Lancaster Bomber set for flypast at Derbyshire village event to honour lost WW2 RAF airmen

A Lancaster Bomber is set to perform a flypast at a Derbyshire village event to commemorate 80 years since a devastating Wellington Bomber crash.

Monday, 16th May 2022, 4:41 pm

The iconic aircraft will soar over Stanley Village Gala later this year in memory of five RAF airmen who lost their lives during the tragic incident on July 12, 1942.

Cyril Colmore, Kenneth Radford, Ron Gillott, Arthur Smith and Clifford Abbott were on a secret experimental flight when their W5795 Wellington Bomber came down on a field in the village near Ilkeston.

The airmen were flying at 35,000 feet to see whether it was possible to fly over the top of German fighters during World War Two.

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The Lancaster Bomber is set to fly over Stanley later this year. Picture of Lancaster flying over Hardwick Hall on Saturday, May 14, taken by Nick Rhodes of Hasland

But, a propeller on the Wellington Bomber sheared off and tore through the pressurised cabin causing the fatal air crash.

The annual gala is being held in conjunction with the 80th anniversary of the incident and will see a Lancaster Bomber pass over the village three times.

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It has been postponed for the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic but will return on July 2 to the playing fields near Stanley Village Hall.

The RAF’s last airworthy Lancaster Bomber – known as PA474 – was built just a few weeks after VE Day in 1945 to be used in the Far East.

However, it was never used in active combat and was later assigned to reconnaissance duties in East and South Africa.

Out of the 7,377 that were built in total, it is only one of two in the world still flying – the other being in Canada.

The legendary plane flew past Doe Lea and Hardwick Hall on Saturday, May 14, and Sunday, May 15, to mark the anniversary of the Dambusters Raids which took place in 1943.

Crowds gathered on Saturday and Sunday for two spectacular flyovers, as the aircraft took part in an RAF Bomber Command Remembrance flight.

Further details regarding the flypast for the W5795 Wellington Bomber memorial service and Stanley Village Gala day will be announced in due course.

The committee behind the event say the allocation of the Lancaster has been made subject to weather conditions and other Ministry of Defence and Service commitments.

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