Avro Lancaster B.I and B.III

The Avro Lancaster was a four-engine heavy bomber utilised by the squadron for training and operational purposes from March 1944 to March 1946

No. 35 Squadron started to re-equip with the Avro Lancaster on 6th March 1944

Lancaster variants used by No 35 Squadron

The squadron utilised the following variants of the Lancaster:

  • B.I
    • NG434 NG436 NG440
    • NN805
    • PB726 PB762 PB951 PB981 PB982 PB985 PB987 PB988 PB989
    • RF139 RF140 RF180 RF183
    • SW255 SW263 SW266
  • B.III
    • JA857
    • JB239
    • LM346 LM646
    • ME331 ME333 ME334 ME335 ME337 ME361 ME362 ME367 ME368 ME369 ME484 ME620 ME621
    • ND359 ND453 ND597 ND643 ND645 ND646 ND648 ND649 ND653 ND690 ND691 ND692 ND693 ND694 ND696 ND697 ND701 ND702 ND703 ND704 ND708 ND709 ND711 ND731 ND734 ND735 ND755 ND759 ND762 ND818 ND846 ND907 ND916 ND928 ND928 ND929 ND933 ND936 ND936
    • NE175
    • PA966 PA971 PA988
    • PB123 PB124 PB183 PB197 PB199 PB200 PB257 PB268 PB288 PB305 PB307 PB308 PB343 PB364 PB366 PB367 PB372 PB377 PB383 PB523 PB529 PB555 PB566 PB583 PB589 PB612 PB613 PB614 PB676 PB678 PB683 PB684 PB685 PB754 PB951 PB971 PB973 PB980 PB991
    • RF183

Avro Lancaster Profile © Malcolm Barrass

The B.III was identical to the B.I version in terms of design, but it was powered by Packard-Merlin engines (28, 38 or 224), which had been built by Packard in the United States. The B.I was powered by Rolls-Royce Merlin engines (XX, 22 or 24) built in the UK

(It is worth noting that the squadron also used the BI(FE) variant post war – see separate page)

Aircraft on charge of No 35 Squadron

The following provides more detail on each aircraft that was on charge of the squadron

Aircraft Losses and Incidents




Crew / Crew Positions

The Avro Lancaster was typically crewed by a Pilot, Navigator, Air Bomber, Wireless Operator, two Air Gunners and a Flight Engineer.

However, with the development of radar, the concept of a “navigation team” was introduced and an additional navigator / air bomber, known as a Set Operator, was incorporated into the crew to monitor the radar set. The Navigator became known as the Nav. (Plotter) and the Set Operator as the Nav. (Radar)

We Guide to Strike by Gil Cohen

The crew compartment in an Avro Lancaster consisted of a deck to accommodate the Pilot, Navigator (and the Set Operator when introduced), Air Bomber, Wireless Operator and Flight Engineer. Gunners were accommodated in a mid and rear turret – read more –