The Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
Date: Sun, 20 Jul, 2014
Time: 3:00 pm - 3:30 pm
The Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight – Avro Lancaster
Expected time of arrival over Stotfold Watermill – Sunday 20th July, 3pm*
The Avro Lancaster is one of only two flying. It serves as a memory to the 55,000 aircrew from RAF Bomber Command who lost their lives during the Second World War. It’s four powerful Rolls Royce Merlin engines enabled it to carry a heavy bomb load over long distances. The Lancaster is painted to represent an aircraft which served with No 617 Squadron after the famous Dambusters Raid. It is displayed in the colours of “Thumper Mk III” with the code letters ‘KC-A’.
The “Thumper” nose art features the cartoon rabbit – from the 1942 Walt Disney cartoon ‘Bambi’ – holding a foaming pint of beer. Although the real “Thumper Mk III” flew a total of 50 ‘ops’, the ‘bomb log’ under the cockpit on PA474 displays 35 ‘ops’ as shown in a wartime photograph. The bomb symbols include one with a ‘D’ for Operation ‘Taxable’ (the ‘spoof’ D-Day chaff mission on 5/6th June 1944) and one with a swastika denoting a kill against a German fighter.
“Thumper Mk III” dropped a total of 15 of the huge ‘Tallboy’ ‘earthquake’ bombs; it was involved in many important missions, including the first ‘Tallboy’ raid against the Saumur railway tunnel on 8th June 1944 and many raids against ‘V’ weapon sites. Between February and August 1944, the aircraft was mostly flown by Flying Officer (later Flight Lieutenant) Bob Knights DSO DFC and his crew.
* Subject to weather conditions.