Battle of Britain Memorial Flight – RAF Fairford.
May 2013 sees the 70th anniversary of the Dambuster raids of 617 Squadron
Of the 7,377 examples of the Avro Lancaster built between 1941 and 1946, there are currently only 2 examples that remain in serviceable airworthy condition. This Lancaster rolled off the production line shortly after the War in Europe had ended and has seen no hostilities.
Since 2007 this Lancaster has carried the markings of Lancaster EE139 the ‘Phantom of the Ruhr’, with the aircraft’s No 100 Squadron code letters ’HW-R’ on the port side. Only 35 Lancaster Bombers flew over 100 missions reach. EE139 was one such centurion – having flown 121 operations before being scrapped in February 1946 with just 830 flying hours on the clock and at the tender age of just 18 months.
On the Starboard side she carries the markings of 550 Squadron and the codes ‘BQ-B.
In a letter to the head of Avro after the war, Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Arthur Harris, the Commander in Chief of Bomber Command, said of the Lancaster:
“I would say this to those who placed that shining sword in our hands: Without your genius and efforts we could not have prevailed, for I believe that the Lancaster was the greatest single factor in winning the war.”
This Lancaster has been flying with the the BBMF since 1973.