Lancasters with the Rose rear turret

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33k in the air

Staff Sergeant
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Jan 31, 2021
In Bomber Harris — Sir Arthur Harris' Despatch on War Operations 1942–1945 it says this in regards to the Rose twin .50-cal MG rear turret:

The Rose turret was introduced into operational use in Bomber Command in July, 1944, and at the end of the German War, 180 of these turrets had been built and installed in Lancaster aircraft of No. 1 Group.

Does anyone have information on which Lancaster aircraft were equipped with this rear turret? I.e. specific serial numbers, serial number batch, manufacturer, which maintenance unit installed them if done at a modification centre, etc. The references I have on hand all have little information on the subject, other than mentioning a small number of Lancasters were equipped with it by war's end. It'd be great to get some idea of which individual aircraft had the Rose turret and the rate at which they entered service.
 
Lancaster I and III production July 1944 to end of production was 2,777, with a rate of 200 and 300 per month July 1944 to March 1945 (average 250 per month), versus 321 Rose turrets made and if the turrets were restricted to 1 Group then it was probably a post manufacture fitting, either at a maintenance unit or at the squadron that received it. Presumably the change had a modification number. Maybe try finding a photograph with the turret fitted where the serial number is shown then look up the aircraft card to see if the change is noted. After that comes the 1 Group squadron histories. The 180 mark VII, fitted with the FN.82 rear turret, were built between April and December 1945.

According to the Ministry of Aircraft Production aircraft turrets were built by Parnell Aircraft 1939 to end 1945, Brockhouse 1939 to end 1945, Lucas Birmingham Q4/39 to end 1945, Lucas Cwmbran Q3/41 to end 1945, Diamler Q2/41 to end 1945, Rose Brothers Q3/44 to end 1945, Boulton Paul Q4/44 to end 1945 and Arrow Aircraft Q2 and Q3/44.

Rear Turrets for Lancasters. Program is planned production for the month. "in FN.120" means the report does not split the program between the 120 and 121. The FN.120 and 121 were in production for several aircraft types each of whom have separate entries in the production reports.
MonthTypeProductionProgramMonthTypeProductionProgram
Jul-44​
FN.120/121
313​
340​
Apr-45​
FN.82
75​
85​
Jul-44​
R.1
10​
0​
Apr-45​
FN.120
65​
0​
Aug-44​
FN.120
277​
350​
Apr-45​
FN.121
228​
250​
Aug-44​
FN.121
3​
in FN.120
Apr-45​
R.2 Mark I
17​
60​
Aug-44​
R.2
8​
0​
May-45​
FN.82
62​
115​
Sep-44​
FN.120
269​
400​
May-45​
FN.120
52​
0​
Sep-44​
FN.121
102​
in FN.120
May-45​
FN.121
160​
250​
Sep-44​
R.2
17​
0​
May-45​
R.2 Mark I
27​
60​
Oct-44​
FN.120
160​
430​
Jun-45​
FN.82
86​
150​
Oct-44​
FN.121
151​
in FN.120
Jun-45​
FN.120
2​
0​
Oct-44​
R.2
14​
0​
Jun-45​
FN.121
130​
85​
Nov-44​
FN.120
178​
430​
Jun-45​
R.2 Mark I
27​
60​
Nov-44​
FN.121
165​
in FN.120
Jul-45​
FN.82
75​
165​
Nov-44​
R.2
12​
0​
Jul-45​
FN.121
59​
0​
Dec-44​
FN.82
2​
15​
Jul-45​
R.2 Mark I
35​
60​
Dec-44​
FN.120
113​
0​
Aug-45​
FN.82
87​
190​
Dec-44​
FN.121
197​
228​
Aug-45​
FN.121
8​
0​
Dec-44​
R.2
14​
20​
Aug-45​
R.2 Mark I
13​
60​
Jan-45​
FN.82
28​
26​
Sep-45​
FN.82
42​
153​
Jan-45​
FN.120
85​
0​
Sep-45​
R.2 Mark I
23​
0​
Jan-45​
FN.121
236​
210​
Oct-45​
FN.82
69​
117​
Jan-45​
R.2
27​
30​
Oct-45​
R.2 Mark I
21​
0​
Feb-45​
FN.82
40​
40​
Nov-45​
FN.82
80​
0​
Feb-45​
FN.120
95​
0​
Nov-45​
R.2 Mark I
6​
0​
Feb-45​
FN.121
164​
217​
Feb-45​
R.2
24​
30​
1944​
Rose
75​
total
Mar-45​
FN.82
50​
60​
1945​
Rose
246​
total
Mar-45​
FN.120
97​
0​
Mar-45​
FN.121
250​
250​
Mar-45​
R.2 Mark I
26​
40​

