The de Havilland Mosquito was a British combat aircraft that excelled in a number of roles during the Second World War. Originally conceived as an unarmed fast bomber, uses of the Mosquito included: low to medium altitude daytime tactical bomber, high altitude night bomber, pathfinder, day or night fighter, fighter-bomber, intruder, maritime strike and photo reconnaissance aircraft. It served with the Royal Air Force (RAF) and many other air forces both in the Second World War and postwar. The Mosquito aircraft was primarily made of laminated plywood.
De Havilland had little experience of working with the Air Ministry and when a contract was specified for new bombers, the all-wood design approach was considered to be out of keeping with official policy. In October 1938 the Ministry rejected their proposal, sceptical about the idea of a wooden plane and the concept of the unarmed bomber. The support of Sir Wilfrid Freeman eventually proved decisive and a contract for fifty aircraft, including one prototype, was finally placed on 1 March 1940.
The Mosquito is often described as having been faster than enemy fighters, although this is not completely true. Nonetheless the speed advantage of enemy fighters was slim enough that by the time those aircraft could reach interception altitude, the Mosquito would have completed its bombing run and would be racing for home.
The first bomber squadrons to receive the Mosquito B IV used it for several low-level daylight raids. One of the first was the Oslo raid on 25 September 1942, carried out by four aircraft of 105 Squadron, after which the Mosquito was publicly revealed for the first time. The Mosquito continued to successfully serve in a variety of roles throughout World War II.
Mosquitos flying with the Israeli Air Force saw action during the 1956 Suez Crisis. Although, at the time, the Mosquito was being taken out of service, 13 aircraft of various marks were taken out of storage. An additional 13 TR 33 Mosquitos were purchased from a British scrap dealer in 1954.