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Finn

Halifax

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Don't know if this has been posted before but a nice upper view pic of a Halifax:

 

PClydeSmithD16020033.2.jpg

 

Jari

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Nice shot - any idea of the circumstances or location?

Edited by RJP
Fat finger cure

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2 hours ago, RJP said:

Nice shor - any idea of the cirxumstances or location?

From uniforms I would suspect tropical or desert climates

 

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It is a late model so possibly India. 298 Squadron took Mk. A.VII to India in July 1945. There was also a Halifax equipped flight there in an electronic warfare role. Can’t remember which version they had other than it was radial engined.

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Isn't that Biggles and Air Commodore Raymond by the left tailplane? Photo taken before it was repainted for use in the Gobi.

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From other photos in the collection, it appears to be LW125 ''Sarie Marais'" at Brooklyn Airport, Cape Town.

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7 hours ago, EwenS said:

It is a late model so possibly India. 298 Squadron took Mk. A.VII to India in July 1945. There was also a Halifax equipped flight there in an electronic warfare role. Can’t remember which version they had other than it was radial engined.

my dad was a rear gunner in 298 squadron and went to India with them until they disbanded. Their aircraft had no mid upper turret - as you mention it's most likely a B.III.  I'm biased for obvious reasons but the halifax is the best looking 4 engine bomber and is shown off beautifully in this photo, thanks for posting Finn.

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The Mk.VIIs had the twin 0,50 rear turret, BP Type D.  This is a BP Type E, with the usual wartime four 0.303s.  Although not visible anyway in this view, the Mk.VIIs also had the starboard inner exhaust moved to the inboard position.

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A small amount of unskilled monkeying in Photoshop (for contrast and overall lightening) yields a useful study in staining, paint fading and generally used appearance.  

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1 hour ago, Graham Boak said:

The Mk.VIIs had the twin 0,50 rear turret, BP Type D.  This is a BP Type E, with the usual wartime four 0.303s.  Although not visible anyway in this view, the Mk.VIIs also had the starboard inner exhaust moved to the inboard position.

the A.VII rear turrets had the standard 4 0.303's (or at least my dad's aircraft did, so I'm assuming they all did).

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It is worth noting that 298 used the Mark III until it left for India in July 1945. But it began to receive Mark VII in May 1945. So there is an overlap period. So maybe the photo is of the former. Do you have a serial no for it?

 

1341 Fight was the RCM unit sent to the Far East.

 

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Newbie modelers take note: the badly faded paint and roundels on the upper surface compared to the fuselage roundels; the very steep angle of the flaps when fully deployed.Nice photo!

Mike

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Looking again in Merrick's book for A.Mk.VIIs, the photo I was relying one could be ambiguous as far as the rear turret is concerned.  However there is a photo of 298 Sq's NA356/D  "City of Dundee" in SEAC roundels, which is specifically captioned as having the Type D.  The photo is dated as before October 1945 as the aircraft is still armed.    So the squadron must have had a mix?  

 

Do you know the serial/codes of your dad's aircraft?  Or even a name - I assume that this was common in the unit.  There is some other significant details of the markings, if you are planning a model.  See Merrick's "HP Halifax: From Hell to Victory and Beyond" page 149.

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For diorama builders the hardstanding that it is on shows both the size of the blocks and the staining/wear to good advantage as well.

 

DennisTheBear

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11 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

Looking again in Merrick's book for A.Mk.VIIs, the photo I was relying one could be ambiguous as far as the rear turret is concerned.  However there is a photo of 298 Sq's NA356/D  "City of Dundee" in SEAC roundels, which is specifically captioned as having the Type D.  The photo is dated as before October 1945 as the aircraft is still armed.    So the squadron must have had a mix?  

 

Do you know the serial/codes of your dad's aircraft?  Or even a name - I assume that this was common in the unit.  There is some other significant details of the markings, if you are planning a model.  See Merrick's "HP Halifax: From Hell to Victory and Beyond" page 149.

I am planning a build, I need to get my finger out though !!   I have the FM 1/48 kit but have held off starting in the hope that someone brings a 1/32 kit - I doubt this will happen though. My dad died 2 years ago so I can't get anymore info from him unfortunately. To be honest he never talked much about what he did in the war but when he did talk it was mainly about the aircraft and his turret and guns which is why I know he had .303's.  He joined 298 in late 44 after d-day and was based at Tarrant Rushton, headed out to India. Thankfully the war ended shortly after and he spent the next year or so dropping supplies to Burma before disbanding. He joined the London FireBrigade in the early 50's and left them in 1977 so I grew up listen to all sorts of adventures and all things dangerous. It's only after he died that I started to properly realise the meaning of what he did during his war/working life, I'm very proud of him and what he stood for and the kind of man he was.  I will pick up Merrick's book - thanks for the tip off. At the moment I'm building his brothers ship - he died on HMS Mourne a River Class corvette that was sunk just after D-Day, Sterling models bought out a 1/350 kit last year.   

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Ken Merrick did an earlier book on the Halifax which went into at least a second edition, so be careful which title you get for this photo: when I go upstairs I' ll dig out the publisher and ISBN.  I don't think there's much of specific relevance to your interest in the earlier book, good though it is,

 

Annoyingly, from the detailed caption there is clearly more to be seen in the original photo than is visible in the printing.  And if I turn over the page there are photos of P and NA393/C.  The text includes references to NA397/L, PN257/C, (which only got as far as Shaipur before the undercarriage collapsed on landing, leaving 23 to reach India), These are among two full pages on the squadron's operations.