July 1944 FN.50 and FN.150 mid upper turrets in production. FN.120 and 121 also for Lancaster IV and V = Lincoln
September 1944, FN.120 and 121 also for Lincoln (no more Lancaster IV and V)
October 1944, FN.121 only also for Lincoln
December 1944 FN.50 plus FN.150 mark I and IV mid upper turrets in production.
March 1945 FN.121 production for Lancaster only, FN.150 mid upper turret production no mark numbers given.
March 1945, production reported of 250 CE 23A mid upper turrets for Lancasters.
May 1945, end FN.150 mid upper turrets
July 1945, end FN.50 mid upper turrets
October 1945, R.2 Mark I turret now for Lincoln
November 1945, end of Rose Turret production.
 
Interestingly, when adding up the number of Rose turrets produced from July 1944 through April 1945 in the table you provided, I get a total of 169, which is 11 short of the 180 in service by war's end mentioned by Harris. There were 27 built in May 1945, so some of those account for the remainder?

Maybe try finding a photograph with the turret fitted where the serial number is shown then look up the aircraft card to see if the change is noted.

That's a good idea, although from what I recall there seem to few photos of the turret, and those usually only show the tail of the aircraft. But I'll go through the references I have again; there might yet be some photos there I overlooked.


I might as well ask the following while I'm at it:

Do you have any information on the rate at which bulged bomb bay doors were fitted to Lancasters? I have some information on that from going through the ORBs for 106 and 408 squadrons and looking at the bomb loads; if it carried an 8,000-lb bomb, it had the bulged doors fitted at some point. I recall reading somewhere that by war's end roughly one-third of Lancasters had the bulged doors, but then in another reference (I thought it was Harris' Despatch, but I might be wrong about that) it said only about 10% had them.

Also, do you have any data on the rate at which Bomber Command aircraft were fitted with H2S? I understand that as the war progressed more and more aircraft had it fitted, but I've not come across specific numbers showing the amount of aircraft so equipped at various points in time.
 
For the 180 Rose turret production figure it would come down to what date Harris decides is the end of the war in Europe, how much of May is included, I doubt much work was done for a few days after the surrender.

The bulged bomb bay doors came in a number of styles as I understand it with plenty factory fitted but I have no information on numbers or serials. The modelling community is probably your best bet. Officially the bulged doors were to carry the 8,000 pound and 12,000 pound HC bombs (different to the 12,000 MC Tallboy), yet Lancasters only dropped 186 12,000 pound HC, 16 AMTX 8,000 pound, 15 M2 8,000 pound and 1,087 HC 8,000 pound bombs, compared with 78,321 4,000 pound bombs of various types.

According to Harry Holmes, RAF Lancaster Stock, January 1946, Notes: Lancaster II obsolete, VI "3 in service", VII still being produced

markH2STotalLong term Store
INo
86​
61​
IYes
431​
272​
IUnknown
185​
135​
I SpecialUnknown
16​
0​
I (ASR)Yes
50​
42​
IIUnknown
11​
0​
IIINo
62​
48​
IIIYes
215​
132​
III (ASR)Yes
68​
32​
VIUnknown
0​
0​
VIIUnknown
10​
0​
XUnknown
81​
81​
TotalTotal
1215​
803​

Apart from the above nothing I have gives strength reports split by whether H2S was fitted. I think some of the squadron histories note any H2S fitting.

