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' Luck of a Lancaster'

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' Luck of a Lancaster'

Old 2nd May 2017, 20:00
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' Luck of a Lancaster'

109 missions, 14 times over Berlin, ends her days on a fire dump in 1954, the story of Avro Lancaster EE 136. The luckiest Lancaster: Bomber that survived 109 missions | Daily Mail Online
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Old 2nd May 2017, 20:59
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I was given a book last Christmas titled 'Ton Up Lancs'. it lists the history of all the 35 Lancs that completed 100 sorties or more. EE136 certainly had her share of the action with some very courageous crews flying in her. Sad she had such an ignominious end
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Old 5th Aug 2018, 23:03
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"They have sowed the wind, and now they will reap the whirlwind"

Arthur Harris -1942
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Old 6th Aug 2018, 10:12
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Some years ago I bought a bag of coins in which I found a DFM, minus its suspension. I resolved to obtain a replacement suspension and research the medal. It turned out that the recipient, although he was a Brit, had been a Lancaster rear gunner on 460 Sqn, RAAF. I got a lot of info from the National Archive from Forms 540, and it transpired that he had flown the majority of his sorties in W4783 - G George of that squadron. When that aircraft had flown 89 ops in 1944 it was withdrawn from service, and flown to Australia via Canada and the US. On arrival the aircraft made a "grand tour" of the country over several weeks, and at each stop it was made open to the paying public, who could visit it and even pay extra for a "joyride". All money raised went to the Victory Loan, I believe. The aircraft finally flew to Canberra, where it remains to this day as an exhibit in the Australian War Memorial (equivalent to the Imperial War Museum), a much more fitting end than those which ended up on the scrap heap. I was delighted to be able to buy from the museum a photograph of G George's crew posed beside the aircraft after an operation which included "my man". This greatly added to the interest of the medal, which is now in the hands of an Australian collector.

Not quite 100 ops but an interesting story, which all started from a neglected and forgotten medal in a bag of coins.

https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C148191

Incidentally on another thread I made a plea for gallantry crosses to be named now that they are "all ranks" awards. Had this been a broken DFC there would have been no name and therefore no story, just a chunk of silver of little value.

Last edited by Tankertrashnav; 6th Aug 2018 at 10:52. Reason: typo
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Old 6th Aug 2018, 10:45
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Lancaster Film

Here is a link to a 1950s film on a Lancaster raid. Set at a 1 Gp airfield, RAF Hemswell, It is set in 1944 and a Berlin raid. The actors appear to be real RAF. The narrator gives a running commentary over a live sound track. It works well.

Some interesting near contemporary evidence. All airmen wore forage caps when outdoors. All vehicles were green - that was a surprise. Most base personnel were wearing No 1s although aircrew wore No 2s. Some No 2s had brass buttons on epaulettes.



https://youtu.be/SFyYZquh9hM

Last edited by Pontius Navigator; 6th Aug 2018 at 16:30.
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Old 6th Aug 2018, 12:34
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Another tale that should be told, because without it the RAF would not be flying PA474 and S for Sugar would not be in the RAF Museum, this was the result of one mans determination and his own money in restoring her.

https://www.lancasterraf.co.uk/the-story/
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Old 6th Aug 2018, 13:01
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Pontius, the film was made by the Station Commander at RAF Hemswell who was a bit of a camera buff. One of the very few colour films available of the Lancaster at war.
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Old 6th Aug 2018, 13:27
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Whenever I visit the Pima Air Museum adjacent to the USAF Desert Storage Facility....my Heart breaks thinking what stories all those aircraft tell if they could speak.

To think of the Thousands upon Thousands of WWII Aircraft that finished their Service to the Allied Nations by becoming Cooking Pots is such a tragedy.


https://www.airplaneboneyards.com/da...e-boneyard.htm
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Old 6th Aug 2018, 15:24
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Originally Posted by Daf Hucker View Post
Pontius, the film was made by the Station Commander at RAF Hemswell who was a bit of a camera buff. One of the very few colour films available of the Lancaster at war.
Thank you. I should also mention for the purists that say the RAF has Stations and the USAF has bases, that in this film the Station Commander was a Gp Capt but there was a Base Commander who was an Air Cdre.

I noticed a Hurricane on the grass as the Lancasters taxied out. I guess it would have been from 1687(B) For at Cammeringham, a satellite of Hemswell.

