In 2014 the Canadian War Aircraft museum commemorated one of the most notable of the 419 squadron Lancaster bombers by repainting the colours and markings of "Ropey". The original Lancaster KB772 VR-R bomber nicknamed "Ropey" had an amazing flight service record of 64 operations. "Ropey" was manufactured at Victory Aircraft LTD. of Malton, Ontario in January of 1944. In November 1944 the aircraft was flown to England and delivered to the 419(B) squadron located in Middleton St George, York.
The RCAF Lancaster bombers were known for their colourful paint treatments, with the 419 squadrons having the most heavily painted aircraft. In the case of "Ropey" it's four engine cowlings were painted with an image of the "Flying Tiger" shark mouth with eyes.
Ropey was flown on 33 air combat operations including the squadrons last operation on April 25th 1945 against the enemy defenses on Wangerooge. Flown on that occasion by Flight Lieutenant J E Short. The raid on Wangerooge was intended to knockout the coastal gun batteries on the Frisian Island. This island was of strategic importance as it controlled the approaches to the ports of Bremen and Wilhelmshaven. It was a spectacular air raid that featured 482 aircraft; including 158 Lancaster bombers.
Lancaster KB772 completed flying 64 operations by April 1945, and was then flown back to Pearce, Alberta in September, 1945. After the war it served with the RCAF’s Eastern Air Command operation until May 1947 Later it transitioned to a role in maritime reconnaissance and search and rescue operations. In 1964, it was decommissioned.
For more information about the History of the Lancaster you can watch a full length documentary here. Documentary
Do you want to fly on this legendary aircraft? There are only two remaining Lancaster bombers still flying. A once in a lifetime opportunity that may not be available in a few years time.
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Wangerooge mission photo credit of The National Archives UK.
Keywords: Canadian War Aircraft Museum, Lancaster Bomber, Lancaster Ropey, Skyfest, airplane, airshow
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