As for production the figures are for H2S and ASV combined, as of 1943 made up of TR.3191, R.3192/3515, I.U.162, M.U.64, Scanners types 3, 51, 12, 53 and Fishpond I.U.182A. Production of M.U.64 and the scanners began in 1942 or earlier, TR.3191 and the R types began on April 1943, 80 TR.3139 and building to over 200 in June. I.U.162 production began in May 1943 and Fishpond in August. Unfortunately the summary figures are presented as weekly average for month, divide total production by either 4 or 5, round, print. TR.3191 production stalled in the 200's per month until March 1944 when it more than doubled to 600 or so sets per month.

The more detailed "for the month" production in July 1944 notes TR.3191, R.3515, I.U.162 or 184 and scanners type 3 and 63 were for the bombers, scanners 51 or 68 for Wellington XIV and Warwick, Scanners 12 and 53 for Sunderland, Fishpond and Lucero (TR.3160 or 3160A) were for aircraft taking H2S.

The Ministry of aircraft production ceases reporting radio/radar production in December 1944 , by which stage it is H2S-ASV and consists of TR.3191/3519A, R3192/3515/3585, I.U.162/184/162C, M.U.64, Scanners types 3, 51, 63, 12, 53, Fishpond I.U.182A, production of TR components of around 600 per month. Fishpond production had built to pushing 900 sets a month in June 1944, then around 350, 0, 0, 35 July to October.

Underscoring the way WWII became an electronics war the December 1944 monthly figures have entries for IFF III/III GR, ASV II, H2S IIC/III and ASV VIB/VIC, ASV XI and XII, Lucero for FAA, AI VIII/VIIIB and ASV XII, Gee II, AGLT, Rebecca II/IIB, Monica IIIC and one final group "common items". The H2S IIC/III Bombers now have one of TR.3191/3523/3519A and R.3515/R3585/3553A and I.U. 184/184A/162C/216A and scanners type 63, 69 or 71.
 
The bulged bomb bay doors came in a number of styles as I understand it with plenty factory fitted but I have no information on numbers or serials.

Yeah, I figured that'd be the case, as these sorts of modifications don't appear to be documented too well. (It's a similar case with the ventral turrets installed on some bombers, along with the bulged bomb bay doors and H2S installations).

I'll be able to pick up some of the bomb bay and ventral turret data when I start going through the squadron ORBs again. (Eventually.)

In regards to Lancaster 1/III with the bulged doors (as opposed to the Mk II, which as I understand it, most came with them installed as the default), I can offer some examples from 106 Squadron.

R5551 carried an 8,000-lb bomb on 10 operations between 1 Sept. 1942 through 12 June 1943.
R5552 carried an 8,000-lb bomb on 12 operations between 26 Apr. 1943 through 22 June 1943.
R5573 carried an 8,000-lb bomb on 28 operations between 8 Sept. 1942 through 28 June 1943.
R5609 carried an 8,000-lb bomb on 14 operations between 26 Apr. 1943 through 2 Aug. 1943.
R5611 carried an 8,000-lb bomb on 14 operations between 16 Jan. 1943 through 12 May 1943.
R5612 carried an 8,000-lb bomb on 10 operations between 4 May 1943 through 24 June 1943.
R5614 carried an 8,000-lb bomb on 15 operations between 4 May 1943 through 30 July 1943.

Six other aircraft carried an 8,000-lb bomb only once.
 
