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 the base open day in June 1942, a week or so after the aerodrome had reopened having been improved with concrete – rather than grass – runways.

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.

It is also proposed that R5689 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. They have ‘colourised’ a copy of this photograph on their website, see here.

Condition: the photograph has discoloured and taken on a sepia hue as may be seen in the image.

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.