Canadian Lancaster VERA lands at RAF Coningsby

VERA coming in to land

VERA coming in to land

Lancaster VERA coming in to land

Lancaster VERA coming in to land

Lancaster of Battle of Britain Memorial Flight standing in the rain

Lancaster of Battle of Britain Memorial Flight standing in the rain

Squadron Leader Paula Willmot braves the rain

Squadron Leader Paula Willmot braves the rain

two Lancasters

two Lancasters

two Lancasters

two Lancasters

two Lancasters

two Lancasters

Lancaster VERA

Lancaster VERA

Harry Parkins Bomber Command veteran of 39 ops

Harry Parkins Bomber Command veteran of 39 ops

Lancaster of Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

Lancaster of Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

flight crew chatting to crowds at perimeter fence

flight crew chatting to crowds at perimeter fence

flight crew and veteran before Lancaster VERA

flight crew and veteran before Lancaster VERA

Still hard to believe what happened today. — Matthew Munson

Starting to set in what we actually achieved bringing the Lancaster to the UK. An amazing experience, will never happen again. — Matthew Munson

Lunchtime yesterday, a Canadian Avro Lancaster touched down at RAF Coningsby. It is only one of two flight-worthy Lancasters, the other is based at RAF Coninsgsby, part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. There is also based at Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre a Lancaster that can taxi, but not fly.

There had been weeks of lovely, warm, sunny weather. Yesterday it tipped it down, but that did not dampen the spirits of those there, invited guests, guests of honour being veterans from World War Two Bomber Command. There were also crowds gathered outside hoping to catch a glimpse.

There was due to be a fly past over Lincoln of the two aircraft, but this had to be cancelled due to poor visibility.

Harry Parkins, Bomber Command veteran of 39 ops:

I had a super time with the Air Vice Marshal’s wife taking me under her wing and introducing me to all the Press and TV who were asking questions and taking photos. The Air Vice Marshal’s wife was a Squadron Leader and said I had so many interesting stories that she would try and get me to go to one of their officers dinners.

From Lincolnshire Echo:

Lancaster veteran Harry Parkins, who is 89, and lives in Trafalgar Court in Washingborough, was absolutely delighted to be at RAF Coningsby today to welcome the Canadian Lancaster.

Mr Parkins, who is 90 in October, is a former salesman who went on to manage an electrical wholesaler.

He flew 36 missions as a flight engineer with 630 Squadron at East Kirkby and three missions with 576 Squadron from Fiskerton.

He said: “It is an amazing day. It brings back memories and I still go back to East Kirkby when I can because I don’t have to pay now.

“When I joined up with the first Lancaster unit, I had no experience in the aircraft because I trained on Stirlings.

“We never thought of the danger, you just knew for some reason that you would get back.

“It was exciting except when you were caught in the German searchlights, which we were over Stuttgart, but the pilot did a corkscrew manoeuvre and got us out of it.

“It is an honour to be here, especially as I served with crewmen from New Zealand and Australia.

“Now I am the only one left it is great to welcome the Canadians over here.”

Mr Parkins explained how he survived a mid-air collision over East Kirkby in 1943 as his aircraft was coming into land another Lancaster flew in below and took off a wheel.

“We all survived because we landed ok but the other aircraft crashed and exploded and all the crew were lost.”

Lancaster VERA was from Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, which is organising the $750,000 six-week trip to Lincolnshire. They were amazed at the level of interest their trip has generated.

Lancaster VERA flew to Goose Green, then to Iceland, then to arrive RAF Coningsby Friday lunchtime. A remarkable achievement, probably never to be undertaken again.

Pictures are mainly from Lincolnshire Echo. Tweets as shown.

A Second World War Avro Lancaster flies across the Atlantic, which was more than the Lockheed-Martin F-35 Lighting was able to do for the Farnborough Airshow.

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6 Responses to “Canadian Lancaster VERA lands at RAF Coningsby”

  1. Harry Parkins Says:

    Fantastic blog again Keith and thanks for mention me. Oh I forgot I got 2 special boxes each with 1 bottle of bomberdier and 1 glass one will be for you when you come home. Thanks again and take care.

  2. hammerjeff Says:

    Dad – Jack Parkins – rang me today and told me all about this – he was quite emotional and proud! I got the last Daily Express at a petrol station today in Swansea to see your father’s comments! Wish him well from us all! Your cousin!

  3. ashbournevoice Says:

    Reblogged this on An Ashbourne Voice and commented:
    Not particularly into air shows or aviation but I love the blog and the stroy. Thank you

  4. keithpp Says:

    Thank you for kind comments, and yes, feel welcome to re-blog and share.

  5. keithpp Says:

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