A Halifax dropped one 8,000 pound bomb, for some reason the 1944 year total here for 12,000 pound bombs is 26 more than the official total, 26 is the total for in night raids in March 1944.
Night of12000 HC8000 HC
10-Apr-42​
0​
1​
31-Jul-42​
0​
1​
28-Aug-42​
0​
2​
1-Sep-42​
0​
1​
2-Sep-42​
0​
1​
4-Sep-42​
0​
1​
6-Sep-42​
0​
1​
8-Sep-42​
0​
2​
10-Sep-42​
0​
1​
13-Sep-42​
0​
4​
14-Sep-42​
0​
1​
16-Sep-42​
0​
1​
15-Oct-42​
0​
3​
9-Nov-42​
0​
1​
28-Nov-42​
0​
2​
8-Dec-42​
0​
4​
9-Dec-42​
0​
1​
16-Jan-43​
0​
6​
17-Jan-43​
0​
5​
27-Jan-43​
0​
5​
30-Jan-43​
0​
2​
4-Feb-43​
0​
3​
13-Feb-43​
0​
3​
19-Feb-43​
0​
1​
25-Feb-43​
0​
4​
26-Feb-43​
0​
5​
28-Feb-43​
0​
4​
1-Mar-43​
0​
3​
3-Mar-43​
0​
1​
5-Mar-43​
0​
3​
8-Mar-43​
0​
2​
9-Mar-43​
0​
3​
11-Mar-43​
0​
2​
12-Mar-43​
0​
1​
22-Mar-43​
0​
2​
26-Mar-43​
0​
4​
27-Mar-43​
0​
3​
29-Mar-43​
0​
2​
3-Apr-43​
0​
6​
4-Apr-43​
0​
5​
8-Apr-43​
0​
2​
10-Apr-43​
0​
1​
14-Apr-43​
0​
2​
20-Apr-43​
0​
1​
26-Apr-43​
0​
2​
30-Apr-43​
0​
2​
4-May-43​
0​
5​
12-May-43​
0​
7​
13-May-43​
0​
10​
23-May-43​
0​
11​
25-May-43​
0​
11​
27-May-43​
0​
8​
29-May-43​
0​
9​
11-Jun-43​
0​
11​
12-Jun-43​
0​
8​
14-Jun-43​
0​
4​
16-Jun-43​
0​
2​
21-Jun-43​
0​
6​
22-Jun-43​
0​
7​
24-Jun-43​
0​
9​
25-Jun-43​
0​
10​
28-Jun-43​
0​
8​
3-Jul-43​
0​
8​
8-Jul-43​
0​
2​
9-Jul-43​
0​
8​
12-Jul-43​
0​
2​
13-Jul-43​
0​
12​
24-Jul-43​
0​
11​
25-Jul-43​
0​
9​
27-Jul-43​
0​
7​
29-Jul-43​
0​
8​
30-Jul-43​
0​
1​
2-Aug-43​
0​
1​
22-Aug-43​
0​
8​
30-Aug-43​
0​
12​
15-Sep-43​
7​
22-Sep-43​
0​
10​
23-Sep-43​
0​
3​
8-Oct-43​
0​
18​
18-Oct-43​
0​
19​
22-Oct-43​
0​
4​
3-Nov-43​
0​
5​
11-Nov-43​
10​
18-Nov-43​
0​
1​
3-Dec-43​
0​
8​
16-Dec-43​
9​
20-Dec-43​
2​
19​
23-Dec-43​
0​
4​
30-Dec-43​
9​
2-Jan-44​
0​
9​
14-Jan-44​
0​
10​
21-Jan-44​
0​
5​
27-Jan-44​
0​
4​
30-Jan-44​
0​
8​
8-Feb-44​
5​
12-Feb-44​
9​
15-Feb-44​
0​
18​
19-Feb-44​
0​
2​
20-Feb-44​
0​
14​
24-Feb-44​
0​
6​
25-Feb-44​
0​
2​
1-Mar-44​
0​
10​
2-Mar-44​
11​
9-Mar-44​
0​
2​
15-Mar-44​
0​
11​
16-Mar-44​
10​
18-Mar-44​
5​
17​
20-Mar-44​
0​
6​
22-Mar-44​
0​
19​
24-Mar-44​
0​
10​
26-Mar-44​
0​
13​
29-Mar-44​
0​
0​
30-Mar-44​
0​
4​
5-Apr-44​
0​
0​
10-Apr-44​
0​
17​
20-Apr-44​
0​
11​
22-Apr-44​
0​
13​
24-Apr-44​
0​
15​
26-Apr-44​
0​
16​
27-Apr-44​
0​
2​
21-May-44​
0​
12​
22-May-44​
0​
7​
12-Aug-44​
0​
2​
18-Aug-44​
0​
21​
26-Aug-44​
0​
23​
29-Aug-44​
0​
15​
12-Sep-44​
0​
14​
6-Oct-44​
0​
15​
14-Oct-44​
0​
7​
15-Oct-44​
0​
2​
30-Oct-44​
0​
34​
31-Oct-44​
0​
12​
6-Nov-44​
0​
5​
26-Nov-44​
15​
28-Nov-44​
2​
7​
4-Dec-44​
4​
17-Dec-44​
17​
21-Dec-44​
0​
5​
2-Feb-45​
1​
2​
3-Feb-45​
0​
2​
8-Feb-45​
0​
3​
13-Feb-45​
0​
1​
14-Feb-45​
0​
1​
20-Feb-45​
0​
1​
3-Mar-45​
18​
6-Mar-45​
0​
1​
7-Mar-45​
0​
1​
16-Mar-45​
5​
4-Apr-45​
2​
6​
9-Apr-45​
2​
4​
13-Apr-45​
6​
1​
14-Apr-45​
0​
16​
Total
149​
883​

