The Handley Page Halifax was first flown on 25 October 1939 from RAF Bicester and entered service with 35 Squadron in November 1940. The first Halifax raid by the squadron was against le Havre, France, on 10 March 1941.
The Halifax I and II aircraft were powered by Rolls-Royce Merlin engines and the Halifax III was powered by Bristol Hercules engines. Apart from the role as a heavy bomber, the Halifax III and later versions also served in Coastal Command and in paratrooping and glider towing roles with the Airborne Forces. Halifax production totalled 6,178, the bomber versions flying a total of 75,532 sorties in the Second World War.
Yorkshire was the home of 4 and 6 Groups Bomber Command and three Halifax Squadrons were based at Elvington, first 77 Squadron, then two French Air Force Squadrons, 346 (Guyenne) and 347 (Tunisie).
The Museum’s Halifax reconstruction is based on a section of the fuselage of Halifax II, HR792, which carried out an emergency landing on the Isle of Lewis in 1945. A crofter, Mr McKenzie, purchased the fuselage section for use as a hencoop. The wings came from Hastings, TG536, at RAF Catterick. The reconstruction is named “Friday the 13th” in honour of Halifax, LV907, which completed 128 operations with 158 Squadron, and is representative of all examples built.
Pre booked guided tours of the Halifax are available please complete and return the Halifax Visit Request Form.