Lancaster bomber in Green Park
Original Silver Gelatin photograph, 1946
18 x 25 cm
Stamped to reverse: “Photograph Supplied by The Topical Press Agency Ltd 20-21 Red Lion Court, Fleet Street”
Press release label to reverse reads:
“XH – RAF PLANES ON VIEW IN GREEN PARK, LONDON
“In connection with the Victory Day celebrations in London, a number of RAF planes have been put on view in Green Park, London.
Further typewritten note reads: “Lancaster B.III ND677/G KO-X of 115 Sqn. First Lancaster to have MONICA airborne tail warning device. Served with 460 Sqn RAAF, during 1944, went to 49 Sqn in April 1945 and finally to 113 Sqn in September 1945. Scrapped July 1946.”
ND677 was a veteran of 59 missions. The /G suffix – visible in the photograph – indicates that it must have an armed guard at all times. It was unceremoniously scrapped within a month of being on display to the crowds.
Monica was a tail-borne radar device, designed to give the bomber crew warning of the approach of a German fighter in their blind spot. However following the crash in February 1943 of a Monica-equipped Lancaster (just seven days into Monica’s operational life) the Germans developed equipment called ‘Flensburg’. Introduced in early 1944 it was a homing device, a passive radar receiver which enabled Flensburg-equipped night fighters to locate Allied bombers. In July 1944 a Flensburg-equipped Junkers Ju88-G1 mistakenly landed at Woodbridge aerodrome in Suffolk, following which Monica was rapidly withdrawn from service.
Condition: Generally very good.
Provenance: from the collection of Philip J R Moyes, author of many books on the RAF, most notably The Pictorial History which ran to several volumes.