Veteran pilot visits Yorkshire Air Museum to celebrate 80th Anniversary of the Halifax Bomber

Veteran pilot Flt Lt George Dunn DFC, aged 97, sits in the pilot's seat after 75 years at the Yorkshire Air Museum. Photo by David Harrison
Veteran pilot Flt Lt George Dunn DFC, aged 97, sits in the pilot's seat after 75 years at the Yorkshire Air Museum. Photo by David Harrison

Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington recently played host to some special guests to mark the 80th anniversary of the Halifax Bomber.

The museum invited current RAF Pilot Flt Lt Daniel Whatmough and WW2 Veteran Pilot, Flt Lt George Dunn DFC , 97, and the RAF Benevolent Fund to visit one of the only surviving Halifax bombers in the world at the venue.

Flt Lt George Dunn DFC is pictured with his Halifax crew. Picture by David Harrison.

Flt Lt George Dunn DFC is pictured with his Halifax crew. Picture by David Harrison.

George began his RAF career in 1941 at RAF Chatham careers office in Kent while Dan began his at the same Careers Office some 65 years later.

George went on to learn to fly in Canada and then on to the Halifax at RAF Linton On Ouse.

Here he flew 30 Operational Missions on 76 Sqn from RAF Linton On Ouse.

He was involved in the bombing of the Hamburg and then the top secret mission to bomb the formidable Nazi German V weapon development site in Peenemunde in 1943.

The mission was called Operation Hydra and of the 596 aircraft launched for the raid, 40 failed to return.

After the Halifax George went on to flying Mosquitos on 608 Sqn with pathfinder duties and raids into Berlin.

Once the war stopped, George was posted to Greece where he flew Spitfires and Hurricanes before leaving the RAF in 1949 to return to work for Pickford’s removals.

Flt Lt Whatmough trained on the same Squadron as George (76 Sqn) 10 years ago

He commented: “Being here today with someone so special as George is an absolute honour, and to hear the stories of what George and his crew went through in Halifax aircraft such as this is truly incredible. It was important for me to get George here today, to remember the incredible effort and bravery that these men once gave.

“George once again stepped aboard the incredible Handley Page Halifax and sat in the pilot’s seat after 75 years.”

Ian Richardson, Museum spokesman said: “The Halifax did not have quite the same bomb capacity as the AVRO Lancaster, but it was a more versatile aircraft in many ways. Halifax crew such as George Dunn have regularly commented that the Halifax was a rugged, reliable and strong aircraft that gave crews much confidence.”