Handley Page Halifax in the Middle East, North Africa and the Far East

The first Halifax presence in the Mediterranean theatre was established in 1942. Detachments from Nos. 10 and 76 Squadrons were dispatched to Aqir in Palestine, forming 249 Wing. Their first raid was an attack on Tobruk on 1/2 July. In September 249 Wing became No. 462 Squadron (RAAF). No. 178 Squadron also received a number of Halifaxes in May 1943.

No. 462 Squadron eventually became the pathfinder squadron for the bomber forces in the Mediterranean (January 1944). In this role they were equipped with Gee and H2S navigation aids, and took part in the invasion of Sicily, and then Italy. On 3 March 1944, having moved to Italy, the squadron was renumbered as No. 614 squadron. It was intended to reequip it with Liberators, but it retained the Halifax almost to the end of the war.

The Halifax also saw limited service in the Far East in 1945. No 1341 flight operated a small number of B Mk IIIs with radar jamming equipment from Digri, India, from May 1945. July 1945 saw No 298 squadron, equipped with 24 A Mk VIIs moved to Raipur as part of the force being gathered for the invasion of Japan. The Halifax proved to be better suited to tropical conditions than the Lancaster, which was prone to overheating.

Review of Halifax Squadrons by John lake Halifax Squadrons of World War II , Jon Lake. This is a very good book on the combat record of the Handley Page Halifax. It covers much more than just its role as a front line bomber, with chapters on the Halifax with Coastal Command, the Pathfinders and SOE, amongst others. [see more]
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (16 May 2007), Handley Page Halifax in the Middle East, North Africa and the Far East, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_halifax_africa_east.html

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