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Lancaster FM-159 Bomber Command

by Zoot Rollo

October 11, 2015

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Bazalgette Lancaster FM-159

“Of every 100 airmen who joined Bomber Command, 45 were killed, 6 were seriously wounded, 8 became Prisoners of War, and only 41 escaped unscathed (at least physically). Of the 120,000 who served, 55,573 were killed including over 10,000 Canadians. Of those who were flying at the beginning of the war, only ten percent survived. It is a loss rate comparable only to the worst slaughter of the First World War trenches. Only the Nazi U-Boat force suffered a higher casualty rate.

Lancaster FM159 is a lucky Lancaster. One of 7374 built to help vanquish the Nazis, it was fortunate to have arrived for battle after the war in Europe ended, thus avoiding the flak and fighters that destroyed 3932 of its cohorts.

Saved from the scrap yard, the aircraft enjoyed a fulfilling career with the Royal Canadian Air Force, travelling widely from bases on both coasts to play a valuable role during the Cold War.

Replaced by a more modern aircraft, FM159 again escaped the scrap yard to become a town’s landmark, watching the highway traffic pass by for thirty-one years.”

Bomber Command Museum

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