1941


No. 35 Squadron became operational with the Handley Page Halifax on 10th March 1941 and operated as a heavy bomber squadron after this dateI


RAF Linton-On-Ouse (showing layout at the time the squadron was based there)

Stationed at:

  • RAF Linton-on-Ouse (Yorkshire)

Role

  • To bring the newly developed four-engine Handley Page Halifax heavy bomber into operational service.
  • 10/03/1941: To prepare and despatch aircraft and crews in accordance with instructions from Bomber Command.

Command

  • No. 4 (Bomber) Group, Bomber Command

Personnel

  • Commanding Officer:
    • Wing Commander RWP Collings AFC
    • 03/07/1941: Handed over to Wing Commander BV Robinson DFC
  • Strength

Activities

  • Training
    • Continuation Training (ground and air)
    • Operational Training (ground and air)
    • Conversion Training (to new aircraft type(s))
  • Air Tests, including flights to test:
    • fuel consumption
    • operational heights
    • all-up weight
    • standard blind approach
    • wireless telegraphy
    • automatic pilot (George)
  • Operational Sorties (from 10/03/1941)

Notes:

  1. It is worth noting that testing highlighted a number of serious problems with the operational handling of the Halifax, resulting in ongoing changes to its design.

Aircraft

Aircraft known to have been on loan / on charge of the squadron included:

  • Halifax Prototype:
    • L7244
  • Halifax HP57 B MKI [Series 1]:
    • L9486 L9487 L9488 L9489 L9490 L9491 L9492 L9493 L9494 L9495 L9496 L9497 L9498 L9499 L9500 L9501 L9502 L9503 L9504 L9506 L9507 L9508 L9509 L9510 L9511 L9512 L9513 L9514 L9516 L9517 L9518 L9519 L9521 L9522 L9523 L9524 L9525 L9526 L9527 L9528 L9529 L9530
  • Halifax HP57 B MKI (Series 2):
    • L9560 L9566 L9568 L9571 L9572 L9575 L9579 L9580 L9582 L9584
  • Halifax HP57 B MKI (Series 3):
    • L9600 L9603 L9605 L9606 L9607
  • Halifax HP59 B MKII (Series 1):
    • L9610 R9364 R9367 R9372 R9377 R9386 V9978 V9979 V9982 V9983 V9993 V9994
L9506 at West Raynham (IWM H10315)

L9506 at West Raynham on 6th June 1941 (IWM H10315)

Aircraft Losses and incidents


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Airfield Incidents

Airfield incidents at RAF Linton during 1941 were as follows:

Formation of No. 76 Squadron

During April, forty airmen from No. 10 Squadron were attached to squadron crews for “conversion training”, so that they could gain experience of the Halifax before moving on to form the nucleus of the newly reformed No. 76 Squadron (which was based at Linton until its move to Middleton-St-George in June).

Beningbrough Hall

With the influx of airmen onto the station, the Air Ministry requisitioned Beningbrough Hall (5 miles from the airfield) to accommodate all NCO air crew personnel.

2nd Pilot Detachments

In May, with many of the squadron’s aircraft grounded due to technical problems, its second pilots were detached to No. 58 Squadron (which was also based at Linton-On-Ouse) to gain operational experience on the twin-engined Armstrong-Whitworth Whitley. In addition, a number of personnel were posted to the newly reformed No. 76 Squadron.

Training of “Flight Engineers”

In May, thirty Fitters from the squadron successfully completed a course to enable them to operate as Fitter II [Flight Engineer] on the Halifax.

No. 28 Halifax Conversion Flight

In August, a Halifax Conversion Flight (No. 28) was formed at Linton-On-Ouse with aircraft and personnel drawn from No. 35 and No. 76 Squadron. Note: This flight transferred to Leaconfield October / November 1941.