Night fighter versions of the Mosquito were introduced in April 1942. Offensive versions, lacking top secret radar but equipped with an extra fuel tank were designated NF Mk. II (Special) or ‘Night Intruders’.
Intruders would transit to enemy territory at extreme low level to avoid radar detection. They would then loiter near Luftwaffe night fighter bases waiting for enemy fighters to return. Once the latter approached, their base would briefly turn the runway lights on/off to help them orientate themselves. This would alert the Intruder to their presence and enable a surprise attack.
NF Mosquitos were initially painted with the standard night fighter paint of the era – matt black with a coarse unreflective finish. Unfortunately this reduced the speed of the Mosquito by up to 21 knots (40 km/h) and was replaced with a black, shiny surface.