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.
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.
It was the second British four-engined bomber to enter service in World War Two. Nevertheless the first to bomb Germany when one took part in a raid on Hamburg on the night of 12-13 March 1941. Due to mounting losses on Bomber Command operations over Germany Halifax bombers were restricted to less hazardous targets from September 1943.
Length 12: Width 17: Height 4 inches