Lancaster Bomber VN-N R5689

Original Silver Gelatin photograph

11 x 16 cm

Stamped to reverse ‘This TP Copyright illustration from ‘The Aeroplane’ must not be reproduced without the written permission of Temple Press.’

The photograph – and several others of the Swinderby based R5689 of 50 Sqn – was taken on 28 August 1942. The pilot was Sqn Ldr Hugh Everitt. One of the most photographed Lancasters of the RAF’s fleet, it was utilised for literature that trained aircrew to recognise the Lancaster. It is also proposed that it be imortalised by the Bomber Gateway Trust with a lifesize replica spraying poppies across the country, just a short distance from its crash site in Lincolnshire. Further funding is required before the project can be completed.

R5689 was destroyed on the night of 18/19 September that year. It had been on a sea mining mission and crashed on landing when both port engines failed. Four crew members were killed and three further were injured.

Everitt was not flying R5689 on the night it crashed. He survived the war – having flown 56 operations for which he was decorated three times, commanded a V-bomber squadron and played golf into his nineties. He died in 2012 and the Telegraph published an obituary. We have another photograph that includes him sitting on the grass in front of a Lancaster that is being armed.