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[103 Squadron RAF]
[Vignettes]
[Vignettes 40 to 42]
[Vignettes Winter 42/43]
[Vignettes 43 to 45]

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LANCASTER - W4364 - 103 Squadron

  This was the first Lancaster in Bomber Command to achieve 50 operations, with a number of different crews. The 50th, trip was on Monday 23 August 1943 to Berlin. "We had just started to board our aircraft when there was a shout to get out quick and when we did we saw that the Lancaster in the next dispersal was on fire and we took shelter After a few minutes it blew up and the airfield was covered in smoke. We thought operations would be cancelled but the C.O. thought otherwise and we took off about an hour late and I think we were about last over the target and consequently had a rough time, getting coned in searchlights etc. However we survived and returned to base unaware of our landmark trip until next day when we were ordered to report to flights for this.

  

103 Squadron Annis crew and Billy

  On the platform - Station Commander Group Captain Dickens, rivet gun in hand, who has attached a dummy D.F.C. to the aircraft nose. Back row. Ground crew including Alex Gorrie 3rd from left. Front row. Aircrew L to R Eddie Edwards - Mid upper Gunner, Norman Turrell - Flight Engineer, Mac McDonald - Wireless operator, Cliff Annis - Pilot and Captain, Jack Birbeck - Bomb Aimer, Johnny Oldershaw - Rear Gunner, Johnny Renwick (Canadian) - Navigator. This Lancaster was shot down 3 days later on the 27th Aug 43. Only Annis, Birbeck and Turrell survived. Cliff Annis was badly injured in the resulting explosion.

  This aircraft was amongst the first batch of 103 Sq Lancasters delivered in late 1942 and had been flown by some prominent 103 Sq captains including Cook, Bayliss, Temperley, Maddern, Bickers, Burton and Steel. David Fell

   

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