Tuesday, October 02, 2007

GOOGLE MAPS CATCHES WWII GHOST --- WHEW!

I love this story. I have a great uncle MIA since 12/22/43; who was a pilot in WWII. So this story really intrigues me:
Eagle-eyed Internet sleuths have discovered hundreds of weird aircraft on Google Maps' satellite views, from stealth bombers to bizarre globular UFOs hovering over Florida.

But a map-watcher in England may have topped them all by finding a ghost from World War II captured by satellite cameras flying over his own house.

The mystery plane is a historic and flightworthy Avro Lancaster bomber, one of only two left on Earth.


Now living at the United Kingdom's Coningsby air force base, the Lancaster is one of only two such planes still airworthy. 7,377 of the massive bombers were built for World War II.
Although this Lancaster didn't fly in combat -- the war with Japan ended before it was ready for battle -- it was one of the only Lancasters that wasn't scrapped in the post-war years.
Carefully restored and now painted to look like its famous sister plane, QR-M, this bomber now serves in the Battle of Britain memorial flights.

Known as Mickey the Moocher for its nose painting of the Disney mouse pulling a load of German-frying bombs, the QR-M was one of just 35 Lancasters to survive more than a hundred combat missions.

The Battle of Britain squadron includes 11 historic planes from the Second World War, including a variety of Spitfires and Hawker Hurricanes. The beloved old planes fly for special occasions such as VE Day.

"The original purpose of the Memorial Flight was to help celebrate the Allied victory and the anniversary of the end of the Second World War," the RAF says. "It has since become a flying memorial to all members of the Royal Air Force, who lost their lives during the War. The Lancaster bomber, Dakota transport, five Spitfire fighters and two Hurricane fighters represent the types of aircraft which played such important parts in the final victory."

Rather than store the old war planes at a mothballed air base, the Royal Air Force operates a museum that flies:

"The Flight is unique as a living tribute and more evocative than any static memorial. It flies in memory of those who flew. In these days of fast jets, it is a reminder of the remarkable achievements of the men who flew and maintained these historic aircraft in the heat of the great battles of the War."

Of the more than 7,000 built, 3,932 Lancaster bombers were lost in action. In the minds of many British, the Lancaster won the war against Nazi Germany.

The other surviving flightworthy specimen is at the National Lancaster Museum in Canada.

5 comments:

scott davidson said...

How about this for a design for a wall painting, in the tried-and-true Art Nouveau style?: http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8BWN3L, by the famous English artist, Audrey Beardsley himself. You can also order a canvas print of the picture from wahooart.com.

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