The Vickers Wellington is a British twin-engined, long-range medium bomber. It was designed during the mid-1930s at Brooklands in Weybridge, led by Vickers-Armstrongs' chief designer Rex Pierson. Development had been started in response to Air Ministry Specification B.9/32, issued in the middle of 1932. This specification called for a twin-engined day bomber capable of delivering higher performance than any previous design. Other aircraft developed to the same specification include the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley and the Handley Page Hampden. During the development process, performance requirements such as for the tare weight changed and the engine used was not the one intended; the Wellington was used as a night bomber in the early years of the Second World War, performing as one of the principal bombers used by Bomber Command. During 1943, it started to be superseded as a bomber by the larger four-engined "heavies" such as the Avro Lancaster; the Wellington continued to serve throughout the war in other duties as an anti-submarine aircraft.
It holds the distinction of having been the only British bomber, produced for the duration of the war, of having been produced in a greater quantity than any other British-built bomber. The Wellington remained as first-line equipment when the war ended, although it had been relegated to secondary roles; the Wellington was one of two bombers named after Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, the other being the Vickers Wellesley. A larger heavy bomber aircraft designed to Specification B.1/35, the Vickers Warwick, was developed in parallel with the Wellington. Many elements of the Wellington were re-used in a civil derivative, the Vickers VC.1 Viking. In October 1932, the British Air Ministry invited Vickers to tender for the issued Specification B.9/32, which sought a twin-engine medium daylight bomber. In response, Vickers conducted a design study, led by Chief Designer Rex Pierson Early on, Vickers' chief structures designer Barnes Wallis proposed the use of a geodesic airframe, inspired by his previous work on airships and the single-engined Wellesley light bomber.
During structural testing performed at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, the proposed structure demonstrated not only the required strength factor of six, but reached 11 without any sign of failure, proving the geodesic airframe to possess a strength far in excess of normal levels. This strength allowed for the structure design to be further developed to reduce the size of individual members and adopt simplified standard sections of lighter construction. Vickers studied and compared the performance of various air and liquid-cooled engines to power the bomber, including the Bristol Pegasus IS2, Pegasus IIS2, the Armstrong Siddeley Tiger, the Rolls-Royce Goshawk I; the Pegasus was selected as the engine for air-cooled versions of the bomber, while the Goshawk engine was chosen for the liquid-cooled engine variant. On 28 February 1933, two versions of the aircraft, one with each of the selected powerplants, were submitted to the tender. In September 1933, the Air Ministry issued a pilot contract for the Goshawk-powered version.
In August 1934, Vickers proposed to use either the Pegasus or Bristol Perseus engines instead of Goshawk, which promised improvements in speed, climb rate and single-engine flight capabilities without any major increase in all-up weight. Other refinements of the design had been implemented and approved, such as the adoption of variable-pitch propellers, the use of Vickers-produced gun turrets in the nose and tail positions. By December 1936, the specification had been revised to include front and midship wind-protected turret mountings. Other specification changes included modified bomb undershields and the inclusion of spring-loaded bomb bay doors; the proposal had been developed further, a mid-wing arrangement was adopted instead of a shoulder-mounted wing for greater pilot visibility during formation flight and improved aerodynamic performance, as well as a increased overall weight of the aircraft. Design studies were conducted on behalf of the Air Ministry into the adoption of the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine.
In spite of a traditional preference of the establishment to adhere to the restrictive tare weight for the aircraft established in the tender, both Pierson and Wallis believed that their design should adopt the most powerful engine available. In response to pressure from Vickers, the Air Ministry overlooked, if not accepted, the removal of the tare weight restriction, as between the submission of the tender in 1933 and the flight of the first prototype in 1936, the tare weight rose from 6,300lb to 11,508lb; the prescribed bomb load and range requirements were revised upwards by the Air Ministry. F. Andrews stated to be "a high figure for a medium bomber of those days". During the development phase of the aircraft, the political and military situations in Europe drastically transformed. With the rise of fascist dictatorships in Germany and Italy, the British government had become keen to reevaluate the capabilities of the nation's armed forces, including the Royal Air Force. By 1936, the need for a high priority to be placed on the creation of a large bomber force, which would form the spearhead of British offensive power, had been recogn
No. 92 Squadron RAF
Number 92 Squadron known as No. 92 Squadron and as No. 92 Tactics and Training Squadron, of the Royal Air Force is a test and evaluation squadron based at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire. It was formed as part of the Royal Flying Corps at London Colney as a fighter squadron on 1 September 1917, it saw action for just four months, until the end of the war. During the conflict it flew direct ground support missions, it was disbanded at Eil on 7 August 1919. Reformed on 10 October 1939, the unit was supposed to be equipped with medium bombers but in the spring of 1940 it became one of the first RAF units to receive the Supermarine Spitfire, going on to fight in the Battle of Britain. Reformed after the war in January 1947, No. 92 Squadron was assigned to RAF Fighter Command flying the Gloster Meteor F.3. Between 1961 and 1962, No. 92 Squadron was the RAF's official aerobatic team, flying 16 Hawker Hunter F.6s known as the Blue Diamonds. In December 1965, the squadron was reassigned to RAF Germany alongside No. 19 Squadron, flying the English Electric Lightning F.2/F.2A and from January 1977, the McDonnell Douglas Phantom FGR.2.