 

PS Published by Classic, ISBN 978 1 906537 06 7

 

It is possible to find other serials for 298 Sq from Air Britain's The Halifax File.  Interested?    However, a quick look in Rawlings All the other Squadrons gives the following:

NA310/8A.M, NA341/8A.L, NA408/8A.O, NA465/R, PN245/Y, PN252/BB, PN258/M, PN260/V, PN266K, PN292/O, PP372/W, plus a photo of a weary A.VIII coded OGV (or is it DGV), which will be the late transport command codes.  This is likely to be PN260.  The A Flight codes 8A were dropped for life in SEAC.  (B Flight code was 8T)  The book does list Mk.IIIs used up to May 1945, and the transfer to India.  The double code in BB was presumably that carried on the nose, the photo of D has DD in this pace.  The first letter was the base, D being Raipur.  There's a range of possibilities for  the B, with Digri, Baroda and Mauripur being possibilities.

 

Interestingly, the OG code for 198 Sq is not listed in Combat Codes, but the full code would have been OH-OGV.  O for Transport Command, H for Halifax.  The highest code the book mentions is OGL, suggesting that more than one Halifax unit has been missed.  OH-DGV would have been 301 Sq.  So perhaps DG is another of these codes for Indian airfields.  Digri?  No idea.

 

Apologies if this is already known, or more than you wished to know!

Edited by Graham Boak

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thanks Graham, this is helpful, some I knew, a lot I didn't. I have no idea what his actual aircraft was, he could never recall but thought he was in B flight.  Makes me realise have have much more research to do. As I retired last year I have no excuse and this will prompt me !  Just worried about that FM kit as every review and build report indicates it's a bit of a pig to build. 

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You'd certainly find working in 1/72 much easier, with the Revell Mk.III.  Panniers have been available at different times from different people - usually in Halton conversions but you wouldn't want all the rest!

 

Your Dad will have trained on the Type E turret, and they would have been on the Mk.IIIs he flew in the UK.  Is it possible that he was remembering those rather than the ones in India?  The mix of armaments would be a logistics problem, but the RAF wouldn't have been short of 0.303 ammunition and trained armourers.  The Type D turret is available in the post war Hasegawa Lancaster option - maybe also in the Airfix?  (Strictly the FN twin 0.5 but the two are near identical in appearance.)  However of the A.VIIIs fitted with the Type E then the NA serialled ones would seem to be the most likely.  B Flight would usually carry codes from the second part of the alphabet.  So AN310, 408 or 465 from the ones we know.  Of only 14 serials identified so far there are another ten to find.  Will look but not sure just when.  The National Archive (Kew) will have the ORB so more serial/code links are possibly there to be found.  I think a lot of these, if not all, have now been digitised so it might be worth sending them a query.

 

PS  The Halifax File has a picture of NA346 with no markings on the nose, or visible elsewhere. dated Feb 1946 at Santa Cruz, Bombay.  Definitely looks like an E turret.  The earlier books by Merrick have much the same text, but pictures differently displayed.  P (DP on nose) is said to have a serial beginning NA4..

Edited by Graham Boak

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Great picture! thanks for sharing it with us. Is that a three tone upper camouflage? I know that is unlikely but it does kinda look like it.:daydream:

 

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If  it is summer 1945 why upper roundles are still "B"? 

The three colours appearance is just a dirt from engines. However the right aileron has a interesting dark squared area - is it repaired cloth painted then with red lead paint?

Cheers

J-W

 

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Probably because it has just been hauled out of storage for some requirement to put on a show in SA.

 

I've found over 50 A Mk.VIIs in 298 Sq, which will make tracking those in India a little more difficult.  It seems that they had rather a lot in early 1945, some being lost on operations, others handed over to UK units.  The ones they took to India were all tropicalised, presumably something the earlier ones weren't.  The best guide appears to be the scrapping dates, although even this isn't entirely clear.  It looks like a job for Excel rather than Word.  However, PP372 above as 298/W apparently wasn't, but 1341 Flt,  I've tried to exclude 1341 Flt aircraft, but quite a number were simply delivered to ACSEA (Air Command South East Asia) which presumably were reserves, and there was a certain amount of exchanging.  It'll probably make more sense to list all that went to India, and then let the units (or not) fall out.  Curiously the reserves seem to have been scrapped before the in-unit aircraft, pointing to a long term plan to run down the fleet rather than maintain it.

 

PS  Merrick states (The Handley Page Halifax 2nd edition) that PP372/W was a dual control aircraft used by 298 Squadron for crew training.  So perhaps that's an omission in the record cards or an error in The Halifax File.

Edited by Graham Boak

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The last came from The Halifax File, which is a publication from Air Britain including a listing of the service history of every Halifax from the Aircraft Movement Cards and other information.  Much the same information can be had from the Air Britain series of books on RAF Serials, but you'd require at least two of those.  Most of the other comments come from the books I mentioned above, just gleaning the relevant bits.  I think it's interesting to see how the parts fit together to form a history - and produce all sorts of interesting offshoots! 

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Here are 2 other pics from that series:

 

PClydeSmithD16010001.1.jpg

 

PClydeSmithD16010002.2.jpg

 

written on the back:

On arrival at Brooklyn Cape Town, 4/12/44

 

Jari

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