The Handley Page HALIFAX
Just before the outbreak of the Second World War, financial authority was given for the
construction of an airfield capable of housing two permanent bomber squadrons, at Aqir,
some 10 miles South-West of Lydda.
Apart from the OTU a number of other units operated from here during the Middle East crisis
of mid-summer 1942 when Rommel pushed the Eighth Army back to El Alamein. These included a
detachment of Halifaxes of 10 Sqn from the UK, which was joined by 227 Sqn
(non-operational) to act as a serving unit, and a detachment of UK-based 76 Sqn,
also using Halifaxes.
At the end of 1945 saw a marked increase in tension between the Arab and Jewish communities,
and as a result British paratroopers were stationed in the Middle East.
One of the transport squadrons involved in airlifting these troops, No.620 Sqn, was
based here with its Halifax VIIs from June 1946. Dakotas and Halifax IXs were received,
taking part in searches for illegal shipping to Palestine, before 620 Sqn was
renumbered 113 Sqn in September 1946. No.113 disbanded here on 1st April 1947.
Check out this Paratroopers story.....[GO!!]