Disbanded in July 1991, the Squadron was reformed as No. 92 Squadron at RAF Chivenor flying the British Aerospace Hawk until October 1994. No. 92 Squadron lay dormant for the next 14 years before being reformed at Royal Air Force College Cranwell on 30 June 2009. No. 92 Squadron was established as part of the Royal Flying Corps at London Colney on 1 September 1917, working up as a scout squadron with Sopwith Pups, SPAD S. VIIs, Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5as. The Squadron became part of the Royal Air Force on its formation on 1 April 1918. Standardising on SE.5as, the squadron went to France in July 1918, at first operating in the Dunkirk area. It was moved to Serny in August 1918, where it began scoring victories. During the Somme Offensive of 1918 the squadron was involved, continued to operate over the Western Front until the Armistice, it was disbanded on 7 August 1919, while stationed at Eil with the Army of Occupation. It had claimed a total of 38 victories during its World War I service. Eight aces had served in the squadron, including Oren Rose, Thomas Stanley Horry, William Reed, Earl Frederick Crabb, future Air Chief Marshal James Robb, Evander Shapard, Herbert Good, future Air Marshal Arthur Coningham.
Following the outbreak of the Second World War, No. 92 Squadron reformed on 10 October 1939 at RAF Tangmere, West Sussex. It flew Bristol Blenheim Mk. IFs but in March 1940 the were replaced by the Supermarine Spitfire Mk. I, which became operational on 9 May. No. 92 Squadron first saw action over the Dunkirk evacuation beaches flying from RAF Croydon. During the latter stages of the Battle of Britain No. 92 Squadron flew from RAF Biggin Hill. The Squadron was the first into action on 15 September 1940 now known as Battle of Britain Day. In February 1942, the Squadron was posted to Egypt to join Air Headquarters Western Desert to support the Allies on the ground. Personnel arrived in Egypt in April but no aircraft were available; some pilots flew operations with Hawker Hurricanes of No. 80 Squadron. Spitfires arrived in August and the squadron commenced operations from RAF Heliopolis over the El Alamein sector, with their Spitfire Vs at Landing Ground 173 in the Western Desert. No. 92 Squadron provided air cover at the Battle of El Alamein and on 18 April 1943, 11 Spitfires from the squadron flew top cover at the Palm Sunday Massacre during which 75 axis aircraft were disabled or destroyed.
Following the Allied victory in North Africa, the Squadron moved to Malta in June. It went on to provide air cover for the 8th Army during the campaigns in Sicily and Italy, arriving on Italian soil on 14 September 1943. No. 92 Squadron followed the armies up the Italian coast as part of No. 244 Wing and No. 211 Group. During World War II the Squadron claimed the highest number of victories scored, 317, in the RAF. Following the cessation of hostilities, No. 92 Squadron was disbanded at Zeltweg in Austria on 30 December 1946. No. 91 Squadron was disbanded on 31 January 1947 at RAF Acklington and re-numbered as No. 92 Squadron as part of RAF Fighter Command with the Gloster Meteor F.3. The Squadron relocated to RAF Duxford on 15 February 1947 before moving onto RAF Linton-on-Ouse in October 1949, it went on a goodwill tour of Scandinavia in 1949. Subsequently equipped with the Meteor F.8, it received the Canadair Sabre F.4 in February 1954, becoming part of the only Sabre wing in Fighter Command alongside No. 66 Squadron, before getting the Hawker Hunter F.4 in April 1956 while based at RAF Linton-on-Ouse.
