Avro Lancaster PA 474

Contributed by Grantham Museum

Avro Lancaster PA 474

One of only two airworthy Lancaster bombers in the world which regularly flies from RAF ConingsbyDuring the Second World War, there were 49 airfields in Lincolnshire, more than any other county in England. More than half were bomber bases, earning it the name 'Bomber County', and most of those bombers were Avro Lancasters. It was the main bomber aircraft used by Bomber Command, and flew from the county on some of the most famous missions, including the Dambusters raid on the Ruhr dams. Its powerful Rolls Royce engines meant that it could fly into the heart of Nazi Germany. Lancaster PA474 was built in 1945, too late to see active service, but she was used for photographic reconnaissance in Africa. In 1964, she was adopted by the Air Historical Branch and a programme of restoration work began. She joined the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight in 1973. After major servicing in 2006/07, PA474 wears the markings of EE139, the 'Phantom of the Ruhr'. She sports the letters HR-W of 'The Ton'(100 Squadron) on her port side and BQ-B of 550 Squadron on her starboard, commemorating the crews of both, though it is a flying memorial to all of the men of Bomber Command who died in the Second World War.

Comments are closed for this object


  • 1. At 11:16 on 30 May 2011, new_germany wrote:

    The Avro Lancaster flew from Reading at 5.00 p.m. on the 16th March 1945 to the city of Würzburg, Germany, in order to destruct there "an important traffic point."
    In fact, Würzburg has been a historic baroque town with no war industries, and it has not been an important strategic traffic point with the station already been destroyed by American air craft.
    A city with hospitals of the Red Cross, almost defenceless at the end of WWII, full of women, children, refugees and old people has been sacrified.
    A high profile centre of European art and architecture has been brutually destructed by the RAF without any mercy.
    The BBC announced the destruction by sending out a cynical message that said literally: "Today we play the Mozart symphony" as a response to the code used for Coventry that has been called "Moonlight sonata".
    The castle of Würzburg has been partially destroyed, now UNESCO world heritage.

    Complain about this comment

  • 2. At 12:09 on 24 December 2011, Little Child wrote:

    In constrast to the Americans and Russians, the UK clearly overdid it with their air raid revenge for London and Coventry.

    In Coventry has been aircraft and machine industries.
    Berlin, Munich and Hamburg - these major German cities have not been enough revenge for London and Coventry.
    The most beautiful cities of Germany, Würzburg and Dresden, were bombed down by the RAF in February and March 1945.
    They didn´t bomb down war industries, traffic points and communications centres - no - incendiaries are inappropiate for these targets.

    They dropped incendiaries on the old towns of Würzburg and Dresden to destruct them totally and unnecessarily.

    Complain about this comment

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.