Lancaster Just Jane's new look revealed!
When Fred Panton passed away on the 9 June 2013 the effect on the Panton family was unmeasurable. The Panton family subsequently made the decision that now was a suitable time for a joint tribute to be made to the efforts of brothers Fred and Harold in rescuing and maintaining NX611.
For over 25 years NX611 has worn the aircraft letter ‘C’, with the wartime codes of DX- (57 Sqn) and LE- (630 Sqn). It was
therefore decided to change the aircraft code letters to ‘F’ on the starboard side and ‘H’ on the port side. Both codes are also historically correct having been allocated to wartime Lancasters
operating from East Kirkby, with details given below.
NX611 will be officially rolled out in her new ‘colours’ on the 29 March 2014 during the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre’s event to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Nuremberg Raid on 30/31 March 1944 on which Christopher Panton lost his life.
Below: Additional noteworthy changes to Just Jane's appearance for 2014 season include the rebuilt and painted port and starboard undercarriage.
DX-F; 57 Squadron Allocated Aircraft Histories
One of the more poignant Lancaster’s coded DX-F, W4021 was the personal aircraft of the Officer Commanding 57 Sqn when based at RAF Scampton. W4021 was used on the Squadron’s first Lancaster operation on 12/14 October 1942 to Wismar. The aircraft was eventually written off in a crash-landing at Scampton after being badly shot-up by a night fighter on 13/14 March 1943.
Shot down 23/24 May 1943, presumably by flak ship.
Pilot: F/O E K Chivers RAAF +
Flight Engineer: Sgt P Parkin +
Bomb Aimer: Sgt I A Jervis+
Wireless Operator: Sgt D A Robb +
Navigator: Sgt T R Bayles +
Mid Upper Gunner: Sgt W B Rawnsley +
Rear Gunner: Sgt W H Bestwick +
Lost without trace 17/18 August 1943, on raid to Peenemunde.
Pilot: W/Cdr W R Haskell DFC +
2nd Pilot: F/Sgt C Butterworth +
Flight Engineer: Sgt R A C M Stringer +
Navigator: F/O J Jones
Bomb Aimer: Sgt J E Harkness +
Wireless Operator: Sgt D E Nye +
Mid Upper Gunner: Sgt J E John +
Rear Gunner: Sgt J L Lamb RCAF +
Crashed 23/24 December 1934 at Meppen, whilst on raid to Berlin.
Pilot: P/O H J Knights RCAF PoW
Fight Engineer: Sgt D A J Fisher +
Navigator: F/Sgt J D Forsyth RAAF PoW
Bomb Aimer: F/Sgt J Low RCAF PoW
Wireless Operator: Sgt A E ELey +
Mid Upper Gunner: Sgt J McL Adanson RCAF +
Rear Gunner: Sgt R R Mutton +
On 15/16 March 1944 on raid to Stuttgart - about an hour before reaching target area, all four engines began to burn. Aircraft made course for Switzerland and when he was satisfied they had crossed the Swiss frontier P/O Atcheson ordered the crew to bale out.
Only F/Sgt Reece managed to comply before the Lancaster crashed at Saignelegier.
Pilot: P/O S C Atcheson DFC +
Flight Engineer: Sgt B H M Thomas +
Navigator: P/O A P MacCall +
Bomb Aimer: F/Sgt J Greenhalgh +
Wireless Operator: Sgt F S Weaver +
Mid Upper Gunner: F/Sgt K A Reece Interned
R/G Sgt J W Naylor +
Shot down by a night fighter on 4/5 July 1944 whilst on operation to St Leu d’Esserant.
Pilot: F/Lt A E Grubb +
Flight Engineer: Sgt H Lees +
Navigator: W/O2 J W Weyers RCAF +
Bomb Aimer: F/O J P Hodges RAAF +
Wireless Operator: Sgt G T Osborne +
Mid Upper Gunner: Sgt C N Stalker +
Rear Gunner: Sgt J T Nixon +
Crashed 28/29 July 1944 in France, whilst on an operation to Stuttgart.
Pilot: F/O W A Nicholls EVD
Flight Engineer: Sgt E W Polson PoW
Navigator: Sgt E Hirst EVD
Bomb Aimer: F/O A E Lawless PoW
Wireless Operator: F/O D J H Littlejohn EVD
Mid Upper Gunner: Sgt J N Hanton EVD
Rear Gunner: F/O P Vogt PoW
Lost on 17 August 1944, during a ‘gardening’ mine laying sortie.
The port outer engine was on fire and the aircraft abandoned. Two of the crew landed ashore and Sgt Crapper fell into the sea but was able to swim ashore.
Pilot: F/Lt S L Scutt +
Flight Engineer: Sgt M Crapper PoW
Navigator: F/O A Stienstra RCAF +
Bomb Aimer: F/O R E Trindhall PoW
Wireless Operator: F/O J Farnhill +
Mid Upper Gunner: F/Sgt J Shields RAAF POW
Rear Gunner: Sgt C A Harris +
Collided with 207 Sqn Lancaster ME473 EM-N and crashed at Ruskington Fen, near Billinghay, Lincolnshire, on 2 March 1945. A bomb cradle from Lancaster ME473 is currently installed on NX611.
Pilot: F/O R J Anscomb +
2nd Pilot: Sgt G E Dandy +
Flight Engineer: Sgt D Whitefoot +
Navigator: F/Sgt C J Waters +
Bomb Aimer: Sgt C W Watts +
Wireless Operator: Sgt F D Leahy +
Mid Upper Gunner: Sgt E Davis +
Rear Gunner: AC2 H M Aitken +
This aircraft also operated with 630 Sqn at East Kirkby as LE-Q in 1944. It was used by 57 Sqn in May 1945 for Operation EXODUS flights (bringing PoWs back from Brussels and Lille.) It also went on to serve with 617 Sqn and was in use until 1947.
Pilot: F/Lt A King
Flight Engineer: Sgt R Krast
Navigator: F/O H Thorn
Bomb Aimer: F/Sgt J Hulme
Wireless Operator: F/O J Morrison
Mid Upper Gunner: F/Sgt G Fenton
This aircraft also served with 207 Sqn in January 1944, then 460 Sqn AR-F2 and onto 57 Sqn as DX-F until Feb 1946.
LE-H; 630 Squadron Allocated Aircraft Histories
Shot down by night fighter on outward flight to Nuremberg 30/31 March 1944.
Pilot: P/O A G G Johnson +
Flight Engineer: Sgt G E Watts PoW
Navigator: F/Sgt E A Farnell +
Bomb Aimer: F/O J P Headlam PoW
Wireless Operator: Sgt A H McGill +
Mid Upper Gunner: Sgt W Pearson PoW
Rear Gunner: Sgt W E France +
Took off 23/24 July 1944 to lay mines in Kiel Bay. Aircraft ditched outbound 36 miles north east of Cromer on Norfolk coast. Two survivors spent seven hours in the water before being picked up by coastal minesweeper HMS Coursor.
Pilot: F/O R T Hayes +
Flight Engineer: Sgt W Wallance +
Navigator: F/sgt W Goodhew RCAF
Bomb Aimer: Sgt J F J Murray+
Wireless Operator: Sgt J A Helliwell +
Mid Upper Gunner: Sgt W Stead +
Rear Gunner: Sgt B N Garves
Aircraft first served with 405 Sqn as LQ-M, aircraft then transferred to 630 Sqn as LE-H before ending up at 22MU in Sept 1945. Aircraft scrapped by May 1947.
With sincere thanks to the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre.
+ Killed in Action
PoW Prisoner of War
EVD Evaded Capture