Night of8000 M28000 AMTX
20-Mar-44​
7​
29-Mar-44​
8​
5-Apr-44​
0​
16​

Day8000 HC12000 HC
7-Oct-44​
17​
14-Oct-44​
8​
18-Oct-44​
10​
2-Nov-44​
24​
4-Nov-44​
8​
5-Nov-44​
7​
8-Nov-44​
2​
16-Nov-44​
7​
4-Dec-44​
9​
5​
5-Dec-44​
7​
12-Dec-44​
5​
1​
16-Dec-44​
9​
5​
29-Dec-44​
11​
4​
31-Dec-44​
1​
1-Feb-45​
2​
16-Feb-45​
2​
18-Feb-45​
5​
19-Feb-45​
4​
22-Feb-45​
4​
23-Feb-45​
3​
25-Feb-45​
4​
26-Feb-45​
5​
27-Feb-45​
3​
28-Feb-45​
5​
2-Mar-45​
5​
2​
4-Mar-45​
3​
5-Mar-45​
3​
1​
6-Mar-45​
4​
9-Mar-45​
2​
1​
10-Mar-45​
2​
1​
11-Mar-45​
2​
15​
12-Mar-45​
2​
15​
14-Mar-45​
4​
17-Mar-45​
3​
1​
18-Mar-45​
2​
19-Mar-45​
2​
21-Mar-45​
2​
3​
22-Mar-45​
1​
27-Mar-45​
3​
3​
29-Mar-45​
3​
1​
22-Apr-45​
2​
3​
Total
205​
63​
 
A Halifax dropped one 8,000 pound bomb, for some reason the 1944 year total here for 12,000 pound bombs is 26 more than the official total, 26 is the total for in night raids in March 1944.

According to Bombs Gone — The Development and Use of British Air-Dropped Weapons by Arthur Hogben and John MacBean (Patrick Stephens Limited, 1990), the total number of 8,000-lb bombs dropped during the war was 1,088. The number of 12,000-lb HC bombs dropped was 193. Summing the tables you provided yield a total of 1,104 and 212, respectively.

From an earlier, less detailed look at selected squadron bomb loads I did some years ago:

90 Squadron accounted for at least 7 of the 8,000-lb bombs
115 Squadron accounted for at least 86 of the 8,000-lb bombs
426 Squadron accounted for at least 10 of the 8,000-lb bombs
514 Squadron accounted for at least 33 of the 8,000-lb bombs

90 Squadron accounted for at least 1 of the 12,000-lb HC bombs
115 Squadron accounted for at least 22 of the 12,000-lb HC bombs

The newer attempt showed:

106 Squadron carried the 8,000-lb bomb on 110 sorties (including 1 sortie which abandoned the mission); all were by Lancaster Mk I/III.
408 Squadron carried the 8,000-lb bomb on 46 sorties (including 6 sorties which abandoned the mission); all were by Lancaster Mk II.
 
