4x 20mm Hispano Mk.II cannons
4x .303 cal Browning machinegun
Eigne: 2x 1.480 Hk Rolls-Royce Merlin 21/23
Top-speed: 589 km/h at 21.400 ft
Cruise speed: 400 km/h
Range: 1.400 km M/1.864 l fuel/20.000 ft
The de Havilland DH 98 Mosquito was a British multi-role combat aircraft with a two-man crew that was used during World War II and in the years after. It was one of the relatively few aircraft at this time that was built almost exclusively out of wood/plywood and could be adapted to a number of different tasks, including as a maritime attack aircraft. It was in this role that most of the Norwegian crews became familiar with the aircraft. It was also deployed on the Stockholm route, mainly with British crews.
When the Mosquito entered production in 1941, it was one of the fastest operational aircraft the world had yet seen. Behind it, however, was a difficult birth. The concept was first launched in 1937, when the RAF needed bombers and eventually opted for large, heavy machines such as the Avro Manchester and Handley Page Halifax. The idea behind the Mosqito was that a very fast machine had less need for weapons for self-defense. However, de Havilland had faith in his project and continued to develop it. eventually he was heard, and at the turn of the year 1939/40 a prototype was ordered. Construction began in March 1940, but the Battle of Britain led to further delays. It was not until 25 November 1940 that Geoffrey de Havilland could take the prototype up for the first time. It soon became clear that the machine had great potential.
The first aircraft that were produced quickly entered the role of reconnaissance aircraft. Others were built as bombers, and Oslo was visited by them when the Gestapo headquarters in Viktoria Terasse were bombed with great accuracy on 25 September 1942 and 31 December 1944. They were also widely used as night hunters and pathfinders for bombing forces across Europe.
On 10 May 1943, No 333 (Norwegian) Squadron was formed in Scotland. It came to consist of A-flight and B-flight - two departments that were equipped for completely different services. A-flight operated Catalina flying boats from Woodhaven and was a continuation of 210 Squadron Norwegian Detachment which became 1977 (N) flight from 1 February 1943. B-Flight was equipped with 6 De Havilland Mosqito NF Mk.II and stationed at airbase Leuchars in Scotland, which was near Woodhaven. Command-wise, B-Flight sorted under RAF Coastal Command, and was the first division in Coastal Command to receive the Mosqito. The Mk.II was the first armed version of the Mosqito.
These aircraft were built as night fighters in veneer and balsa, but the radar equipment was unmounted. The armament was 4 20mm cannons and 4 7.69mm machine guns, and the aircraft had flame suppressors over the engine exhaust pipes. The machines were factory new, but did not have the ability to carry offensive cargo such as deep-water bombs. This was a problem seen through Norwegian eyes, which wanted offensive machines in battles against the Germans. In the meantime, the main task was to be operations on the Norwegian coast - to reconnoitre ship traffic and report back to Coastal Command. The attacks were to be carried out by other departments that were better equipped for this task.
The allocation of the planes was disputed. COastal Command pushed and wanted to use Norwegian local knowledge in the hunt for German ships and submarines along the Norwegian coast without reducing existing capacity in other areas. The decision was made at a professional military level between the Air Ministry and the Flyvåpnets Felleskommando (FFK). The Norwegian government reacted strongly to the fact that it was not involved to any great extent. The discussion revolved around access to personnel, the desire for a third fighter squadron, financial obligations and the development of a future Norwegian air force. The Ministry of Defense was actually strongly against the establishment of 333 squadron as a separate department. It didn’t get any better that Coastal Command had not had time to establish any training for the crews who were to operate the Mosqito fighters, and there was no available space at the O.T.U (Operational Training Units) in Bomber Command
The transition from flying boats to Mosqito was therefore dramatic. The crews came from the Catalina environment in the Navy’s Air Force and had to handle powerful, twin-engined land planes. It was not an easy transition. Catalinas were large slow planes that could land almost anywhere as long as the sea was calm enough. The Mosqito was small and compact and one of the fastest fighters that had been built until then. The squadron initially took responsibility for training on the type of aircraft without being able to go the traditional route of O.T.U and considered itself operational in June 1943. This was in and in itself not entirely unusual, but the pace was high and the expectations high, certainly as familiarity with the new type of aircraft was limited. An Airspeed Pxford Mk.1 and 3 Bristol Beaufighter Mk.IIF from 235 squadron were borrowed for the training, as well as some hours on the Mosqito T.Mk.III - a training model with dual sets of controls, but at the end of August B- Flight nevertheless lost 5 aircraft and as many two-man crews, three in accidents and two in combat. Two of the planes had been replaced, but the incident still led to the suspension of all operational flights from the end of the month. At the same time, it must be said that the department carried out a number of raids on the Norwegian coast in the summer of 1943. From June to August, three German aircraft were destroyed and several damaged. The department had to be re-established with new personnel - a hard blow. There was more training at Leuchars, now with a loaned MosqitoT.Mk.III and British instructors. The Mosqito was a demanding aircraft.
It wasn’t until 15 November that the department was operational again. By then the department had new crews and new aircraft, the De Havilland DH 98 Moqito FB Mk.VI. Nevertheless, the L/333 (DZ711) was still used operationally by 333 Squadron for a period in the spring of 1944