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de Havilland Mosquito - British Bomber

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de Havilland Mosquito -  British WWII bomber

de Havilland Mosquito

The de Havilland Mosquito was unique among British World War II aircraft in that the aircraft was essentially built of plywood, and often was the fastest propeller driven aircraft in the war.

The twin engine aircraft was originally designed as a fast bomber, but found use in an amazing number of roles. As a long range, high altitude reconnaissance plane the Mosquito was the first plane to photograph war-time Berlin, and the first to photograph the V-2 rocket.

As a night fighter the Mosquito found a defensive role attacking German bombers and later V-1 Buzz bombs over England, and as an offensive night fighter over Europe attacking German night fighters. The Mosquito was used as a low level precision bomber of occupied territories to minimize collateral damage when attacking SS and Gestapo headquarters, prisons, or high value targets in urban areas.

The de Havilland Mosquito was used as an interceptor of German long range anti-shipping bombers, and later were armed with a 6 pounder canon, then 60 pound rockets to punch holes into U boats while outside the range of U-boat anti-aircraft guns. It was used by Bomber Command as a pathfinder for Allied heavy bombers marking the target with flares, disrupting German radar with chaff, and carrying out diversionary raids.

Some Mosquitoes had their bombays modified to accept 4,000 pound cookie bombs, to ensure that the diversionary raids were highly damaging of themselves. The Mosquito even found a commercial use as the only aircraft suitable for mail and small, high value payloads to and from neutral Sweden. The physicist Neils Bohr was transported to England from Sweden in a commercial version of the Mosquito.

A total 7,781 Mosquitoes were built; 6,710 during WWII.


* de Havilland Mosquito facts

Category Bomber
Manufacturer de Havilland Aircraft Co - UK, Canada, Australia
Introduced 1941
Used in WW II by
Royal Air Force
Royal Canadian Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force
RNZ Air Force
U.S. Army Air Force
Produced 1940–1950
Number built > 6,710 during WWII
7,781 after WWII
Max. speed 415 mph
Altitude 37,000 feet service ceiling
Range 1,500 miles
* Numbers are approximate