Published: 10:00, 16 August 2014 |
Updated: 10:17, 16 August 2014
Vera has made a 3,500-mile trip from Canada to keep a nostalgic date with Thumper.
Their “whirlwind romance” will be high in the clouds, and then they’ll never meet again.
They are the only two airworthy Lancaster bombers in the world and their reunion will be a special salute to all the veterans of Bomber Command.
It will happen this weekend, when they fly over Headcorn Aerodrome in a programme of wartime nostalgia expected to attract thousands in a spectacular display of aircraft and military vehicles staged by the Invicta Preservation Society.
The Lancasters are flying round Britain in a series of displays, escorted by a Hurricane and a Spitfire.
Vera, as the Canadians affectionately call their Lancaster – call sign V-RA – is based at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, Ontario, while our Lancaster belongs to the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, stationed at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire.
The British-based plane carries the name Thumper MKIII, its artwork based on the cartoon rabbit holding a foaming pint of beer.
Sqn Ldr (Ret) David Rohrer, of the Canadian museum, said: “It’s been something that has been in the back of our minds for many years and we always thought it would be very special to have the only two flying Lancaster bombers coming together.”
The Combined Ops Show at Headcorn started in 2009, designed to bring together many of the military vehicles and aircraft shown at various events.
Canada’s Lancaster is dedicated to the memory of VC hero Andy Mynarski, a Canadian air gunner who died aged 27 trying to save a trapped colleague when their plane was ablaze in a raid over northern France.
Lancaster bombers took part in many high-profile missions including the Dambuster raids, which saw 19 of them attack German dams with Sir Barnes Wallis’s bouncing bombs in 1943. Only 11 planes returned. The Lancasters are scheduled to make flypasts today and tomorrow.
For more details visit www.combinedops.co.uk
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