I had always assumed from the records (100 Squadron ORB and the Air Ministry form 78) that ED559 arrived at RAF Grimsby on 8 February 1943. This is the date that the records show the aircraft as 'Taken on Charge'.
However, I recently emailed the AVRO Heritage Museum in Manchester (located on the former site of Woodford airfield). Harry Holmes replied to my request and from their records ED559 left Woodford on 3 February. It would have arrived the same day. So there is now a little oddity regarding arrival and being 'Taken on Charge'.
Harry also sent me the full delivery dates for all of 100 Squadron's Lancasters - the 16 plus two reserve. There was no information about the pilot delivering the Lanc but in all likelihood it was an ATA pilot.
29 Jan - ED521, ED525, ED555, ED557 (ED521 had to land at RAF Holme-on-Spalding Moor, en route. No details as to why.)
30 Jan - ED536, ED544, ED553
1 Feb - ED540, ED549, ED560, ED562
2 Feb - ED556, ED561, ED563, ED568
3 Feb - ED559
6 Feb - ED587
11 Feb - ED609
The squadron at Grimsby already had some Lancasters on roster - mainly Lancaster Is - but I assume that the 16 newly arrived Lancs were for the upcoming operations. I assume that the older aircraft were redistributed back to others squadrons/held as reserve.
As and when information is found I'll post to this blog.
|The last flight of Lancaster ED559|