-lb MC bombs and incendiaries in its dispersal at Snaith, Yorkshire, for a night raid on Germany.

The damaged tail section of HR782 'MH-V following its collision with an Avro Lancaster while returning from a raid on Munchen-Gladbach on the night of 29/30 August 1943. HR782 was ten miles from its temporary base at Ossington, Nottinghamshire, when the Lancaster, apparently on a reciprocal course, collided with the aircraft, damaging the port propellers, gashing the fuselage and tearing off the upper port fin. The pilot, Flying Officer R Burchett, found the aircraft uncontrollable at less than 180 miles per hour, but made a good landing at Ossington despite overshooting the runway. HR782 was repaired and flew on further operations before it was finally lost on a raid to Leipzig on the night of 3/4 December 1943.