Presumably he was the Base Commander of 13 Base, Elsham Woods - Kirmington, ​​​​​ North Killingholme, Henswell, Cammeringham and Sturgate.

In Dec 44 i think the sqns mentioned, 150/170 if I got it right, were at Fiskerton and Dunholme Lodge respectively.

Of course Kirton Lindsey was 12 Gp.
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Old 6th Aug 2018, 16:25
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The film ( Night Bombers ) was made by Air Commodore Cozens, the base commander - not the station commander who, at the time ,was Group Captain Sheen.
The briefing part of the film was made on 9 March 1945 after cancellation of an operation ( n.b. not mission - that was an American term ) just before briefing. The A/C made use of the cancellation to make his film sequences.
The above information is taken from the book "Bomber Intelligence" by W E Jones who was the intelligence officer at the time ( he appears in the film at the briefing )
I think I'm right in saying that Cozens was the C.O of 19 sqdn. when it introduced the Spitfire into service prewar.
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Old 6th Aug 2018, 16:35
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Originally Posted by papajuliet View Post
after cancellation of an operation ( n.b. not mission - that was an American term ) just before briefing. .
Which is why 12 Sqn had two fox heads called Ops On and Ops Off. The appropriate one was displayed in the local pub. I think the one with a green base was Ops On
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Old 6th Aug 2018, 18:00
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
Whenever I visit the Pima Air Museum adjacent to the USAF Desert Storage Facility....my Heart breaks thinking what stories all those aircraft tell if they could speak.

To think of the Thousands upon Thousands of WWII Aircraft that finished their Service to the Allied Nations by becoming Cooking Pots is such a tragedy.

https://www.airplaneboneyards.com/da...e-boneyard.htm
OK, your post piqued my interest. A quick bit of Googling tells me about PIMA and AMARG. It just happens we are going to PHX next Feb. My wife can go Mall shopping with her friend there, and I can dive 100 miles down I-10 to do both facilities.


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Old 6th Aug 2018, 19:05
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She can spend a lot of money in 200 miles
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Old 6th Aug 2018, 21:31
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For those confused by Bases and Stations. During WW2, the large expansion period Stations of Bomber Command were given administrative control of more temporary satellite stations. So, for example, Waddington controlled the satellites at Skellingthorpe and Bardney. The complex was known as "Base 53", ie the third base of 5 Group. Each of the Stations had a Group Captain Station Commander, but each Base had an Air Commodore as "Base Commander" who was usually found at the larger main Station. You can easily find a list of all Stations and associated Bases on line. Bomber Bases_P
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Old 6th Aug 2018, 22:07
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Night Bombers. The purpose was to make the maximum training value of Cozens's precious colour stock. In doing so he produced a unique and historic artefact of Harris's Bomber Command and its war winning Bombing Campaign.
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Old 7th Aug 2018, 13:36
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papajuliet, Air Commodore Cozen's biography. He was appointed in Dec 1937 as Officer Commanding, No 19 Sqn.

H I Cozens_P
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Old 7th Aug 2018, 14:12
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He wasn't fond of Christmas if the later photo in this biog is anything to go by.
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Old 7th Aug 2018, 18:58
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Originally Posted by XV490 View Post
He wasn't fond of Christmas if the later photo in this biog is anything to go by.
The supposed 1946 photo as a sqn ldr seems a bit erroneous! However, respect to the gentleman ... he gave us all a huge slice of history with his filming.
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Old 7th Aug 2018, 19:36
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XV490:-
He wasn't fond of Christmas – if the later photo in this biog is anything to go by
Great biog for a beloved father I'd say. As for the being decorated for Christmas pic, dead pan as befits an indulgent grandfather! I'm sure that the aircraft being piloted by the 'man from the ministry' has long since been identified iaw the 2008 plea, but for my own edification I ran G-EBQP through G-INFO. It is identified as a 1924 built DH53 Hummingbird, as I'm sure many will have known (unlike me!). It is still on the UK register, though shown as having a no flight declaration for flight insurance purposes as at 2015. Another lucky survivor! Intriguingly it says that it has(d) an exemption to carrying its civil reg in 2012 in favour of RAF Serial J7326. Was it once the Base Commander's personal runabout at Hemswell I wonder?

https://siteapps.caa.co.uk/g-info/
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Old 7th Aug 2018, 19:37
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He received an AFC in June 1939, presumably the last time officers wore full dress uniform! The other decoration is apparently the Polar Medal.
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