Lancaster NG485 (19/07/1945)

Lancaster NG485 was being utilised for a training flight (formation flying) on 19th July 1945.

Its crew comprised:

  • RH Davis (Pilot)
  • BT Humphreys (Navigator)
  • A Skidmore (Air Bomber)
  • CFW Norman (Wireless Operator)
  • Sgt. W Hughes (Air Gunner)
  • A Springham (A Gunner)
  • .. Patrick (Flight Engineer),

The squadron’s Operations Record Book shows “During a training flight when several aircraft were flying in formation, two of them collided, presumably due to bumpy weather conditions. The aircraft RF139 and NG485 landed quite safely without injuries”


 AM Form 1180

In flight as No. 2 of a formation “vic”, pilot came too close to No. 1 Lancaster RF139 in rather bumpy conditions and struck starboard fin of No. 1 with port outer propeller damaging both aircraft; landed OK

Bernard Humphreys, who was navigator of NG485, recalls:

“Two Lancasters (NG485 and RF139) were involved in the formation flying exercise which was to be followed by a fighter affiliation exercise with a Spitfire.  The navigator of  RF139 had a camera and he had decided he would swap places with the rear gunner for a while so that he could take some photographs when flying in formation with our aircraft.

He told us that our port wing tip had twice tapped the rear turret and then we made the more damaging contact with our propeller.

Diagram showing the position of the two aircraft

Diagram showing the position of the two aircraft

On landing, the aircraft taxied to the same dispersal so that we could all see the damage.  The propeller blades of our port outer engine were crinkled and the starboard tail fin of their tail assembly had a vee shaped notch cut out of it, from memory it was about two feet deep.

…… in summary ……  it was too close for comfort!”