On the Rose Turrets, I think that all the AeroNaval Lancasters recovered from French Polynesia had Rose turrets (One is in MOTAT - NZ) and one in Britain at East Kirkby
I don't believe that any of the Aeronavale Lancasters received Rose turrets. They did receive turrets to carry 2x0.5" but the Rose turret was only one of 3 types of 0.5" turret produced late war to fit British heavy bombers. There was aso the:-

Boulton Paul Type D which went firstly into Halifax B.VII and then Lincolns and Shackleton MR.1 &
Frazer-Nash FN-82 which was fitted to Lancasters

It was the latter turret that was fitted to most, if not all, of the French aircraft before transfer. Compare this photo with the ones of the Rose turret I posted above.


img_43-1_13.jpg
 
Interestingly, when adding up the number of Rose turrets produced from July 1944 through April 1945 in the table you provided, I get a total of 169, which is 11 short of the 180 in service by war's end mentioned by Harris. There were 27 built in May 1945, so some of those account for the remainder?



That's a good idea, although from what I recall there seem to few photos of the turret, and those usually only show the tail of the aircraft. But I'll go through the references I have again; there might yet be some photos there I overlooked.


I might as well ask the following while I'm at it:

Do you have any information on the rate at which bulged bomb bay doors were fitted to Lancasters? I have some information on that from going through the ORBs for 106 and 408 squadrons and looking at the bomb loads; if it carried an 8,000-lb bomb, it had the bulged doors fitted at some point. I recall reading somewhere that by war's end roughly one-third of Lancasters had the bulged doors, but then in another reference (I thought it was Harris' Despatch, but I might be wrong about that) it said only about 10% had them.

Also, do you have any data on the rate at which Bomber Command aircraft were fitted with H2S? I understand that as the war progressed more and more aircraft had it fitted, but I've not come across specific numbers showing the amount of aircraft so equipped at various points in time.
33K: I understand that some of the earlier Lancaster X's were fitted with the bulged doors, but they never dropped this bomb. I'm not sure if they removed them. I seem to recall there were issues with those doors and the installation of H2S but am uncertain on that. I think the "64-Base" ORB's will be informative on both the doors and and the H2S installations.

Edit: I also seem to recall that those bulged doors were plywood, but am willing to be corrected on that.

Edit: I flipped through Mason's and Holmes's books, as well as the first 4 "Lancaster at War" volumes, and none of these have a useful index!

Jim
 
Last edited:
33K: I understand that some of the earlier Lancaster X's were fitted with the bulged doors, but they never dropped this bomb.

That may be the case. I have the ORBs for 419 and 428 Squadrons which used the Mk X, as well as 405, 424, 427, and 429. which used the Mk I/III, but I haven't gone through them yet to record the bomb loads (and other information).

I'm not sure if they removed them. I seem to recall there were issues with those doors and the installation of H2S but am uncertain on that.

KB700 through KB854 apparently had the bulged doors and ventral turret installed. I've seen one reference which mentioned the ventral turret was removed after arrival in Britain. If the ORBs don't mention an 8th crew member/mid-under gunner for a given aircraft's sortie, then it is likely it did have the ventral turret removed.

I think the "64-Base" ORB's will be informative on both the doors and and the H2S installations.

I have to remember to check that source out.
 
That may be the case. I have the ORBs for 419 and 428 Squadrons which used the Mk X, as well as 405, 424, 427, and 429. which used the Mk I/III, but I haven't gone through them yet to record the bomb loads (and other information).



KB700 through KB854 apparently had the bulged doors and ventral turret installed. I've seen one reference which mentioned the ventral turret was removed after arrival in Britain. If the ORBs don't mention an 8th crew member/mid-under gunner for a given aircraft's sortie, then it is likely it did have the ventral turret removed.



I have to remember to check that source out.
BTW, a colleague informs me the bulged doors were metal (aluminum) but thought they might have been lined with wood.

I have a fair number of photos of Lanc X's soon after coming to the UK. These are "TIFF" files from CND.

