The story of conserving Lancaster G for George at the AWM

Back in the early 2000s I was lucky enough to see the inside of this Lancaster while it was undergoing conservation work at the Australian War Memorial. What I found most interesting were the many signatures in pencil of some of the ‘erks’ who had worked on her during her operational life.  The AWM has written the story of this work on their website. (Keith Webb)

Link to AWM story

Christmas 2017 luncheon

On December 13th 2017 Bomber Command Commemorative Association – Victoria held a Christmas luncheon at the Toorak Services Club.
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 From left Paul Dipnall, chairman, Gerald McPherson, Arthur Atkins DFC, Bill Rudd, Jack Bell, Jan Dimmick, vice-chair.
Hosted by Club president Mike Fogarty the luncheon was the idea of our vice-chair Jan Dimmick where a small number of World War 2 veterans and their partners/carers were invited to join us to recognise their service and to celebrate the end of the year.
Among those present were two centenarians and one who was about to have his 100th birthday, it was a remarkable gathering.
Centenarian Arthur Atkins DFC served in the RAAF during the war as a pilot of a Lancaster of 625 Squadron. He flew a tour of 31 operational sorties and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Jack Bell who turns 100 on December 20th 2017 was a wireless operator who was shot down in a Bristol Bombay North Africa. He was badly injured in the crash and spent the rest of the war as a prisoner, first of the Italians and then the Germans.
While in an Italian prison camp Jack met Army private Bill Rudd who was also serving in North Africa when he was captured in 1941.
Gerald McPherson was a tail gunner on Lancasters with 186 Squadron and served a tour of 38 operational sorties.
It was our privilege to hold this event to thank these brave men.
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Peter Isaacson AM DFC AFC DFM 1920-2017

We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our Patron Peter Isaacson this week at the age of 96.

Peter enlisted in the RAAF in December 1940.

After initial training at Somers, he was categorised as a pilot and posted to No.8 EFTS Narranderra for his elementary flying training on Tiger Moths.

Categorised for single engine aircraft he was next posted to Canada for his service flying training at No.2 SFTS at Uplands near Ottawa on Harvards where he gained his wings.

He was next sent to England but because there was a requirement for bomber pilots he converted to multi engine aircraft.

Peter’s first operational trip in a Wellington which was also the first of the thousand bomber raids with Cologne as the target.

Peter joined 460 Squadron and converted onto the Halifax, his first 4 engined type. Half way through the conversion the Halifaxes were withdrawn and he started flying the Lancaster.

He volunteered as a Pathfinder and completed the full Pathfinder tour of 45 operational sorties and was selected to pioneer the East to West route to Australia in a brand new Lancaster, Queenie IV in 1943.

He toured this aircraft around Australia and New Zealand raising funds for War Bonds and achieved a measure of fame for flying it under the Sydney Harbour bridge. This aircraft was badly damaged at Evans Head but was repaired.

Following his Lancaster flying Peter was posted to No1 OTU at Sale to instruct on Beauforts.

He was discharged from the RAAF in February 1946 and went on to a highly successful career as a publisher.

Peter was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal after completing 22 trips as a Sergeant Pilot and later the Air Force Cross and Distinguished Flying Cross.

We will bring you details of his memorial service when they are announced.

BCCAV wish to extend sincere condolences to Peter’s family at this time.