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|Signatures on this item|
|*The value given for each signature has been calculated by us based on the historical significance and rarity of the signature. Values of many pilot signatures have risen in recent years and will likely continue to rise as they become more and more rare.|
Sergeant Raymond E. Grayston (deceased)
*Signature Value : £45
|Ray Grayston had been serving in 50 Squadron when he was posted to 617 Squadron in March 1943. The flight engineer of Les Knights Lancaster AJ-N, they attacked and successfully breached the Eder Dam, Ray was shot down on 16th September 1943, and was taken to Stalag Luft III as a POW. Sadly, we have learned that Ray Grayston passed away on 15th April 2010.|
Squadron Leader George L. Johnson DFM
*Signature Value : £40
|Joining the RAF in 1940, George Johnson served with 97 Squadron before joining 617 Squadron. Bomb aimer on American Joe McCarthys Lancaster AJ-T, they attacked the Sorpe Dam, for which he was awarded the DFM. Commissioned a few months later, George retired from the RAF in 1962.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Lancaster||The Avro Lancaster arose from the avro Manchester and the first prototype Lancaster was a converted Manchester with four engines. The Lancaster was first flown in January 1941, and started operations in March 1942. By March 1945 The Royal Air Force had 56 squadrons of Lancasters with the first squadron equipped being No.44 Squadron. During World War Two the Avro Lancaster flew 156,000 sorties and dropped 618,378 tonnes of bombs between 1942 and 1945. Lancaster Bomberss took part in the devastating round-the-clock raids on Hamburg during Air Marshall Harris' "Operation Gomorrah" in July 1943. Just 35 Lancasters completed more than 100 successful operations each, and 3,249 were lost in action. The most successful survivor completed 139 operations, and the Lancaster was scrapped after the war in 1947. A few Lancasters were converted into tankers and the two tanker aircraft were joined by another converted Lancaster and were used in the Berlin Airlift, achieving 757 tanker sorties. A famous Lancaster bombing raid was the 1943 mission, codenamed Operation Chastise, to destroy the dams of the Ruhr Valley. The operation was carried out by 617 Squadron in modified Mk IIIs carrying special drum shaped bouncing bombs designed by Barnes Wallis. Also famous was a series of Lancaster attacks using Tallboy bombs against the German battleship Tirpitz, which first disabled and later sank the ship. The Lancaster bomber was the basis of the new Avro Lincoln bomber, initially known as the Lancaster IV and Lancaster V. (Becoming Lincoln B1 and B2 respectively.) Their Lancastrian airliner was also based on the Lancaster but was not very successful. Other developments were the Avro York and the successful Shackleton which continued in airborne early warning service up to 1992.|
See our aviation history timeline for all today's historical aviation events - air victories, aircraft losses and pilot details.
|RECENT UPDATES TO OUR AVIATION HISTORY DATABASES|
|Flight Lieutenant Robert Charles Platt added to aircrew database :|
Killed aged 29 on 4th July 1943 when his Stirling BK718 WP-M of No.90 Sqn was shot down and crashed near Cologne. He is buried in Overloon War Cemetery. Son of James Francis and Amelia Louisa Minnie Platt, of Teddington, Middlesex.
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : R. M. Carrapiett : Squadrons updated (added No.58 Sqn RAF), Squadron service dates updated|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Hampden AD722 : Airframe notes updated (added 11-02-1941 : Hampden crashed after flying into a building while trying to land at Finningley.)|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : E. S. C. Halsall : Squadrons updated (added No.51 Sqn RAF), Squadron service dates updated|
|389th Bomb Group added to the squadrons database.|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : Flight Lieutenant Des Curtis : Aircraft updated, Squadrons updated, Squadron service dates updated|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : G. H. Carter : Squadrons updated (added No.51 Sqn RAF), Squadron service dates updated|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : Sergeant E D Martin : Squadron service dates updated|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Wellington R1084 : Airframe notes updated (added 10-02-1941 : Wellington was damaged by a night-fighter and crash-landed at Narborough in Norfolk.)|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : Aircraftsman 1 D. W. Barker : First name updated (now D. W.), Squadron service dates updated|
|SEARCH OUR AVIATION HISTORY DATABASES|
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