Throughout this period, No. 92 Squadron was based at RAF Middleton St. George, RAF Thornaby and RAF Leconfield. In 1961, No. 92 Squadron, under the command of Sqn. Ldr. Brian Mercer, was chosen as Fighter Command's official aerobatic squadron – the RAF Aerobatic Display Team, taking over from "Treble One"'s Black Arrows. Forming in 1960, the team was called the Falcons before adopting the name the Blue Diamonds under which they operated 16 bright blue painted Hawker Hunter F.6s. No. 92 Squadron thrilled the crowds with its precision display including looping a formation of 18 aircraft, only four fewer than the world record 22 Hawker Hunters looped by the Black Arrows of No. 111 Squadron at the Farnborough Airshow in September 1958. When they re-equipped with the English Electric Lightning F.2 from April 1963 onward they continued to perform with these. In December 1965, along with No. 19 Squadron they were reallocated to RAF Germany at RAF Geilenkirchen, moving to join No. 19 Squadron at RAF Gü
Darlington is a large market town in County Durham, in North East England. With a population of 105,564 in 2011, the town lies on the River Skerne, a tributary of the River Tees; the town is administered as part of the Borough of Darlington. The town owes much of its development to the influence of local Quaker families in the Georgian and Victorian era, who provided much of the finance and vision in creating the Stockton and Darlington Railway, the world's first steam locomotive powered, permanent passenger railway; the town is colloquially referred to as'Darlo'. Darlington started life as an Anglo-Saxon settlement; the name Darlington derives from the Anglo-Saxon Dearthington, which meant'the settlement of Deornoth's people', but by Norman times the name had changed to Derlinton. During the 17th and 18th centuries the town was known by the name of Darnton. Darlington has a historic market area in the town centre. Built in 1183, the Grade I listed St Cuthbert's Church is one of the most important early English churches in the north of England.
However the oldest church in the town happens to be that of St Andrew's Church built around 1125 and presides in the Haughton area of Darlington. Visiting during the 18th century, Daniel Defoe noted that the town was eminent for "good bleaching of linen, so that I have known cloth brought from Scotland to be bleached here"; however he disparaged the town, writing that it had "nothing remarkable but dirt". The Durham Ox came from Darlington. During the early 19th century, Darlington remained a small market town; as the century progressed, powerful Quaker families such as the Pease and Backhouse families were prominent employers and philanthropists in the area. Darlington's most famous landmark, the clock tower, was a gift to the town by the industrialist Joseph Pease in 1864; the clock's face was produced by T. Cooke & Sons of York, the tower bells were cast by John Warner & Sons of nearby Norton-on-Tees; these bells were in fact the sister bells to those which are inside the Elizabeth Tower at the Houses of Parliament in London, the most famous of, called Big Ben.
The Darlington Mechanics Institute was opened in 1854 by Elizabeth Pease Nichol, who had made the largest donation towards its building costs. The 91-acre South Park was redeveloped into its current form in 1853, with financial backing from the Backhouse family. Alfred Waterhouse, responsible for London's Natural History Museum and Manchester Town Hall, designed the Grade II listed Victorian Market Hall in 1860, the Backhouse's Bank building, now a branch of Barclays, in 1864, the latter taking three years to complete. George Gordon Hoskins was responsible for much of the town's architecture in this period, such as The King's Hotel; the Darlington Free Library was built with funding from Edward Pease, opened in 1885 when the Council accepted the gift of the purpose built stocked library and agreed to run it in perpetuity. Darlington is known for its associations with the birth of the modern railway; this is celebrated in the town at Museum. On 27 September 1825 George Stephenson's engine Locomotion No. 1 ushered in the modern railway age when it travelled between Shildon and Stockton-on-Tees via Darlington, on the Stockton and Darlington Railway, which from its outset was designed for passengers and goods, to a standard gauge on a permanent main line with branches and powered by steam locomotives.
