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|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|
|Squadron Leader Stanislav Jozefiak added to aircrew database :|
Escaping Poland in 1939, and already a pilot, Stan completed 2 full tours on Wellingtons with 304 Sqn, Bomber Command. After a period of training he returned to action flying Spitfires with 317 Sqn, part of the 2nd TAF. After the war Stan was to fly Dakotas for the CIA.
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : Clarke :|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Whitley P5013 : Airframe notes updated (added 11-02-1941 : Whitley was unable to comply with diversion order and subsequently was abandoned at Hatfield Military Complex.)|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Hampden X3001 : Airframe notes updated (added 10-02-1941 : Hampden was shot down by a night-fighter and crashed north of Alkmaar in Holland.)|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : Flying Officer W M Blom : Squadron service dates updated|
|401st Bomb Squadron added to the squadrons database.|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Whitley P4981 : Airframe notes updated (added 11-02-1941 : Whitley was ordered to divert to Dres but encountered bad weather and the Whitley was abandoned near Grimethrope in Yorkshire.)|
|New victory claim added : Ju88 (Half shared victory.) claimed on 14th July 1941 by Stanislaw Brzeski of No.317 Sqn RAF|
|New victory claim added : He111 claimed on 19th August 1942 by Stanislaw Brzeski of No.317 Sqn RAF|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : M. E. Sharp : Squadrons updated (added No.51 Sqn RAF), Squadron service dates updated|
|SEARCH OUR AVIATION HISTORY DATABASES|
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