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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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The Battle Of Britain Season – Wellington Bomber

Wellington Bomber

At the height of Bomber Command's attempts to batter Nazi Germany into submission, the RAF and the War Ministry came up with a propaganda wheeze: could a Wellington bomber be built from scratch in a single day? Smashing the current 48 hour record held by the Americans, a resilient team of British workers, both men and women, assembled the infamous Wellington LN514 in an astonishing 23 hours and 48 minutes.

Those responsible for this unrivalled achievement were the remarkable employees of the aircraft factory at Broughton, North Wales. Having started on a Saturday morning they worked so quickly that the test pilot had to be turfed out of bed to take it into the air, less than 24 hours after the first part of the airframe had been laid.

At the height of production the factory was churning out 28 Wellington Bombers per week marking the Wellington as the pre-eminent bomber of the Second World War, with more built then any other British aircraft other than the Spitfires and Hurricanes. Its durability was legendary; many survived perilous flights back from battle with just one engine, though the casualty rate over Germany was high particularly in daylight raids, many an aircrew swore by the Wellington's "survivability". With such prestigious accomplishments it is easy to see why the Wellington Bomber's war record is second to none.

Wellington Bomber combines archive footage and unique personal testimonials from factory workers, revealing the characters and dramas behind the exhilarating race to build, bolt by bolt, the notorious Wellington Bomber.

Wellington Bomber (BBC Four, 1x60 minutes) Peter Williams Television. Executive producers are Peter Williams (Peter Williams Television) and Cassian Harrison (BBC).

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