This superb metal plate depicts the Lancaster " G for George " ( No. 460 Squadron, R.A.A.F. ), while attempting to land with one engine on fire and the port wing heavily damaged as well.
Today, we offer for sale this superb metal plate which depicts the Avro Lancaster coded AR - G ( known as " G for George " ), No. 460 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force ( R.A.A.F. ), while attempting to land with one of her port engines ( No. 1 ) on fire and the port wing heavily damaged as well.
This four - engined heavy bomber is seen in a three - quarter front left view, slightly in low - angle shot, with the undercarriage extended. Despite the exceeding speed, " G for George " is trying to land on the lighted runway at dawn, after returning from an operation over either occupied Europe or Nazi Germany. Higher up, another Lancaster would make another circuit before requesting permission to " Pancake "*. On the right - hand side, on the ground, an officer of the Royal Air Force ( R.A.F. ), holding the rank of Flight Lieutenant ( F/Lt, equivalent to Captain ) gets out of a runway control caravan, looking with anxiety at the Lancaster. Finally, the AIRFIX logo appears at the top left corner.
A little History :
Built in 1942, the Avro Lancaster B.I W4783 was delivered on October 27th that year to No. 460 Squadron ( R.A.A.F. ) at R.A.F. Station Breighton ( East Riding of Yorkshire, England ), where she became " G for George ". The " Kite " was flown by Flight Sergeant ( F/Sgt ) James Alexander " Alec " Saint - Smith ( Australian, R.A.A.F. )* on her first operation to Mannheim ( present - day Baden - Württemberg, present - day Germany ) on December 5th - 6th.
On the night of January 13th - 17th, 1943, " G for George " operated against Berlin ( present - day Germany ) taking a war correspondent as passenger, and returned with 13 " Flak " holes for him to write about ! " G for George " operated from Breighton until June 4th, 1943, when most of the ground crews and equipment were moved in Horsa gliders with some W.A.A.F.s ( unfortunately some were airsick ) while the aircrew flew to R.A.F. Station Binbrook ( Lincolnshire, England ) in their Lancasters. This was the beginning of a long operational stay on a permanent aerodrome.
By the time the Squadron moved to its new home, the " Kite " had established a reputation for liability. She was, simply, a " Lanc " that would not let you down. She did not always return unscathed. On the night of December 16th - 17th, 1943 - a night when Bomber Command was to lose 30 - plus Lancasters - " G for George " was attacked by a " Cricket " ( German night fighter ) over Berlin. The " Jerry " hit the " Kite " with both cannon and machine gun fire and came so close that her crew saw that it, too, sported the G - registrations. Perhaps there was a brotherhood of the " Georges " that night. But the fighter broke off the attack and " G for George " made it back to Binbrook.
During her sixteen months of operations, she was flown by 29 different pilots and some 200 different men, mostly Australians. Several crews completed their tours on " G for George ". Her last trip was on April 20th, 1944, when she took part in a raid on Cologne ( present - day North Rhine - Westphalia, present - day Germany ). By this time, she was a tired old Lancaster and a new role had been earmarked for her. The Lancaster had become the symbol of Bomber Command and it was a symbol which was as strong in Australia - which provided a sizable proportion of aircrew - as it was in Great Britain.
It was decided that " G for George " should fly to Australia to help promote the War Savings movement and, at a ceremony at Binbrook on May 20th, 1944, the Lancaster was officially handed over to the Australian Prime Minister John Curtin ( 1885 - 1945 ), who was on an official visit to Great Britain. By that time, " G for George " had completed 95 operations, which means that she had logged an impressive 668 hours of operational flying. She finally left the airfield where she had written herself into the history of the country of the men who flew her on May 29th, 1944, for a major overhaul before her 12,000 - mile flight to Australia. She left Prestwick ( South Ayrshire, Scotland ) on October 11th, 1944, flying via Montréal ( Québec, Canada ), San Francisco ( California, United States ), Hawaii ( United States ), Fiji ( Oceania ) and New Caledonia ( Overseas France, Melanesia ).
Her fund - raising duties done, " G for George " was left to moulder on the edge of R.A.A.F. Base Fairbairn near Canberra ( Australian Capital Territory, within the State of New South Wales, Australia ) until 1955, when someone realised that the aircraft represented a significant part of Australia's military history. " G for George " was saved from the scrap merchants.
In 2003, " G for George " returned to display at the Australian War Memorial ( AWM, Canberra ) in the new ANZAC Hall after a five - year restoration programme at the Treloar Technology Centre, which restored the aircraft as faithfully as possible to its wartime configuration. She is displayed in conjunction with a sound and light show that attempts to convey something of the atmosphere of a Second World War Bomber Command raid, and incorporates a German 88 " Flak " gun and a Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter. The display is based on a sortie captained by Flying Officer ( F/O ) Harold George " Harry, Cherry " Carter to Berlin on " Black Thursday ", December 1943, so called because Bomber Command lost 50 of the 500 bombers detailed for the raid - more than half were lost in landing accidents due to bad weather.
But that was not the final accolade for this fine old aircraft. She was picked by Airfix as the Lancaster on which they would based their plastic Lancaster kit and for more than two decades thousands of little boys around the world glued together faithful reproductions of a very famous Binbrook aircraft.
* To land, from the R.A.F. Slang and Terminology.
* James Alexander " Alec " Saint - Smith ( December 29th, 1917 ) was born in Singleton ( New South Wales, Australia ). Working as a school teacher in his home state, he enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force on January 6th, 1941 ( Service Number : 403380 ). He trained as a pilot in Canada and Great Britain before joining No. 460 Squadron, R.A.A.F. Flight Sergeant James A. " Alec " Saint - Smith was the captain of Avro Lancaster bomber " G for George " ( AR - G, W4789 ) on her first operational sortie to Mannheim ( present - day Germany ) on December 5th - 6th, 1942. He flew the aircraft on another 12 occasions, using it as his regular " Kite " for the remainder of his tour, which ended in March 1943. Alongside the bomb insignia to identify each bombing sortie flown by him appeared a Leslie Charteris' " Saint " insignia. While part of No. 460 Squadron, he received a Distinguished Flying Medal ( D.F.M., May 14th, 1943 ) for gallantry in a mission over Berlin. During a second tour of operations with No. 627 Squadron ( Pathfinder Force ), R.A.F., holding the rank of Flying Officer ( F/O ), James A. " Alec " Saint - Smith D.F.M. was killed in action on June 29th, 1944 ( his 73rd operation ), along with his Navigator, Flying Officer Geoffrey Ernest Heath D.F.C., D.F.M. ( Australian, R.A.A.F., Service Number : 6025 ). The aircraft, a de Havilland D.H.98 Mosquito B Mark IV ( AZ - O, DZ516 ), took off from R.A.F. Station Woodhall Spa ( Lincolnshire, England ), detailed to mark a flying bomb site at Beauvoir - Wavans ( Pas - de - Calais, France ). The " Mossie " crashed near Vaulx - Vraucourt ( Pas - de - Calais ). The crew is buried at Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension ( Somme, France ). Flying Officer James A. " Alec " Saint - Smith D.F.M. was posthumously awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross ( D.F.C. ) on August 15th, 1944, for his " conspicuous gallantry and determination " in successfully completing numerous sorties over Germany and France with No. 627 Squadron.
( sources : www.modelwereld.eu, airfix.fandom.com, www.460squadronraaf.com, Wikipedia, www.awm.gov.au, aviationmuseumwa.org.au, www.aircrewremembered.com, aviation-safety.net, )