View Full Version : Halifax II armament question

31st Aug 2013, 06:08
I had an email today from a friend from Vancouver Island who is actively researching a particular Halifax crash that involved a relative.

His uncle - George Warren (aged 19) - was the only casualty (KIA) in the crash of a Halifax (JD368) in August ‘43. There’s a picture of young George here (http://www.inmemories.com/Cemeteries/gosselies.htm) (scroll about halfway down the link)

27/08/1943 Haulchin Belgium

Halifax II JD-368 - 10Sqn - ZA-A

Sgt Baker G. (EVD)
Sgt Cornelius R.W. (EVD)
Sgt McCallum J. (EVD)
Sgt Davies V.W. (EVD)
Sgt Pearce M.(EVD)
P/O Lawrence F.N. (EVD)
Sgt Darvill G.R. (POW) 1388572 4B-250703
Sgt Warren George R M gunner R/152436 RCAF (KIA) 19 years

My friend's question concerns the armament..

During my research concerning Halifax II’s JD368 (my uncle/10 Sqn)) and JD371 (Modave commemoration yesterday/77 Sqn) we are still not certain of what exactly the two aircraft looked like.

They probably shared the factory floor during their manufacture at English Electric (and went down the same night over Belgium) but were built during a time when many changes were being made to the Halibags; some visible, some not. We know they’d obviously lost the original nose turret, but had not yet been fitted with the large rectangular/barn door shaped tail configuration to replace the problematic “pointy” rudder structure.

However, we don’t know if they were carrying the single .303 in the nose that was fitted through the perspex of some Mk. II’s and III’s or, rather, did they have the plain, faired perspex with no gun. We suspect the latter as we guess those with nose guns had a “WAG” to fire the gun while the Wireless Operators on JD368 & JD371 were just that, Wireless Operators; and I can’t imagine the RAF allowing a non-gunnery trained airman to just grab the .303 if he wasn’t busy and start firing away. We’ve trawled many books and websites out there but still can’t nail it down.
Any chance you have contacts or resources that might narrow down the visible nose/tail configuration for the Halifax II’s in the JD368/JD371 serial range; RAF, Hendon, IWMuseum,??.
I found a picture of a Halifax II JD 376 here (http://www.jankersten.nl/WilliamUyen/19431119.html) - its serial number is v close to the range in question and appears to have no nose armament..
Does anyone know of a reference site that lists Halifax specs vs serial numbers?
Many thanks

9th Sep 2013, 10:34
SV: This is not necessarily conclusive, and I fear doesn't help at all on the tail configuration, but in Brian Rapier's "Melbourne Ten" there is a picture of JD367 with a 10 Squadron crew standing underneath its perspex nose and single .303 gun. The photo is placed in the section of the book dealing with ops in August 1943, the period with which you are concerned.

Edited to add: Some pages later, the book has drawings of Halifax B2 Series 1A aircraft in various configurations between June 1943 and February 1944, and JD367 appears there with the enlarged straight-fronted tailfins.

9th Sep 2013, 11:18
I found a picture of a Halifax II JD 376 here (http://www.jankersten.nl/WilliamUyen/19431119.html) - its serial number is v close to the range in question and appears to have no nose armament.. Note that JD376 is depicted as a Halifax GR.II intended for Coastal Command, so may well have different armament to a Bomber Command B.II.