Posing tentatively in their uniforms, at first glance they could be a Lancaster Bomber crew preparing for a daring war-time mission.
But these photos were not taken 70 years ago, but this week at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre – the former Lancaster bomber base at RAF East Kirkby.Admirers of the war-time planes stepped back in time to relive the sights, sounds and smells of the famous bomber which helped destroy the Nazi war machine.
They dressed up in original uniforms and sat in the cockpit of ‘Just Jane’, one of only three Lancasters left in the world capable of flying. It comes as the long overdue RAF Bomber Command Memorial is just weeks away from being unveiled in Green Park, London in honour of the 55,573 airmen who died helping to defeat Hitler during the Second World War.
The monument near Buckingham Palace will recognise the extraordinary sacrifice, courage and dedication of the young men who lost their lives. Forty four per cent of the 125,000 men who served in the Command were killed in action.
Part of the memorial will be constructed from sections of melted down aluminium from a Halifax bomber shot down over Belgium in May 1944 killing eight people.
The memorial is expected to be officially unveiled by the Queen on June 28 this year. ‘Just Jane’ was built at Longbridge near Birmingham, in April 1945, by Austin Motors. Given the serial number NX611, she was due to join the RAF’s Tiger Force in the Far East – but after Japan’s early surrender, the plane was put in…