The town became an important centre for railway manufacturing. An early railway works was the Hopetown Carriage Works which supplied carriages and locomotives to the Stockton and Darlington Railway; the engineering firm of William and Alfred Kitching manufactured locomotives in the 19th century. The town developed to have three significant works. Another was Robert Stephenson & Co. who moved to Darlington from Newcastle upon Tyne in 1902, became Robert Stephensons & Hawthorns in 1937, were absorbed by English Electric around 1960, closed by 1964. The third was Faverdale Wagon Works, established in 1923 and closed in 1962, which in the 1950s was a UK pioneer in the application of mass-production techniques to the manufacture of railway goods wagons. To commemorate the town's contribution to the railways, David Mach's 1997 work "Train" is located alongside the A66, close to the original Stockton–Darlington railway, it is a life-size brick sculpture of a steaming locomotive emerging from a tunnel, made from 185,000 "Accrington Nori" bricks.
The work had a budget of £760,000. For 19 years, the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust built a 50th member of the long withdrawn LNER Peppercorn Class A1 engine, called'Tornado' and numbered 60163, from scratch in the 1853 former Stockton and Darlington Railway Carriage Works at Hopetown. Many of the original fleet had been built at Darlington locomotive works in the late 1940s. Darlington has long been a centre for engineering bridge building. Bridges built in Darlington are found as far away as the River Amazon; the large engineering firm Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Company still has its headquarters in the town. The firm built the Tyne Bridge, Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge and the Humber Bridge, as well as the Sydney Harbour Bridge. One of the leading engine building firms, has major premises in Darlington, it houses the industrial headquarters of AMEC; the engineering companies Darlington Forge Company and Whessoe originated in Darlington. In 1870, The Northern Echo newspaper was launched, it is based in Priestgate and is a long-standing part of life i
County Durham is a county in North East England. The county town is a cathedral city; the largest settlement is Darlington followed by Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees. It borders Tyne and Wear to the north east, Northumberland to the north, Cumbria to the west and North Yorkshire to the south; the county's historic boundaries stretch between the rivers Tyne and Tees, thus including places such as Gateshead, South Shields and Sunderland. During the Middle Ages, the county was an ecclesiastical centre, due to the presence of St Cuthbert's shrine in Durham Cathedral, the extensive powers granted to the Bishop of Durham as ruler of the County Palatine of Durham; the county has a mixture of mining and heavy railway heritage, with the latter noteworthy in the southeast of the county, in Darlington and Stockton It is an area of regeneration and promoted as a tourist destination. Many counties are named after their principal town, the expected form here would be Durhamshire, but this form has never been in common use.
The ceremonial county is named Durham, but the county has long been known as County Durham and is the only English county name prefixed with "County" in common usage. Its unusual naming is explained to some extent by the relationship with the Bishops of Durham, who for centuries governed Durham as a county palatine, outside the usual structure of county administration in England; the situation regarding the formal name in modern local government is less clear. The structural change legislation which in 2009 created the present unitary council refers to "the county of County Durham" and names the new unitary district "County Durham" too. However, a amendment to that legislation, refers to the "county of Durham" and the amendment allows for the unitary council to name itself "The Durham Council". In the event the council retained the name of Durham County Council. With either option, the name does not include County Durham; the former postal county was named "County Durham" to distinguish it from the post town of Durham.
The ceremonial county of Durham is administered by four unitary authorities. The ceremonial county has no administrative function, but remains the area to which the Lord Lieutenant of Durham and the High Sheriff of Durham are appointed. County Durham: the unitary district was formed on 1 April 2009 replacing the previous two-tier system of a county council providing strategic services and seven district councils providing more local facilities, it has 126 councillors. The seven districts abolished were:Chester-le-Street, including the Lumley and Sacriston areas Derwentside, including Consett and Stanley City of Durham, including Durham city and the surrounding areas Easington, including Seaham and the new town of Peterlee Borough of Sedgefield, including Spennymoor and Newton Aycliffe Teesdale, including Barnard Castle and the villages of Teesdale Wear Valley, including Bishop Auckland, Willington and the villages along Weardale The Borough of Darlington: before 1 April 1997, Darlington was a district in a two-tier arrangement with Durham County Council.
The Borough of Hartlepool: until 1 April 1996 the borough was one of four districts in the short-lived county of Cleveland, abolished. The part of the Borough of Stockton-on-Tees, north of the centre of the River Tees. Stockton was part of Cleveland until that county's abolition in 1996; the remainder of the borough is part of the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire. The county is parished. Durham Constabulary operate in the area of the two unitary districts of County Durham and Darlington. Ron Hogg was first elected the Durham Police and Crime Commissioner for the force on 15 November 2012; the other areas in the ceremonial county fall within the police area of the Cleveland Police. Fire service areas follow the same areas as the police with County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service serving the two unitary districts of County Durham and Darlington and Cleveland Fire Brigade covering the rest. County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service is under the supervision of a combined fire authority consisting of 25 local councillors: 21 from Durham County Council and 4 from Darlington Borough Council.
