Halifax Glider Tugs in Operation Varsity

Halifax Glider Tugs in Operation Varsity

Joined: February 11th, 2018, 9:27 pm

February 16th, 2018, 4:28 pm #1

I am researching Handley Page Halifax A Mark III glider tugs that took part in Operation Varsity on 24th March 1945. I have purchased various books and made a couple of visits to the National Archives as part of my research as well as downloading copies of the Operation Record Books (ORBs) for 298, 644, 296 and 297 Squadrons. Firstly, I am struggling to obtain confirmation on the individual serial numbers of the aircraft that were fitted with the short wing span (square wing tips) as opposed to the extended wing span (rounded wingtips). I would be grateful if someone could advise me as to where I may be able to find this information?Secondly, during my last visit to the National Archives I researched the ORBs for March 1945 for RAF Woodbridge and RAF Earls Colne. Very interestingly the ORB for Earls Colne included photographs of aircraft and gliders before take-off on the actual operation. A number of Halifax III aircraft where included in these photographs. Can anyone help in identifying the aircraft with regard to aircraft code letters and serial numbers from the following photographs?The first and second photographs show the Halifax’s lined up with engines running; can the nearest aircraft and its nose art be identified?https://photos.app.goo.gl/IeZYfjt8KdxyzaTw2The next two photographs shows a Halifax waiting whilst another takes-off with a glider in tow. On zooming in the squadron and aircraft code 7C-S can be seen. Can the serial number and whether this aircraft had any nose art be identified?https://photos.app.goo.gl/nuBJuHhFyad69ncG2And finally, any help with identifying aircraft from the next six photographs would also be appreciated.https://photos.app.goo.gl/yqfi42uanxReVDnw1ThanksShaun
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Joined: October 29th, 2004, 12:19 am

April 25th, 2018, 3:27 pm #2

Hi SSIBSON1, Do you have HIGH res photos of the Varsity Halifax glider tugs? The call sign or squadron letter like B for Baker or C for Charlie of each Halifax are painted in white letters on the top of each Messier main landing gear arch of each Halifax. So if you can zoom in on each photo that you have listed as seen on the internet you can tell which one is which. If they are LOW res you will not be able to zoom in and see the letter.

Then if you have the squadron call letter you can work out the serial number of each Halifax by consulting the ORB for the 298 and 644 squadrons.

Our Halifax A Mk. VII NA337 we recovered from Lake Mjosa in Norway is now fully restored in Trenton, Canada and was on Operation Varsity!

Cheers, Karl
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