Our Lancaster Corner contains an unusual array of World War II artefacts associated with the famous Lancaster bomber and wartime RAF Winthorpe, which was a major training base for 5 Group Bomber Command.
The museum’s 619 Squadron ME846 Lancaster display relates to an aircraft and crew that crashed in June 1944 over northern Belgium. The extensive display tells the story of the crew training on Stirlings with 1661 HCU at RAF Winthorpe; the events leading up to their Lancaster, ME846 being shot down; and the search to find the crash site and the remains of the missing pilot.
Displayed alongside the ME846 display is an UPKEEP Mine (Bouncing Bomb). This legendary weapon is on loan from the MOD, which was made possible thanks to the efforts and good offices of the Sir Barnes Wallis Memorial Trust. This item was a test piece mine dropped at Reculver in preparation for the legendary Dambusters Raid.
Maintaining the Dambusters theme is a memorial plaque loaned to the museum by Jan van den Driesschen, who tends Guy Gibson and Jim Warwick’s graves in Holland. Gibson was leader of the Dambusters Raid and Warwick was an Instructor from 1661 HCU at RAF Winthorpe and Gibson’s navigator on the flight when they were killed. Displayed below is a propeller blade from Lancaster AJ-S flown by Pilot Officer Lewis Burpee, which was shot down in Holland in wave 3 of the Dambusters Raid.
Of major significance in Lancaster Corner is the fuselage section of IX(B) Squadron Lancaster W4964 WS-J that was donated to Newark in 1974. Its ends had been boarded up and it had been used as a garden shed. W4964 flew 106 Ops and its 100th Op was a ‘Tallboy Op’ on the Tirpitz battleship in Alten Fjord, Norway. It carried the nose art of the ‘Johnnie Walker’ whiskey company and the exhibit still wears its original wartime paintwork.
Displayed above the fuselage section is a Lancaster wing-tip that was recovered from Knipton reservoir near Grantham. This came from Lancaster R5726 that broke up in mid-air on April 4th 1944, with some parts falling into the reservoir. The wing-tip recovered by the Newark sub-aqua club in the late 1970s.
Completing the Lancaster display is the Lancaster rear turret that housed twin 0.5 inch guns and was designed and built by the Rose Brothers Ltd of Gainsborough, Lincs.