The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, having been formed as the Historic Aircraft Flight in 1957. As part of those celebrations Lancaster PA474 of the BBMF has been re-painted and re-named this year - something that, apparently, happens every eight years. This year PA474 has adopted the name Phantom of the Ruhr a plane that flew in 100 Squadron and 550 Squadron. Thus the Lancaster will carry both Squadron codes. The port side of PA474 shows Phantom as she would have been at the end of her time on 100 Squadron, with 30 missions recorded in 2 banks of 15 and HW-R on the fuselage. The letters of 550 Squadron, BQ-B, are painted on the starboard side.
The unveiling of the BBMF Phantom of the Ruhr was on 27 April at RAF Coningsby, and was quite a day. The unveiling was extensively covered in the Press and Television, see:
To celebrate the event as well as the Lancaster three Spitfires were there (also being given new squadron markings), there was a fly-past by the BBMF and lunch in the Officers Mess. As anticipated the Media wanted to interview the wartime crews of the Phantom!
Photographs and movie footage from the 27 April event are available here.
Last updated 17 May 2007
550 Squadron Association information available here
More information can be found on the following web-sites:
For details see here.