Tuesday, July 7, 2009

RAF Lockheed Hudson







The Lockheed Hudson was an American-built light bomber and coastal reconnaissance aircraft built initially for the Royal Air Force shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War and primarily operated by the RAF thereafter. Although later outclassed by larger bombers, the Hudson achieved some significant feats during the first half of the war. On 8 October, 1939, over Jutland, a Hudson became the first RAF aircraft to shoot down a German aircraft. (The accolade of the first British aircraft to shoot down a German plane went to the Blackburn Skua of the Fleet Air Arm on 26 September, 1939.) They operated as fighters during the Battle of Dunkirk. A PBO-1 Hudson of US Navy squadron VP-82 became the first US aircraft to destroy a German submarine when it sankU-656 southwest of Newfoundland on 1 March 1942. A Hudson of Royal Canadian Air Force Bomber Reconnaissance Squadron 113 became the first aircraft of RCAF's Eastern Air Command to sink a submarine, when Hudson 625 sank U-754 on 31 July 1942.

Following Japanese attacks on Malaya, Hudsons from No. 1 Squadron RAAF became the first aircraft to make an attack in the Pacific War, sinking a Japanese transport ship, the IJN Awazisan Maru, off Kota Bharu, an hour before the attack on Pearl Harbor. During the war, they were used as maritime patrol aircraft in the Pacific by the US Navy, the RAAF and the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

They were operated by RAF Special Duties squadrons for clandestine operations; No. 161 Squadron in Europe and No. 357 Squadron in Burma.

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