Most do not show a ventral turret. This is KB700 clearly showing the ventral turret:

KB700 with ventral turret.jpg


I have a number of Lanc X's, early in their deployment to 419 Sqn. Note how far aft the bomb door faring goes relative to the roundel. This is KB719, with the bulged doors and NO ventral turret and no H2S blister:
KB719 Bulged Doors and no ventral turet.jpg


An early Lanc X with the bulged doors open. Note the contours of the aft edges of the doors:

Lanc X with open bulged bomb doors.jpg


Finally, A photo of a mix of Lancaster X's on return to Yarmouth, June 1945. The aircraft in the foreground is KB865 (VR-E) with the more forward positioned GM250 turret. Note the position of this turret in relation to the "Roundel" and also the positions of the turrets in the other aircraft. Also notice all of these have H2S and what appear to be shorter bomb doors (terminating immediately below the Roundel) and without the contour shown on the bulged doors.

Lanc Xs Yarmouth NS.jpg


Edit: Finally, a photo of KB721 with a good view of the aft part of the bomb bay door and without the characteristic contour of the bulged versions. Note that this aircraft was one of the early ones assigned to 419 Squadron and would have been "shipped" overseas with the bulged doors I think. Dad had 7 ops on this aircraft:

IMG_0023.jpg


Jim
 
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I have a number of Lanc X's, early in their deployment to 419 Sqn. Note the position of the This is KB719, with the bulged doors and NO ventral turret and no H2S blister:

Jim

My understanding was that it was thought the bulged doors would interfere with the H2S operation, hence allowing the option for a ventral turret in its place. But later it was found H2S did work with the enlarged doors.


I just did a check of the 419 Sqn ORB for Aug. 1944, and there were no instances of a mid-under gunner being listed. There were a few occasions where a second pilot was the 8th crew member. This suggests none of the Lancaster X used by the squadron had a ventral turret (either that, or the position was left unmanned).

Starting in November, the ORB stops listing the full crew on an aircraft and only lists the pilot's name.
 
Reading through this thread, I got to hoping there are pics of Lancs and Forts together.
Apologies for thread jacking.
 
Reading through this thread, I got to hoping there are pics of Lancs and Forts together.
Apologies for thread jacking.
On Dad's trip to Mainz, 27-February-1945: "…A sidelight [sic] to the operation was the intersecting of bomber formations of Command and the U.S. 8th Air Force, which occurred over the France-Belgian border. Height separation prevented a traffic jam, and the returning "Forts" made an impressive picture as they flew by in impeccable formation." A review of the route indicates this probably occurred at the approach to TP8 on track and this is confirmed by F/Lt. Bruyns as 5E"

Dad remembered this as impressive!

Jim
 
Starting in November, the ORB stops listing the full crew on an aircraft and only lists the pilot's name....
Ahhhh! I have the battle orders for the November-1944 to end of war operations, if you want them. Or they can be found here:


Jim
 
Some Lancaster II definitely had the ventral turret installed. The list below shows the Mk II aircraft which expressly carried a mid-under gunner in the crew list, according to 408 Squadron ORBs. It is ordered by the number of ops that aircraft flew with an under-gunner, and the date on which it first occurred.

Code:
Serial  Date of 1st     No. of 
Number  Mission         Missions
--------------------------------
DS727   1944-3-30/31   22
LL722   1944-5-8/9     13
LL725   1944-5-27/28   12
DS688   1944-4-10/11   11
DS730   1944-4-18/19   11
LL700   1944-6-8/9     11
LL634   1944-4-27/28   10
LL617   1944-6-6/7     10
DS707   1944-6-14/15   10
DS657   1944-4-26/27    9
DS726   1944-4-20/21    8
DS763   1944-5-11/12    8
LL642   1944-6-15/16    8
LL675   1944-6-9/10     7
DS838   1944-6-14/15    7
LL643   1944-4-18/19    6
LL636   1944-6-27/28    6
DS841   1944-6-21       5
DS729   1944-4-22/23    5
DS830   1944-6-15/16    5
DS705   1944-4-18/19    4
DS692   1944-6-8/9      4
DS722   1944-6-21       3
LL723   1944-4-10/11    2
DS684   1944-6-21       1
DS651   1944-7-06       1
DS634   1944-7-18       1
LL687   1944-7-18       1
LL635   1944-5-1/2      1
LL726   1944-5-1/2      1
DS708   1944-6-27/28    1
DS768   1944-6-6/7      1
 

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