The North East Ambulance Service NHS Trust are responsible for providing NHS ambulance services throughout the ceremonial county, plus the boroughs of Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland, which are south of the River Tees and therefore in North Yorkshire, but are part of the North East England region. Air Ambulance services are provided by the Great North Air Ambulance; the charity operates 3 helicopters including one at Durham Tees Valley Airport covering the County Durham area. Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team, are based at Sniperly Farm in Durham City and respond to search and rescue incidents in the county. Around AD 547, an Angle named Ida founded the kingdom of Bernicia after spotting the defensive potential of a large rock at Bamburgh, upon which many a fortification was thenceforth built. Ida was able to forge and consolidate the kingdom. In AD 604, Ida's grandson Æthelfrith forcibly merged Bernicia and Deira to create the Kingdom of Northumbria. In time, the realm was expanded through warfare
Royal Canadian Air Force
The Royal Canadian Air Force is the air force of Canada. Its role is to "provide the Canadian Forces with relevant and effective airpower"; the RCAF is one of three environmental commands within the unified Canadian Armed Forces. As of 2013, the Royal Canadian Air Force consists of 14,500 Regular Force and 2,600 Primary Reserve personnel, supported by 2,500 civilians, operates 258 manned aircraft and 9 unmanned aerial vehicles. Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger is the current Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force and Chief of the Air Force Staff; the Royal Canadian Air Force is responsible for all aircraft operations of the Canadian Forces, enforcing the security of Canada's airspace and providing aircraft to support the missions of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Army. The RCAF is a partner with the United States Air Force in protecting continental airspace under the North American Aerospace Defense Command; the RCAF provides all primary air resources to and is responsible for the National Search and Rescue Program.
The RCAF traces its history to the Canadian Air Force, formed in 1920. The Canadian Air Force was granted royal sanction in 1924 by King George V to form the Royal Canadian Air Force. In 1968, the RCAF was amalgamated with the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Army, as part of the unification of the Canadian Forces. Air units were split between several different commands: Air Defence Command, Air Transport Command, Mobile Command, Maritime Command, as well as Training Command. In 1975, some commands were dissolved, all air units were placed under a new environmental command called Air Command. Air Command reverted to its historic name of "Royal Canadian Air Force" in August 2011; the Royal Canadian Air Force has served in the Second World War, the Korean War, the Persian Gulf War, as well as several United Nations peacekeeping missions and NATO operations. As a NATO member, the force maintained a presence in Europe during the second half of the 20th century; the Canadian Air Force was established in 1920 as the successor to a short-lived two-squadron Canadian Air Force, formed during the First World War in Europe.
John Scott Williams, MC, AFC, was tasked in 1921 with organizing the CAF, handing command over the same year to Air Marshal Lindsay Gordon. The new Canadian Air Force was a branch of the Air Board and was chiefly a training militia that provided refresher training to veteran pilots. Many CAF members worked with the Air Board's Civil Operations Branch on operations that included forestry and anti-smuggling patrols. In 1923, the CAF became responsible including civil aviation. In 1924, the Canadian Air Force, was granted the royal title. Most of its work was civil in nature. After budget cuts in the early 1930s, the air force began to rebuild. During the Second World War, the RCAF was a major contributor to the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and was involved in operations in Great Britain, the north Atlantic, North Africa, southern Asia, with home defence. By the end of the war, the RCAF had become the fourth largest allied air force. During WWII the Royal Canadian Air Force were headquartered in London.
A commemorative plaque can be found on the outside of the building. After the war, the RCAF reduced its strength; because of the rising Soviet threat to the security of Europe, Canada joined NATO in 1949, the RCAF established No. 1 Air Division RCAF consisting of four wings with three fighter squadrons each, based in France and West Germany. In 1950, the RCAF became involved with the transport of supplies to the Korean War. Members of the RCAF served in USAF units as several flew in combat. Both auxiliary and regular air defence squadrons were run by Air Defence Command. At the same time, the Pinetree Line, the Mid-Canada Line and the DEW Line radar stations operated by the RCAF, were built across Canada because of the growing Soviet nuclear threat. In 1957, Canada and the United States created the joint North American Air Defense Command. Coastal defence and peacekeeping became priorities during the 1950s and 1960s. In 1968, the Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force and Canadian Army were amalgamated to form the unified Canadian Forces.
