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The Lancaster


Colin Richards

The Lancaster

from the painting
‘Outward bound over East Coast’

Tail-end-Charlie last Lancaster in flight
Cotton wool clouds obscuring the sea.
Clear skies promised for Germany.
A Prayer and glance at the huge bombers moon

Guns test fired spent cartridges fly by
Uncertainties build over enemy skies.
Searchlights shoot skywards sweeping the night.
Arcing tracers rise slowly for planes to destroy.

Fear bites deeper and charms secured
Harry's been hit, flame covered engines.
The dying dive earthwards
Five mushrooms thankfully counted.

War over, prison camp ahead
A hero’s grave awaits the rest.
Night fighters guns blazing
Mayhem reigns as scared gunner reply

Flak creeps upwards bringing death
Caught in brilliant light.
Dive before ground gunners can bear.
Thankfully reclaim the blackness once more
Tail-End-Charlie battered and holed
Limp through the fire of Dresden’s hell.
Bombs gone on innocents below
An impersonal war these Lancaster’s fight

Bomb bays empty, long flight home
More flack, and fighters await.
Downing slow pockmarked planes
Unwillingly allowing the lucky few home

Dawn breaking as they struggle west
Grateful to view England’s shoreline
Engines coughing as tanks run dry
Answered prayers as tyres hit land.

Dead and injured, and those still alive.
Lifted gently from silent planes
To sleep pray and cry
Nightmare over for one more day.

Night time approaches as fear filled men
Climb into repaired Lancaster’s once again
Loaded they struggle up into the night.
Afraid to go and yet they fight.

Robert Harrison

What a beautiful plane she was. I remember them well.



Just read this - June July last year seemed to be not a good time for me to take in a lot on the forum. It's very good :)


master brummie
Film of Lancasters flying
[ame="https://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=krEMiOlyLGs"]YouTube - Avro Lancaster Compilation[/ame]