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Handley Page. Hampden B Mk.I

Handley Page. Halifax B III

HP 59. Halifax B II Series IA

Hampden L4159 from 7th Squadron at April 1939.

1. Fifth Hampden was sent to Swedens at 22 September 1938.

2. Then Hampden was sent to SAAB and was renamed to SE-APD.

On an afternoon in the second week of August 1941, Halifax Mk I L9530/MP:L ambles among the clouds near its Middleton St George base. When possible, it was policy to assign a crew to the same aircraft, as this bestowed confidence. Flt Lt Christopher Cheshire captained the men of L9530, their luck running out on the bomber's next operation, its fifth, on 12/13 August, when it was one of two from No 76 Squadron that failed to return from Berlin. Flt Lt Cheshire survived as a prisoner of war (POW). A year later to the day his brother, Sqn Ldr Leonard Cheshire, flew his first sortie as the new CO of No 76, a position he would hold for a year.

The rural surroundings of bomber stations meant that farming activities continued close to those of war. Long grass could be a fire hazard but to a farmer it was useful fodder. Here late hay is taken beside an Elvington dispersal in mid-July, where Halifax II DT807/KN:R Rim of No 77 Squadron has the attention of its ground crew. This bomber was lost on its 32nd sortie, on 3/4 October 1943 during the Kassel raid. (IWM CH10598)