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    Handley Page Halifax RAF No.408 Sqn PN230

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      Handley Page Halifax RAF No.408 Sqn PN230

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      RAF No.408 Sqn, PN230 "Vicky the Vicious Virgin", RAF Linton-on-Ouse, England, 1945

      As far as WWII Bomber Command aircraft nose artwork is concerned, Handley Page Halifax VII PN230 ‘Vicky the Vicious Virgin’ has to be considered as one of the most elaborate of the war. The distinctive artwork was created by bomb aimer Bert ‘Scratch’ Evans, when he was posted to No.408 ‘Goose’ (RCAF) Squadron, at Linton-on-Ouse and assigned to Halifax PN230. The name ‘Vicky the Vicious Virgin’ was painted on both sides of the aircraft, with an additional pin-up artwork added to the port side of the fuselage. Each crew station also carried their respective nickname painted on the fuselage, with pilot Ron Craven earning the unfortunate title of ‘The dirty old man’. Despite this light-hearted artistic distraction, this crew went on to complete 21 missions over enemy territory, the last 13 of which were in ‘Vicky’.

      The Handley Page Halifax was the second of Britain’s four-engined heavy bombers to enter RAF service and the first to drop bombs on German soil. Often regarded as an inferior aircraft to the more famous Avro Lancaster, there is no doubting that the initial introduction of the Halifax was troublesome and operational loss rates were unacceptably high. Successive upgrades resulted in a much better aircraft, which was to shoulder a significant responsibility in the bomber offensive against Germany and served right through to the end of the war. Operating at lower altitudes than the Lancaster, many crews learned to love their Halifax and over the years, there has been heated debate amongst former aircrew as to which aircraft was the best heavy bomber of WWII – we should leave this discussion to the experts, the brave aircrew who flew both the Lancaster and the Halifax.