On May 4th the Lancaster bomber PA474 of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight makes a Memorial flight over The Netherlands.
This announces the documentation group ’40- ’45 on their Facebook-page.
The Lancaster is a heavy bomber with 4 engines built by the British aircraft manufacturer Avro for the Royal Airforce in 1942 and was first deployed during World War II. The crew mostly consisted of 7 people (one squadron had 8).
From that year the Lancasters flew about 156,000 missions. Over 6 ton of bombs were dropped on various targets. The perhaps most famous mission was carried out by a modified type of the Lancaster and concerned the bombing of German dams, Operation Chastise.
The three major dams for saw the Germans of electricity and water and lay, as well as a number of smaller dams, in the Ruhr area. For Operation Chastise pilots of the Royal Airforces of England, Canada, Australia and New Zealand formed the 617th Squadron.
On May 16 and 17,1943, 19 Lancasters and 147 men participated in operation Chastise. Two dams were broken including the Möhnedam shown on the picture left, taken from a Spitfire after the bombardment, and one dam was slightly damaged.
Eight of the Lancasters did not return home, they went down with 53 casualties as result. The mission was seen as a success. Unfortunately, the Germans had their production back to normal within a month. Also the power supply was quickly restored.
Battle of Britain Memorial Flights
In the RAF museum in London you can fly with the Dambusters through Virtual Reality since March (see video below). As far as known, there are still 17 Lancasters remaining and 2 of them still fly. One of them is in the possession of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flights.
On May 4, this legendary plane makes a memorial flight over The Netherlands, with the scheduled flight time:
- Woensdrecht, 11.43
- Beek, 12.19
- Brunssum, 12.24
- Sittard, 12.31
- Herkenbosch, 12:40
- Hunsel, 12.44
- Kessel, 12.50
On the base Gilze Rijen there will be a pitstop from 13.15 ttill 16.00 uur;
- Fort Vuren, 16.04
- Renkum, 16.20
- Elspeet, 16.30
- Markelo, 16.47
- Schoonebeek, 17.04
The plane will leave the country at Petten, 17.40.