This initiative was overseen by Liberal Defence Minister, Paul Hellyer. The controversial merger maintained several existing organizations and created some new ones: In Europe, No. 1 Air Division, operated Canadair CF-104 Starfighter nuclear strike/attack and reconnaissance under NATO's 4 ATAF. Aviation assets of the Royal Canadian Navy were combined with the RCAF Canadair CP-107 Argus long-range patrol aircraft under Maritime Command. In 1975, the different commands, the scattered aviation assets, were consolidated under Air Command. In the early 1990s, Canada provided a detachment of CF-18 Hornets for the air defence mission in Operation Desert Shield; the force performed combat air patrols over operations in Kuwait and Iraq, undertook a number of air-to-ground bombing missions, and, on one occasion, attacked an Iraqi patrol boat in the Persian Gulf. In the late 1
No. 420 Squadron RCAF
No. 420 "City of London" Squadron RCAF was a squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force which existed from late December 1941 forwards. The Squadron's nickname was "Snowy Owl", their motto was Pugnamus Finitum, Latin for We Fight To The Finish. No. 420 Squadron is no longer active. No. 420 Squadron was formed at Waddington, England on 19 December 1941 by Jordan Tyler and Dan Riggden. During the Second World War, the unit flew Manchester, Wellington and Lancaster aircraft on strategic and tactical bombing operations. From June to October 1943 it flew tropicalized Wellington aircraft from North Africa in support of the invasions of Sicily and Italy. In April 1945 they converted to Lancasters, when hostilities in Europe concluded, it was selected as part of Tiger Force slated for duty in the Pacific, returned to Canada for reorganisation and training; the sudden end of the war in the Far East resulted in the Squadron being disbanded at Debert, Nova Scotia on 5 September 1945. No. 420 Squadron reformed at London, Ontario on 15 September 1948, flew Mustang aircraft in a fighter role until the squadron disbanded on 1 September 1956.
Re-formed during the unification period, No. 420 was an air reserve squadron based at CFB Shearwater, Nova scotia flying the Tracker air craft that had once been the backbone of the Canadian Naval Air's anti-submarine program. As an Air Reserve Squadron it participated with regular fisheries patrols, it was one of the few active Air Reserve Squadrons in Canada and was paired with the Regular Force's 880 Squadron. The Squadron was rebased to CFB Summerside. No. 420 Squadron is no longer active. Avro Manchester I Handley Page Hampden I Vickers Wellington III Vickers Wellington X Handley Page Halifax III Avro Lancaster X North American Harvard P-51 Mustang IV CT-133 Silver Star CP-121 Tracker First operational mission: 21 January 1942: 5 Hampdens dispatched to bomb a target at Emden. Two a/c bombed primary, two bombed alternative and the other FTR. On same night another Hampden laid mines in Nectarines area. Last operational missions: On 18 April 1945: 18 Halifaxes bombed Heligoland and another Halifax crashed in sea en route to objective.
However, the final operational flight was Halifax mk iii PT H piloted by F/lt Rush assisted by Flight Engineer Ben May: On 22 April the squadron left for a raid on Bremen, but intense cloud cover prevented bombs from being deployed, they were jettisoned into the sea on return. The squadron flew out of RAF Tholthorpe in Yorkshire. Halifax "F" for Freddy had "Fangs of Fire" saved on scrapping, it depicted a fox in a pilot's uniform holding a bomb in its teeth. It resides in the War Museum Ottawa, Canada, it was used on tee shirts available in the museum. The last pilot was Flt. Sgt. Raymond J. Lepp, he and his crew flew 33 missions, the last being Friday, April 13, 1945. His logbook remains with his younger son, Bob Lepp, in Aurora, Canada, it is kept in a box made by Raymond, it is adorned with a spark plug from the Halifax #1 engine pulled from a lake in Norway and restored in Trenton Ontario. The last of the crew died in 2017.} In 2004 the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation made a film which documents the crash of DF626, a Wellington bomber of the 420 Squadron.
The film is called Final Flight, The Search for DF626. Official lineage 420 Squadron in World War II Halifax F for Freddy, Fangs of Fire Nose Art in War Museum Ottawa, Canada
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo