The de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito was a British twin-engine shoulder-winged multi-role combat aircraft. The crew of two, pilot and navigator, sat side by side. It served during and after the Second World War. It was one of few operational front-line aircraft of the era constructed almost entirely of wood and was nicknamed The Wooden Wonder. The Mosquito was also known affectionately as the "Mossie" to its crews. Originally conceived as an unarmed fast bomber, the Mosquito was adapted to roles including low to medium-altitude daytime tactical bomber, high-altitude night bomber, pathfinder, day or night fighter, fighter-bomber, intruder, maritime strike aircraft, and fast photo-reconnaissance aircraft. It was also used by the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) as a fast transport to carry small high-value cargoes to, and from, neutral countries, through enemy-controlled airspace. A single passenger could ride in the aircraft's bomb bay when it was adapted for the purpose.
When Mosquito production began in 1941, it was one of the fastest operational aircraft in the world. Entering service in autumn 1941, the first Mosquito variant was an unarmed high-speed, high-altitude photo-reconnaissance aircraft. Subsequent versions continued in this role throughout the war. From mid-1942 to mid-1943, Mosquito bombers flew high-speed, medium or low-altitude daylight missions against factories, railways and other pinpoint targets in Germany and German-occupied Europe. From June 1943, Mosquito bombers were formed into the Light Night Strike Force and used as pathfinders for RAF Bomber Command heavy-bomber raids. They were also used as "nuisance" bombers, often dropping Blockbuster bombs – 4,000 lb (1,812 kg) "cookies" – in high-altitude, high-speed raids that German night fighters were almost powerless to intercept.