Last two flying WW2 Lancaster Bombers in the world.
We watched the Wings and Wheels Air Show today, from our usual vantage point a few miles away. People gather on a local hill that has a great view of the valley with Dunsfold Aerodrome right in the middle of it. A highlight is always the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, with the Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire aircraft. In past years they have flown right in front of us as they bank around the valley, and it’s a particularly evocative experience to see them and, particularly, to hear the throaty rumble of the Lancaster. It makes me wonder how it must have felt to hear huge squadrons of them passing overhead on their way out or back from danger (if you’re British) or to hear the roar of approaching danger (if you’re German).
This year was rather special, however, as the only other airworthy Avro Lancaster has flown 3,700 miles from Canada to join the BBMF for the summer; the first time two have flown together in over fifty years. I’m quoting directly from their website here, but this sums up why it was such an occasion:
‘Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum President and CEO, Sqn Ldr (Ret.) David G. Rohrer C.D. who is a current Lancaster pilot, stated that this Trans Atlantic crossing and visit to the BBMF and England is a “Once in a Lanc Time” event as it will not happen again. Rohrer indicated that this year,
“a rare window of opportunity was identified to bring the last two flying Lancasters in the world together as a special salute to all the veterans of Bomber Command, many of whom are in their late 80s or older now.” It is also an opportunity for the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum to fly together and showcase a flying display and tribute to all those who served in the time of need, in Canada, Britain, and the entire Commonwealth, that likely will never be seen again.
Officer Commanding the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Sqn Ldr Dunc Mason said
“To see these two aircraft flying at events together will be a unique sight and also the opportunity to truly commemorate those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.Lest We Forget.”’