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Wellington Bomber

One autumn weekend, early in WWII at an aircraft factory at Broughton in North Wales, a group of British workers, men and women, set out to smash a world record for building a bomber from scratch. They managed to build a Wellington Bomber in 23 hours and 50 minutes. They worked so quickly that the test pilot had to be turfed out of bed to take it into the air, 24 hours and 48 minutes after the first part of the airframe had been laid.

So who were the men and women who made this record-breaking Wellington? Britain's propaganda machine made a 12-minute film about the attempt and Peter Williams Television has traced six of them, one of whom, Bill Anderson, was only 14 years old. Their story of the excitement of the attempt is the heart of this documentary.

The Wellington was a special aircraft, as historian Sir Max Hastings says. It was held in great affection by those who flew it, mostly because its geodetic construction enabled it to survive enormous damage, as Flt Lt 'Tiny' Cooling remembers. He flew 67 missions in Wellingtons.

More Wellingtons were built during WWII than any other British aircraft, except the Spitfire and the Hurricane, the stars of the Battle of Britain. And, unwittingly, the Wellington, Britain's main strike bomber, played an important role in the Battle of Britain, as this documentary reveals.

1 hour

Last on

Sat 12 Oct 2013 22:55
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