River Wissey Lovell Fuller


November 2014

Lancasters There were two occasions in 1943/4 when I watched Lancasters taking off.  It was an impressive sight and sound, there were perhaps twenty taking off in line astern.  With their full load of fuel and anything up to ten tons in the bomb bay they flew very low over the field of wheat at the end of the runway as they struggled to gain height, on their way, no doubt, to rendezvous with hundreds of others before heading into Europe .  The sound from so many Merlins was very emotional and unforgettable.  As a boy, although I knew that some would probably not return, I remember wishing I was going with them -  the foolishness of youth. It is seventy years since the last of those two occasions and I don’t think I have ever seen more than one Lancaster in the sky at any one time since then.  That was until August 21st  this year, the day when the Battle of Britain Flight Lancaster was joined by the RCAF Lancaster flying round the Marham airfield.  The RCAF Lancaster is, as most of you are no doubt aware, on a visit to the UK.  Many other folk including, I expect, a number of readers, were aware of the visit and had parked on the outside of the airfield.  June and I had a spot along the Narborough road but, to my surprise, there were very many parked along the A1122, some in rather dangerous positions, I thought. It was a brilliant little show and an opportunity to see two Lancasters together, a sight that may never be seen again.  First the Lancasters appeared with the Vulcan leading, a tribute to AVRO.  The Vulcan headed off but the Lancasters did a number of circuits of the field before a Spitfire appeared and gave a very impressive solo aerobatic display, diving and levelling out close to the field several times.  The Lancasters returned and continued to fly low round the airfield sometimes banking quite steeply above us so that we had a good view of the top side, they then flew away and we thought the show was over, but they returned again, this time escorted by two Hurricanes, a rarer sight than Spitfires these days.  It was great.(From the markings it seemed possible that the Hurricanes were navy and maybe they were actual Sea Hurricanes, an even rarer sight.  Can anyone confirm?) Ron Watts

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