Halifax W1048

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Halifax W1048

Wreck of Halifax bomber W1048 on display at the RAF Museum in London. It is displayed as recovered. W1048 crashed in Norway 27th April 1942. All crew members survived, and all but one managed to escape to neutral Sweden with the help of the Norwegian Resistance.

The bomber had been on a raid on the German battleship Tirpitz which lay at anchor in Fættenfjorden in Norway. During the bombing run, flak hit the aircraft and Canadian Pilot Officer Don MacIntyre had to crash land the plane on a frozen lake. No mean feat; still on fire, it careered across the ice (with landing gear up) before coming to a halt in the middle of Lake Hoklingen at about one o’clock in the morning. It sank shortly after.

The crew all got out, but Sgt Vic Stevens had broken an ankle during the crash landing, and later gave himself up to the Police. The Norwegian Policeman allowed his mates time to get away before alerting the Germans. The rest all made it to Sweden and were repatriated back to Britain soon after.

Halifax W1048 wasn’t recovered from the bottom of the lake and repatriated back to Britain till 1973.

P/O D MacIntyre, RCAF Pilot
P/O I Hewitt RAFVR Navigator
Sgt D Perry RAFVR WirelessOp/ Air Gunner
Sgt P Blanchett RCAF Wireless Op/ Air Gunner
Sgt R Wilson RAFVR Tail Gunner
Sgt V Stevens RAFVR Flight Engineer (injured)

Details from

For info on the recovery, see

18 comments on “Halifax W1048
  1. Ian D B says:

    Photo by Bjorn Olsen of RAF divers and Draugen Diving Club (Trondheim), during the recovery from Lake Hoklingen in 1973.

  2. mickb6265 says:

    lovely shot of one of my very fav museum exhibits,ian…i prefer it un-fixed,mate..brings the whole scenario to real life..i loved examining this when i was there last..one of the days high-lights other than that lanc…

  3. Tech Owl says:

    Amazing to see such a piece preserved. The following shots are a great addition. Thanks Ian

  4. Neal. says:

    Reminds me of the Wellington they pulled out of Loch Ness discovered while looking for Nessie!

  5. andyholmfirth says:

    A real bit off rusty history and what a story.

  6. Corwin's Trumps says:

    That’s some story!

    What an impressive photo – it does a lot to convey the destructive force of an airplane crash.

    Seen in Canadian History (?)

  7. mick cooke says:

    great story and great photo colours look great

  8. McAlister says:

    Great colours and textures – lovely!

  9. redrocker_9 says:

    Great to look at with all of that orange and red rust!

  10. burnstuff2003 says:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called ww2 Airfields, and we’d love to have this added to the group!

  11. Pleasureprinciple2012 says:

    It’s certainly in an excellent preservation state, I think that there must be so much more aircraft in excellent condition due to the nature of the norwegian waters, although I don’t suppose it helps much in the mossie’s case!

  12. Keith Allso says:

    awsome, thanks for sharing

  13. Richard Tierney says:

    I stood in awe at RAH Hendon where she is and reading about her recovery… if you think she looks good have a look at this! Click on the images and see large size… just look at the level of restoration !!!!


    Pretty remarkable when you think of what she must have been like after all those years on the Lake bed…

  14. Ray Butchart says:

    The effect of seeing ‘W1048’ took me back to my days in 1973 when I was a member of the RAF recovery team. A fantastic job and great to work with the Draugen Diving Club (Trondheim). I was actually ‘lucky’ enough to be with dive buddy, Barry Hill, when it came up with us holding on!

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Ray, great to hear from you, terrific effort in planning, recovering and preserving the remains of Halifax W1048.

    • Simon Hunt says:

      My father was one of the crew that helped retrieve it too. I have so many pictures of the process took on site.

  15. Andrew John Bailey says:

    I know we speak of, and see the wonderful Lancaster bomber in both flying and preserved form, but this Halifax is something else. On the one hand a story of a fantastic example of flying in adversity by PO MacIntyre, on the other hand we have a piece of wartime history that is forever in our care.

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