The Vickers Wellington twin-engined medium bomber, nicknamed the “Wimpy”, was the only aircraft of its type to be used throughout the Second World War, albeit replaced as a front line strike weapon by the four-engined ‘heavies’ during 1943. It featured a clever geodesic framework designed by Barnes Wallis of later “bouncing bomb” fame – visible through the side window of the Mk 1C aircraft.
This depicts, among others, Wellingtons from No 16 Operational Training Unit RAF. The picture was commissioned by the daughter of the rear gunner in the aircraft in the foreground, R1450, coded JS-Y1. It was brought down “somewhere over Schleswig” on the night of 28/29 July 1942 and he became a prisoner of war.
The 2nd pilot, Canadian Patrick Langford, was to become one of the ‘Great Escapees’ from Stalag Luft III subsequently executed by the Gestapo.