Corgi AA37207 Handley Page Halifax GRII – HR686, 502 Sqn, Coastal Command, Stornoway, Oct 1944

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Product Description

Handley Page Halifax GRII HR686, 502 Sqn, Coastal Command, Stornoway, Oct 1944. On the night of 3rd-4th October 1944, Halifax GRII, HR686 of 502 Sqn, based at Stornoway, and piloted by Canadians Flt Lt Patrick McManus and F/O Lawrence Lyttle, set off on its 100th operational sortie, a night anti-shipping patrol in the waters between Denmark and Norway. German nightfighters in the area forced the Halifax to operate at around 200 ft to discourage attacks. However on this occasion HR686 encountered heavy anti-aircraft fire and was hit and badly damaged by an armed steamer, the ‘Amisia’. From the moment the aircraft was hit until it crashed into the sea McManus and Lyttle remained at their posts and managed to ditch in relatively flat attitude so the aircraft stayed afloat long enough for the crew to get out. Pat McManus was outstanding in his efforts, keeping the surviving crew together in the water as the dingy had been destroyed. He tied himself to a floating wheel from the aircraft and then using the straps from their Mae Wests managed to get the other survivors to tie themselves to him. Sadly three of the nine man crew were missing and a 4th was later lost. The surviving crew members were eventually picked up by the ship that shot them down and they became POWs. Both McManus and Lyttle were awarded the DFC for their brave actions.

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