Australian & New Zealand Military Aircraft Serials & History

RAAF A66 Avro Lancaster Mk.I

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The crew of the first Lancaster to reach Australia, ED930 'Queenie', with their aircraft at Prestwick in May 1943, before setting off on its record-breaking 72 hour flight via Canada and the USA.


Avro Lancaster Image Gallery, 460 Squadron Image Gallery,
463 Squadron Image Gallery, 467 Squadron Image Gallery


(See also 460, 463 & 467 Sqn, RAAF Avro Lancasters)

RAAF Serial RAF Serial Model Aircraft History
A66-1 ED930 Mk.I Ex ED930.
Named Queenie VI but affectionately known just as "Queenie", ED930 departed UK for Australia on 22/05/43.
Routed via: 22/05/43 Prestwick - Montreal (15:45 hr), 24/05/43 Montreal - Toronto (02:20), 27/05/43 Toronto - San Francisco (13:10), 30/05/43 San Francisco - Honolulu (13:00), 31/05/43 Honolulu - Palmyra Is (9:45), 31/05/43 Palmyra Is - Canton Is (4:50), 01/06/43 Canton Is - Nandi (6:40), 03/06/43 Nandi - Amberley (8:40), Total Fight Time 74:10 hr.
6/06/43 Received 1AD ex UK
9/06/43 Issued New Zealand ex 1AD (Flight time 7 hours 37 minutes)
20/06/43 Received 1AD ex-NZ (Flight time 8 hours 29 minutes)
24/06/43 Renumbered A66-1
15/08/43 and 5/10/43 status cards states "On tour" referring to War Bonds tour around Australia

22/10/43 Queenie flew under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. (Pilot FLT LT Peter Isaacson) Still holds the record as the largest aircraft to do so.
Crashed 26/10/43, Evans Head. The a/c suffered a wind change when landing and ran off the end and ended up in a ditch severely damaged. Repairs needed 10 crates of parts to be sent from Canada and took until 4/04/44. Initially thought to be a write-off, it turned out to be the biggest field service repair in RAAF history.
It did about 500 hours flying after the repairs, including converting all the DAP test pilots and 52 Qantas pilots for the Lancastrian operations which began in 1945.
Flown from 1 OTU East Sale to 7 OTU Tocumwal 08/08/45.
To 7AD 14/01/46 for storage.
Approval given for conversion to instructional airframe 15/10/46.
To Care and Maintenance at Tocumwal for conversion 12/11/46.
To 1 OTU East Sale 04/08/47.
Approved for conversion to components 07/06/48.
Considering Queenie had no war service it was sold for scrap to a dealer in Maffra Vic. in 1948.

Highlight for Album: Lancaster A66-1 (ED930)
A66-2 W4783 Mk.I Ex W4783 460 Sqn AR-G.
Part of the second production batch of 200 aircraft ordered from Metropolitan-Vickers Ltd., Trafford Park, Manchester, under Contract No. B69275/40 and built at the Mosley Road Works, Manchester.
To 460 Sqn 27/10/42.
First Operation 6/12/42 to Mannheim from RAF Breighton,
Moved with Squadron to RAF Binbrook, Lincs May 1943,
G George is known to have reurned from at least 20 missions with various degrees of damage which was repaired
90th and final Final Operation flown 20/04/44 to Cologne, and also in July 1943, it was damaged in a ground explosion at Binbrook and again repaired and returned to service,
Departed Prestwick 11/10/44 arriving in Australia 8/11/44.
Took part in the 3rd Victory Loan Tour 13/03/45 to 27/04/1945.
Final flight 24/09/45 to RAAF Fairbairn. It remained parked there until put on display at the AWM in 1955.
In 1999 it was removed to undertake a full restoration at the Treloar Technology Centre.
The nose section was initially put back on display in the AWM's Anzac Hall until 03/12/2003 when the entire aircraft went back on display.

Highlight for Album: Lancaster A66-2 (W4783)

  PB974 Mk.III In April 1945, four Lancaster IIIs (PB974, PB992/994) were allocated to the RAAF for research but not taken up.
37 Sqn,
SOC RAF 22/05/47
  PB992 Mk.III In April 1945, four Lancaster IIIs (PB974, PB992/994) were allocated to the RAAF for research but not taken up.
37 Sqn,
SOC RAF 6/10/47
  PB993 Mk.III In April 1945, four Lancaster IIIs (PB974, PB992/994) were allocated to the RAAF for research but not taken up.
214 Sqn,
37 Sqn,
Sold for scrap 9/2/49
  PB994 Mk.III In April 1945, four Lancaster IIIs (PB974, PB992/994) were allocated to the RAAF for research but not taken up.
214 Sqn,
37 Sqn,
SOC 9/1/47

