Motat’s Lancaster: New Markings in Recognition of 6000 Kiwis
04 June 2014
Motat’s Lancaster Bomber: New Markings in Recognition of 6,000 Kiwis Who Served
Museum of Transport and Technology’s (MOTAT) Avro Lancaster Bomber has new markings in recognition of 6,000 Kiwi Bomber Command veterans who served in World War 2. The new markings will be unveiled at an official ceremony at the MOTAT Meola Road site on Sunday 8 June 2014.
In attendance will be veterans, members of the crew’s families and dignitaries from the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Royal Air Force (RAF), Netherlands Consul and a representative from the British High Commission.
MOTAT’s Lancaster Bomber was presented by the French Government to the people of New Zealand in 1964 in recognition of the 6,000 New Zealanders who served in the RAF Bomber Command during the Second World War. Almost 2,000 Kiwis were killed in action serving with Bomber Command on bombing missions over Germany and France. The aircraft underwent a full restoration at MOTAT by members of the New Zealand Bomber Command Association and was repainted in representative WWII colours.
Few Lancaster Bombers survived a hundred operations over enemy territory, but a RAF aircraft flown by No 75 New Zealand Squadron, known as “The Captain’s Fancy” did. It was named after a comic strip character and decorated with that caricature on the nose. It was hoped the original ‘The Captain’s Fancy’ would be flown home at the end of the war as a permanent memorial, though this plan never eventuated and the original aircraft was cut up for scrap.
Nearly seventy years on and following a decade of research of official and private records, the wishes of those Kiwi airmen have finally been fulfilled. The port side of New Zealand’s only Lancaster Bomber now bears ‘The Captain’s Fancy’ nose art and bomb tally and the appropriate serial number and codes.