Avro Lancaster B.MK.1

Contributed by Royal Air Force Museum London

Avro Lancaster B.MK.1

For the last three years of the Second World War the Avro Lancaster was the major heavy bomber used by Bomber Command to take the war to the heart-land of Nazi Germany. With an impressive performance and excellent flying characteristics it soon established its superiority over other allied four-engined bombers operating in Europe.

On average Lancasters completed twenty-one missions before being lost. The Museum's Lancaster flew an impressive 137 missions. Only one other allied bomber flew more missions (140) than this one so it is very special. By the time it had completed its last mission our Lancaster had flown operationally for at least 795 hours and had dropped 466 tons of bombs.
The Lancaster's operational career is littered with impressive statistics, but it is worth remembering that the average age of the seven-man crew was only 22 years. They endured danger and discomfort and many showed great courage in continuing to fly knowing the odds against survival were high. Bomber Command suffered the highest casualty rate of any branch of the British services in the Second World War.

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  • 1. At 17:56 on 28 May 2011, new_germany wrote:

    The Lancaster bombers bombed the medieval and baroque town of Würzburg on the 16th of March 1945. In an interview, a pilot of bomber group Nr.5 told that they were told that Würzburg is "an important traffic point" and therefore it should be destructed. He told there were in a good mood by "singing a song that has been popular at this time."
    In fact, Würzburg´s station had already been destructed by American air force. 35 churches of high artistic value and the baroque castle as well as the old historic city centre have been totally destructed.
    In the town were mainly women, children, old people and an unknown number of refugees.
    3000 victims of the air raid were buried at a mass grave at the Würzburg cemetry with a memorial stone that says: "3000 citizens were buried here. Peace to their souls.
    Peace to our poor city."

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