Other notable Avro Lancasters with Australian connections

Aircraft Serial Model Aircraft History
EE202 Mk.III This was a 12 Sqn, RAF aircraft (PH-K) being flown by the CO 460 Sqn Wing Commander R.A. Norman DSO, DFC, who was shot down by a night fighter on the first operation of his second tour on 8 October in an attack on Hanover.
Wing Commander Norman became POW and command of 460 Sqn passed to Wing Commander F.A. Arthur DFC, who had also completed his first tour. Arthur had the distinction of being the first Australian and only the second navigator in Bomber Command to lead a squadron.
We suspect that EE202 was on an informal loan from 12 Sqn, RAF to 460 Sqn for Wing Commander Norman's mission.
NX611 MK.VII Built by Austin Motors at Longbridge near Birmingham, in April 1945.
One of the first 150 B Mk VII Avro Lancasters destined as part of the RAF's Tiger Force in the Far East,
Stored at Llandow to 1952,
To French Aeronavale 4/6/52 1952 as WU-15,
Overhauled by UAT at Le Bourget,
Served with 10F, 24F, 25F, 55F, 52F & 9S,
Presented by the French Government in 1964 to the Historical Aircraft Preservation Society,
Delivered to Sydney where she was overhauled and named "Spirit of Surfers Paradise",
As G-ASXX "Spirit of Surfers Paradise", ferried from Australia to the UK. in 9 days and 75 flying hours- landing at Biggin Hill on 13 May, 1965, (she received
RAAF Sabre and Canberra escorts while transitting through RAAF Butterworth, Malaysia),
Temporarily grounded, due to expiry of permitted flying hours,
Flown again in 1967 but public appearances were brief because of prohibitive costs.
Flown to Lavenham in Suffolk and, a few years later, in 1972, was put up for auction at 'Squires Gate', Blackpool.
Auctioned ue to the reserve not being reached, she was withdrawn from the auction and later privately sold to the Rt Hon Lord Lilford.and loaned as a Gate Guardian at RAF Scampton, near Lincoln,
Bought at Auction by Fred and Harold Panton September 1983,
Relocated in 1987 to East Kirkby with the assistance of the RAF,
Restored to taxiable standard as 'Just Jane" with long terms plans to make airworthy.
NX622 MK.VII Built by Austin Motors of Longbridge, Birmingham, England,
Delivered 38 MU RAF, Llandow, Wales for storage,
Returned Austin for Modifications,
Returned to 38 MU for further storage, (& hours total RAF Flying time),
June 1951, to Avro for conversion to MR.7 (one of 54 Lancasters to be sold to the French Aeronautique Navale),
Delivered to Aeronavale, overhauled by UAT at Le Bourget,and ferried to Lan Bihouee, 18 June 1952.
Allocated Flotille 24F for Atlantic Service,
February 1954 transferred to Cuers naval air station for radar installeation,
Allocated to Flotille 25F April 1954 to January 1957 Bihouee In April,
January 1957, major overhaul by UTA, Le Bourget Airport, Paris, (1,300 Airframe hours),
May 1957 flown from Brittany to New Caledonia allocated to 9S at Tontouta,
July 1959 it made Its first visit to Australia, when It was flown to Bankstown, New South Wales, for a 600 hour airframe and 200 hour engine overhaul by the Fairey Aviation Company,
After test flying off the east coast of Australia. It returned to its base at Tontouta, Noumea four months later,
Late 1961, 100 hour overhaul at Tontouta (All 4 original Rolls Royce Merlin engines replaced after ten years' service),
Aircraft earmarked for presentation to the RAAF Association,
1 December 1962, Delivery flight to Perth ( Just over 2,600 hours flying in 17 years),
Currently on display at the RAAF Association Museum in Perth, Western Australia representing JO-D of 463 Sqn RAAF


The Author of this page is Dave Best (updated by Brendan Cowan and Martin Edwards and with further information from "Phantom").

Sources: Logbook of D I Macdonald, Service History of J.W.Wood, Alan Chamber's Bomber Command Project, 460, 463 & 467 Sqn Operational Record Books, Air Britain: The Lancaster File J.J.Halley, British Military Aircraft Serials 1911-1979, Bruce Robertson, National Archives of Australia, Claims to fame Lancaster - Norman Franks, G-George - Michael Nelmes, Lancaster 1/2/3 Garbett & Goulding, Lancaster - Harry Holmes, Lancaster story - Peter Jacobs, Strike and Return, Peter Firkins, A Unique Flight, Michael Nelmes, Australian War Memorial.

Emails: Dave Holmes, Greg Hyde, Warwick Henry, Alan Chambers, Daniel Leahy, Gordon Birkett, John Nichols, George Forrest, Clive Lynch, Steve Mcmanus, Stuart, Robert Brosing, Ken Conley, Alan Macdonald, Harry Blundell, Jason Stagg, John McCartney, Alan Chambers, Peter Culiffe, Brendan Cowan, Robert Hagger, Peter Finlay, "Phantom", Darren Bemrose (PB125).

Updated 20 August 2014


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