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ARCHIE_CALVERT
04-27-2007, 01:14 PM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/lincolnshire/6599023.stm

One of the world's last surviving Lancaster bombers has taken to the skies to mark 50 years of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
The aircraft, taking part in a flypast at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, is one of only two airworthy Lancasters.
More than 7,000 Lancasters were built during the 1940s and played a major part during World War II.
Veterans from Bomber Command are at the rededication of the plane, which has been restored in Coventry.
Historic aircraft
One of the pilots, Gp Capt Stuart Atha, said it was a privilege to fly the Lancaster.
"You can read about things, you can watch films but here you can smell, you can hear and you can see it. And we get the opportunity to feel it as well.
"When we fly this aircraft, we very much remember what the guys who sat in the very same seats that we're sitting in went through."
The only other flying Lancaster is in Canada.
The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is an historic collection of aircraft that commemorate the RAF's involvement in all the campaigns of WWII.
It includes the Lancaster, a Dakota, five Spitfires, two Hurricanes and two Chipmunks.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/help/3681938.stm

And why do we have a memorial flight... Perhaps this extract taken from the book ˜Tail End Charlies' better serves than anything...

Between 1939 and 1945 the bombing war launched from Britain against Germany claimed the lives of just over 55,000 airmen from the RAF's Bomber Command, around half its entire force. Its casualty rate was higher than any other section of the British armed services. The United States Army Air Force had that same grim distinction among the US forces. After its Eighth Air Force joined the battle in 1941, 26,000 of its officers and enlisted men died in combat. In all, more than 15,000 Allied Bombers never returned, shot down by flak or by fighters or crashing as a result of mechanical failure or human error. The sacrifice was enormous. On one terrible night 670 Bomber Command aircrew died in a matter of hours on one single raid. This was more than the RAF casualties in the whole of the months - long Battle of Britain. If a bomber went down, the odds were that every one of its seven-man crew would die, unable to bale out in time. And even when there were survivors, in the vast majority of cases, fewer than half escaped with their lives. The attrition was frightening. In January 1944 the death rate averaged 5 per cent per mission – 1,700 men lost their lives in that one month. For the bomber crews of the second World War, with a fifty – fifty chance of survival, every day was a ˜D-Day' landing, every time they took off they were ˜going over the top'. And with most needing thirty operations to complete a tour of duty, it didn't need a maths degree for a man to work out that, if he was going to live through this war, he would have to be very lucky indeed.
The extent of the slaughter is barely recognised. In a private room of the RAF archive at Bentley Priory in north London are kept the official documents of all the men who died and the missions that claimed their lives. The filing cabinets line two walls of a room in sad, silent testimony. To stand there and try to grasp the individual lives – and deaths – recorded in front of your eyes is devastating. It takes one's breath away and gives pause for thought in the same way as does the Menim Gate monument at Ypres or the Vietnam War wall in Washington. But those are public cenotaphs; Bomber Commands's dead have no such memorial.

They are filed away, as if they had done nothing to be proud of...

ARCHIE_CALVERT
04-27-2007, 01:14 PM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/lincolnshire/6599023.stm

One of the world's last surviving Lancaster bombers has taken to the skies to mark 50 years of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
The aircraft, taking part in a flypast at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, is one of only two airworthy Lancasters.
More than 7,000 Lancasters were built during the 1940s and played a major part during World War II.
Veterans from Bomber Command are at the rededication of the plane, which has been restored in Coventry.
Historic aircraft
One of the pilots, Gp Capt Stuart Atha, said it was a privilege to fly the Lancaster.
"You can read about things, you can watch films but here you can smell, you can hear and you can see it. And we get the opportunity to feel it as well.
"When we fly this aircraft, we very much remember what the guys who sat in the very same seats that we're sitting in went through."
The only other flying Lancaster is in Canada.
The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is an historic collection of aircraft that commemorate the RAF's involvement in all the campaigns of WWII.
It includes the Lancaster, a Dakota, five Spitfires, two Hurricanes and two Chipmunks.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/help/3681938.stm

And why do we have a memorial flight... Perhaps this extract taken from the book ˜Tail End Charlies' better serves than anything...

Between 1939 and 1945 the bombing war launched from Britain against Germany claimed the lives of just over 55,000 airmen from the RAF's Bomber Command, around half its entire force. Its casualty rate was higher than any other section of the British armed services. The United States Army Air Force had that same grim distinction among the US forces. After its Eighth Air Force joined the battle in 1941, 26,000 of its officers and enlisted men died in combat. In all, more than 15,000 Allied Bombers never returned, shot down by flak or by fighters or crashing as a result of mechanical failure or human error. The sacrifice was enormous. On one terrible night 670 Bomber Command aircrew died in a matter of hours on one single raid. This was more than the RAF casualties in the whole of the months - long Battle of Britain. If a bomber went down, the odds were that every one of its seven-man crew would die, unable to bale out in time. And even when there were survivors, in the vast majority of cases, fewer than half escaped with their lives. The attrition was frightening. In January 1944 the death rate averaged 5 per cent per mission – 1,700 men lost their lives in that one month. For the bomber crews of the second World War, with a fifty – fifty chance of survival, every day was a ˜D-Day' landing, every time they took off they were ˜going over the top'. And with most needing thirty operations to complete a tour of duty, it didn't need a maths degree for a man to work out that, if he was going to live through this war, he would have to be very lucky indeed.
The extent of the slaughter is barely recognised. In a private room of the RAF archive at Bentley Priory in north London are kept the official documents of all the men who died and the missions that claimed their lives. The filing cabinets line two walls of a room in sad, silent testimony. To stand there and try to grasp the individual lives – and deaths – recorded in front of your eyes is devastating. It takes one's breath away and gives pause for thought in the same way as does the Menim Gate monument at Ypres or the Vietnam War wall in Washington. But those are public cenotaphs; Bomber Commands's dead have no such memorial.

They are filed away, as if they had done nothing to be proud of...

ploughman
04-27-2007, 03:00 PM
I was talking to a mate today and the radio was on in the background and all I heard was "Only one of two surviving flyable......at Coningsby in Lincolnshire..." in the august tones of a BBC announcer relaying bad news and I thought I'd heard the news that the bloody thing'd augered into a field or something and went absolutely white, quite gave my mate a bit of a fright.

Phew.