Handley Page Hampden
Handley Page developed a modern stressed-skin mid-wing monoplane, powered by Bristol Pegasus radial air cooled engines, with its first flight in 1936. It had the most advanced wings available at the time, giving it a remarkably low landing speed of 73 mph for an aircraft of its size, with a top speed of 265 mph. The Hampden had a short, narrow but tall main fuselage with a very slender tail unit. This configuration led to the nicknames "Flying Panhandle" and "Flying Suitcase". At the end of the war, no complete or partial Hampden aircraft were retained for museum display.
The Hampden served in the early stages of the war, bearing the brunt of the early bombing war over Europe, taking part in the first night raid on Berlin and in the first 1000-bomber raid on Cologne. In Canada, Hampdens were built by six companies that formed Associated Aircraft. There were three in Ontario and three in Quebec, hence they were identified as the Ontario Group and Quebec Group. They supplied all the the components to the two assembly plants. The Ontario Group's assembly plant was at the Malton Airport, while the Quebec group's assembly plant was at the St. Hubert Airport. Canadian Museum of Flight and Harold A Skaarup web page
CASPIR Aircraft Groups:RCAF On Strength (96), Canadian Aircraft Losses (242)
Hampden I AD803
From 106 Sqn. Crashed in the sea south of Samsø 16 May 42. Together with 49 other a/c AD803 were gardening (mining) the western part of the Baltic Sea and the Danish Belts. AD803 was tasked with gardening the area east and south of the island of Samsø. When this was done, AD803 headed west together with one other Hampden. South west of Samsø, a German mine sweeper was spotted and attacked with 250 lb bombs, of which each aircraft carried two under the wings. One of the bombs hit the mine sweeper on the front deck but bounced off without exploding. Flak from the mine sweeper hit AD803 and at approx. 02:00 hrs it crashed burning into the sea. It floated for a while, and this allowed the pilot, Flight Sergeant H.J. Copeman, to get out of the wreck. Copeman, who was badly injured, was then picked up from the sea by the mine sweeper. Flight Sergeant A.A. Smith, was killed.