See the engine of a destroyed World War II bomber in action at Wings Aviation Museum near Handcross

Wings Aviation Museum near Handcross is running the engine of a destroyed World War II bomber this weekend.

The running of the Rolls Royce Merlin XX is a chance for people to hear its unique sound, complete with ‘saxophone” style exhausts, said the museum.

The engine will run at 11.30am and 2.30pm on Saturday (August 7) at the museum in Bucklands Farm, Brantridge Lane.

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Museum volunteer Aaron Simmons said: “On the night of 27th/28th July, 1943, Halifax II JD150 DY-A (a veteran of 14 bombing operations) took off from RAF Pocklington in Yorkshire at 22.32 for the last time to bomb Hamburg in Germany.”

The 1943 Halifax Rolls Royce Merlin engine from Halifax JD150 at Wings Museum.

He went on: “While on route to the target, tragically the aircraft was met by a hail of cannon fire from the guns of a German Night Fighter.”

Aaron said the Halifax pilot, Gordon Brown, 19, crashed into a swampy area of Hobek near Rendsburg in Germany and the aircraft exploded.

He added that in 2010 German historian Nils Hempel was researching an air crash near his home and found fragments of the bomber with his metal detector.

A full search of the area was conducted, uncovering unexploded bombs and four Rolls Royce Merlin Mk XX engines in the peat.

Eventually the Wings Museum in Sussex was able to acquire the engines, said Aaron.

“Bomber Command Pilot George Dunn DFC is coming to the event,” he added.

“He was a Halifax and Mosquito pilot and he flew 30 missions in the Halifax and 14 in the mosquito.”

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