Hero WW2 bomber crews reunite

lancaster bomber

Lancaster bomber crews have reunited at a factory where the iconic aircraft was built 80 years ago.

Up to seven bombers a day were constructed at the Avro factory in Chadderton, Greater Manchester and in order to mark the 80th anniversary, a former pilot and a bomb aimer were among the nine men, aged in their 90s, who recently stood by side to commemorate the factory's contribution to aviation.

During WW2, parts of the ‘Lancaster’ of the aircraft would be transported from Chadderton through the streets to Woodford in Stockport to be assembled.

A Lancaster cockpit made the same journey to mark the factory's anniversary as well as the 80th anniversary of the declaration of the war.

Who are they?

Cheshire’s Jeff Brown, was 18 when he went to war and took part in Operation Manna - a food drop which saved thousands in Holland from starvation.

"We flew at a very low levels, just a few hundred feet and then dropped thousands of tonnes of food,” said the 93-year-old.

The Arvo Factory factory opened in 1939 and was a world leader in aircraft design and production for 72 years.

A total of 38,000 people worked around the clock making the parts.

Sam Thompson, 97, from Accrington, Lancashire, served as a gunner and flew 50 operations in Lancasters and Halifax planes.

He remembers "two or three" close encounters with fighters over Germany.

"We were lucky to get home after other poor souls were shot down," he said.

 

 

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