Corgi Handley Page Halifax B.III LV937/MH-E ‘Expensive Babe’, RAF No.51 Squadron, Snaith, March 1945 – Halifax Centurion AA37209
One of the most significant factors in reducing the effectiveness of Luftwaffe bombing operations during the Second World War was their lack of a capable heavy bomber which could be deployed in large numbers. By comparison, the Allies were almost spoilt for choice and following the introduction of the four engined Short Stirling, Bomber Command’s operations took on a new dimension of offensive capability. The second four engined ‘Heavy’ to enter squadron service was the Handley Page Halifax, an aircraft which would go on to see constant development throughout the rest of the war and result in more than 6,000 aircraft eventually being produced. Underlining the incredibly dangerous missions these mighty aircraft were designed to undertake, out of this number, only five Halifax’s would manage to set the impressive mark of completing 100 or more operational sorties and taking their place in the annals of Bomber Command history. Handley Page Halifax B.III LV937 ‘Expensive Babe’ was one of those five aircraft – entering RAF service with No.578 Squadron in March 1944, she only served one month with this unit, before being transferred to No.51 Squadron at Snaith the following month. She would see extensive service with this squadron over the next few months, recording her landmark 100th operation on 25th March 1945, on a raid to Osnabrück. Highlighting the international contribution to Bomber Command during WWII, the crew on this significant date was made up of Australian, New Zealand and British airmen, who were all greeted by the station commander on their return. As well as the nose artwork and impressive mission tally, this Halifax also features a single white swastika on the port front fuselage and represents a Luftwaffe Ju88 claimed as destroyed.