Frank Mathers 77 Sqn Halifax crew

RAF Bomber Command heroism – 22nd June 1943

Header Image: Flt Sgt Frank Mathers RAAF (fourth from left) and his crew, with a 77 Sqn Handley Page Halifax B.II at Elvington in 1943. Rear gunner, Sergeant Bill Speedie, is on the right.

Eighty years ago this month, on the night of 22nd-23rd June 1943, 21-year-old Australian pilot Flight Sergeant Frank Mathers and his British crew were on their ninth operation from their base at Elvington in Yorkshire, in a 77 Squadron Handley Page Halifax. One of 557 RAF bombers (155 of them Halifaxes), they were tasked with bombing Mulheim, an industrial centre in the Ruhr Valley, Germany.

Win an internal tour of BBMF Lancaster PA474

Header image: A tour of the inside of Lancaster PA474 and its cockpit is waiting for the lucky winner of this month's ballot prize. (PA474 has dual controls, unlike operational wartime Lancasters.) (Photo: John Dibbs)

This month one lucky member of the RAF Memorial Flight Official Club will win a ‘money cannot buy it’ opportunity to experience what it is like inside BBMF Lancaster PA474, which is very representative of operational wartime Lancasters, with the exception of having dual controls.

Lancaster Lounge 2023

BBMF ‘Lancaster Lounge’ refurbished with Club funding

Header Image: The BBMF ‘Lancaster Lounge’ has received a complete refurbishment, courtesy of the RAF Memorial Flight Official Club. (Photo: Clive Rowley)

By its very nature the BBMF hosts numerous visits to the Flight, including some by VIPs, VVIPs and veterans. The Flight’s ‘Lancaster Lounge’ is the room at the end of the BBMF headquarters building, adjacent to the hangar, where important visitors are hosted and it is also used for meetings by BBMF personnel. The room, its furniture and décor needed a refresh after many years without one. When it comes to projects of this nature, funding from the MOD is not generally forthcoming, but funds raised by the Official Club can be help enormously.


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