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LANCASTER - SBS now! 2080 21 Nov 2011


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One can never tire of such footage.


The irony is that the Lancaster evolved from the dud of the the Manchester.


There is a beautiful example of the Lancanster at the Air Force Museum at Bull Creek in Perth. In visiting the museum a few years ago had a chance to talk to one of the old boys who had completed a tour on Stirlings (lucky boy), instructed on Stirlings and then converted to Lancs. His comment was that with the bomb and fuel load "when you go got to 200' and had the flap and gear retracted you started breathing again"!! An engine quitting prior to that point resulted in seven telegrams being dispatched.


It is sobering to think of the number of Australian aircrew who provided manpower to Bomber Command and the price paid. Bomber Harris won his point, but how many lives were cut short for his opinion to prevail?


To think that a 20 yearld old sergeant pilot with 250 hours total time was in command of a Lanc with six other crew members, flying a 1000 mile mission over Germany at night facing flak, weather and night fighters heightens the respect of those in such a position.


This week as a St John Ambulance Officer I was involved in a transfer out to an RFDS evacuation for a lady a few weeks short of her 100th birthday. Her late husband was a fomer RAAF navigator who had completed two tours over Germany, and was highly decorated. A few discrete words to the RFDS pilot, and he was prepared to vary the track slightly to fly over the farm farm where this lady had spent so much of her life. It made one appreciate how close we are to losing living contact to those who experienced these machines, accomplishing so much in an demanding area.



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