Lancaster MkII research request

Discussion in 'Technical' started by RustyItalian, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. RustyItalian

    RustyItalian New Member

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    I'm searching for info on my Grandmother's uncle's Lancaster with a view to modelling it. It was shot down over Germany and he (Allan Frampton, RNZAF) was killed along with most of his crew. I have just received a copy of his logbook and will view his medals, hat etc soon.

    Refer Loss of Lancaster Mk II LL640 (115 Squadron) for details.

    Being a Mk II with Hercules engines this type was not that common, only 300 being made.

    My questions refer to the external layout of the aircraft, of which I have no photos. Many Mk II had the bulged bomb bay doors for the 8000 lb bomb and the fourth turret on the underside just aft of the bomb bay. Can anyone confirm if this aircraft would have had them? Was the use of the doors based on serial range or fairly random?

    Also I assume that it would have standard red codes?

    Cheers

    Richard
     
  2. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    Hi Richard. You've obviously done a lot of research in this area, as you raise interesting questions which I thought would be quickly answered on this forum. However I can appreciate your problem-there seems to be little information on the 'bulged' Mk II version, especially precise numbers built, serials and Squadrons involved. One source I have states "very few" Mk II versions with the 'bulged' bomb bay were built?

    If I were a betting man, I'd bet that it was unlikely that LL640 was 'bulged', but have no evidence to back it.

    Agreed. Here's DS626 of No.115 Squadron 1943...

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Colin Price

    Colin Price New Member

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  4. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    Richard, your fathers story then?

    Lancaster LL640 Information
    Type Lancaster
    Serial Number LL640
    Squadron 115
    X1D A4-C
    Operation Frankfurt
    Date 1 18th March 1944
    Date 2 19th March 1944

    Further Information

    "Serial Range LL617 - LM296 This aircraft was one of 450 Lancasters ordered from Armstrong whitworth Aircraft Apr42 and delivered as 100 Mk.11s with Hercules XV1 engines delivered Oct43 to Mar44 and 350 Mk.1s with Merlin 24 engines initially installedand delivered from Nov43 to Aug44. LL640 was a Mk.11 and was delivered to No.115 Sqdn 24Jan44. LL640 took part in the following Key Operations: Berlin 27/28Jan44; Berlin 30/31Jan44; Leipzig 19/20Feb44; Stuttgart 15/16Mar44; Frankfurt 18/19Mar44-Lost. When lost this aircraft had a total of 87 hours. LL640 was one of two No.115 Sqdn Lancasters lost on this operation. See: DS629 Airborne 1946 18Mar44 from Witchford. Cause of loss and crash-site not established. Those killed are buried in the Rheinberg War Cemetery. Although not unique to have three Commonwealth Air Forces represented in one crew was unusual. P/O A.s.Frampton RNZAF KIA Sgt S.R.J.Price PoW Sgt R.G.Rivers KIA Sgt P.F.Willis-Culpitt KIA Sgt B.E.Ansell KIA F/S T.W.Hennesy RAAF KIA Sgt C.H.Winters RCAF KIA Sgt S.R.Price was interned in Camps L6/357, PoW No.3422. Actually survived being flung out of the cockpit window with the aircraft in a spin. Liberated 16Apr45. "
     
  5. Nieuport411

    Nieuport411 New Member

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    #5 Nieuport411, Nov 17, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2011
    It wasn't just a matter of bulged doors or not, but of two different types of bulged doors. (Not including the standard doors and the bulged doors used on the prototypes)
    One type had the bulge start well aft of the front, while the later type was bulged right from the front of the doors.
    The LL series of Mark II's seem more likely to have the long bulge type and serials close to LL640 - LL634, 635, 636 and LL725 all had long bulged doors.
    The only way to tell for sure which bombay is a photo of the specific aircraft, however if the bombloads the aircraft was assigned was written down somewhere that might provide a clue as the longer bulged doors allowed different loads.


    It is very unlikely that the belly turret was installed as it was only on the first few and removed shortly thereafter. The FN turret suffered from poor transversing speed and gave the gunner bad tunnel vision (it used a periscope) so he couldn't see anything anyway.
    In its place was often installed a machine gun on a pintle mount - either a .50 cal or a 20mm cannon. The number of crew present will tell you if there was a belly gunner (I can't recall what a normal crew was).
    There was also an official mod - Mod. 925 which provided an alternate to the field mods (but with a single .303) but it may not have been as common as the field mods.

    You may be interested in the Lancaster discussion forum at Lancaster-Archive which probably has more - it is generally quite busy and has loads of info.

    Dull Red codes were standard for this period.
     
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