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Revealing new chapters of G-for-George.



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DVA 86 Tuesday, 10 October, 2000

Revealing new Chapters of G-For-George

A new book on G for George, the World War II Avro Lancaster Bomber, that has long been a focal point of the Australian War Memorial’s vast collection has revealed new chapters from the aircraft’s lifespan covering almost 60 years, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Bruce Scott, said today.

Mr Scott was speaking at the book launch of G for George — A memorial to RAAF bomber crew 1939-45 at the Australian War Memorials Treloar Technology Centre in Mitchell, ACT, where George is undergoing faithful restoration.

"In a distinguished wartime career, G for George completed 89 missions across Germany, Italy and France with the Royal Australian Air Force’s 460 Squadron, based at Binbrook, England," he said.

"The RAAF’s 460 Squadron flew more operations, delivered more bombs to targets and lost more aircrew and aircraft than any other in Bomber Command. The death toll reached 1,018, while 200 aircraft were lost.

"Written by Michael Nelmes and Ian Jenkins and published by Banner Books, G for George — A memorial to RAAF bomber crew 1939-45, recounts the life and times of this majestic aircraft and its air and ground crews, drawing on the recollections and documents of many surviving crew, and on official records held by the AWM.

"This book vividly captures what it was like for the aircrews to take to the skies during a period of war over Europe, and reminds readers of the importance of the role that the Avro Lancaster played.

"Built in England in mid-1942 G for George was one of the first Lancasters delivered to 460 Squadron, flying its first mission on the evenings of 5 and 6 December 1942 over Mannheim, Germany. Its 89th and final mission was flown over Cologne on 20 April 1944.

"The book also covers its George’s life after war through to the present day, including the time when George was retired from service and flown to Australia for a tour to raise money for the Third Victory Loan. By mid-1945, the Lancaster was grounded for the last time, and spent ten years at RAAF Fairbairn before being moved to the AWM where it remained until 1999 when it was relocated to the Treloar Technology Centre for restoration," Mr Scott said.

G for George will eventually return to the AWM’s new ANZAC Hall where it will again take pride of place amongst Australia’s military history treasures.

G for George — A memorial to RAAF bomber crew 1939-45 can be purchased from all good bookshops and the Australian War Memorials bookshop for $48.75. Royalties from book

sales will go towards the restoration work on G for George.

 

Media Contact: Mark Croxford 02 6277 7820 or 0408 645 787

 

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