1941

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

Stationed at:

  • RAF Linton-on-Ouse (Yorkshire)

Role

  • “To bring the newly developed four-engine Handley Page Halifax heavy bomber into operational service”
  • From 10/03/1941: To prepare and despatch aircraft and crews, in accordance with “scale of effort” instructions issued by Bomber Command.

Command

  • No. 4 (Bomber) Group, Bomber Command

Squadron Command

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

Strength

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).

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-engine Armstrong-Whitworth Whitley. In addition, a number of personnel were posted to the newly reformed No. 76 Squadron.

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

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.


Activities

Air Crew

  • Ground Training
  • Flying Training (including Cross Country, Night Flying, Lorenz Blind Approach and Air Firing [Filey Bay])
  • Air Tests (#) , including flights to test:
    • fuel consumption
    • operational heights
    • “all-up weight” handling
    • standard blind approach
    • wireless telegraphy
    • automatic pilot (George)
  • Operational Sorties (from 10/03/1941)

Ground Personnel

  • Daily inspection, servicing and preparation of squadron aircraft, in readiness for air operations
  • Other Squadron related Technical and Administrative Duties

(#) 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.

Some of the pilots from 1941


Events

BENINGBROUGH HALL

With the influx of airmen into RAF Linton-On-Ouse in April 1941, the Air Ministry requisitioned Beningbrough Hall (approx. 3 miles from the airfield) to accommodate all Non Commissioned Air Crew.


AIRFIELD ATTACK

The airfield at Linton-On-Ouse was attacked by enemy aircraft on 11/12th May 1941
– read more –


L9506 at West Raynham (IWM H10315)

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


2nd AIRFIELD ATTACK

No. 4 Group’s Operations Record Book shows that the airfield at Linton-on-Ouse was attacked by enemy aircraft on 17th August 1941 at 03.11 hours.

Superficial damage was done to one dispersal point. 1 aircraft dropped 10 HE bombs.


Aircraft

The squadron was equipped with the following aircraft types (on loan or from its own establishment):

HALIFAX PROTOTYPE
(DUAL CONTROL)


HALIFAX HP57 B MKI [Series 1 and 2]

Profile © Malcolm Barrass


HALIFAX HP57 B MKI (Series 3)

Profile © Malcolm Barrass


HALIFAX HP59 B MKII (Series 1)

Profile © Malcolm Barrass


HALIFAX HP59 B MKII (Series 1 Special)
(version with mid-upper turret removed)

Profile © Malcolm Barrass

The following link provides more details on the aircraft that were on charge of the squadron, including information on known losses and incidents:


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Memories of 1941 (Leslie Thorpe)

I joined the Squadron Easter 1941 at Linton-on-Ouse, I was at that time a Fitter 11A. My first work on aircraft was on the old Halifax Mk 1. This aircraft had finished its squadron life and was waiting to be returned to Handley Page for stripping down and a post-mortem to be carried out – read more –