Lancaster Bomber W4131 Undercarriage

Original silver gelatin photograph c. 1943

21 x 16 cm

Stamped ‘Copyright Aeroplane Magazine’

Stamped ‘Passed by Censor’

Rare; we have been unable to trace another copy of this photograph in any collection.

W4131 served with 50 Squadron, based at Swinderby.

On 18 August 1942 W4131 crash landed at Swinderby on return from a training flight at 17.15. The wheels were retracted too soon on take-off by pilot SGT PH Blaskey, damaging the undercarriage. The pilot and crew were uninjured. It is possible that this photograph records repairs to the undercarriage following this incident.

On 28 March 1943 W4131 was involved in another incident, again at Swinderby. Although the aeroplane landed safely, the airframe was found to have been strained during a fighter affiliation exercise as a result of violent movements.

On 1 June 1943 while serving with 1660 HCU (Heavy Conversion Unit) the undercarriage collapsed following an engine failure during take-off from Swinderby. The aircraft was written off on 12 June 1943.

Condition: 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.