Dave Leicester - Halifax's and Lancasters

Running time
2 min 10 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


When we reached a bomber squadron, we anticipated we would do up to 30 operations. Operational flights, or ops as we call them. When we got to our 30, they were still very short of air crews, and see, we were asked to carry on and do the extra one. But the rest of my crew were getting a bit of itchy feet. They really had had enough, whereas I wanted to keep on flying, so they were taken off operational flying and posted to various other units, where I made inquiries about volunteering to join the Pathfinder force and went down to a navigation training unit in Pathfinders as a single unit.

Eventually, within a few days, in would come an odd navigator or an odd crew member, and we just crewed up like that. Then, when we had a full crew, we were sent to an operational squadron flying Lancasters. Well, I preferred the Halifax, much to the Lancaster people's disgust, but I just felt that in times of trouble the Halifax could get me out of trouble more quickly than a Lancaster. And the pilot's ejection seat, ejection hood, was better placed in a Halifax than it was in a Lancaster so, if need be, a pilot could get out, it might only be a matter of seconds, but it was vital. Those seconds were vital.

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