Memorial Flight (MF) Series

A series of covers produced in association with the Lincolnshire Lancaster Association to raise funds for the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. These covers are officially approved by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and bear their logo on the reverse along side the logo of the Lincolnshire Lancaster Association. There will be between 20-25 covers in the series due to be completed in 2006/2007.
 Covers are only available signed (there are no unsigned covers). To find out the prices or to purchase one of the covers listed, you will find them in our online shop or you can email us for details. Full details are given below:

MF1 - 60th Anniversary of the Lancaster (Full details)
MF2 - 60th Anniversary of the Augsburg Raid (Full details)
MF3 - 60th Anniversary of the 1,000 Bomber Raids (Full details)
MF4 - 60th Anniversary of the First Pathfinder Raid (Full details)
MF5 - 60th Anniversary of the Battle of the Ruhr (Full details)
MF6 - 60th Anniversary of the Dams Raid (Full details)
MF7 - 60th Anniversary of the Battle of Hamburg (Full details)
MF8 - 60th Anniversary of the Peenemunde Raid
 
MF1 - 60th Anniversary of the Lancaster


artwork by Tony Theobald featuring the BBMF and CWHM Lancaster aircraft
(CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION)

a) bearing 31p Harris/Lancaster stamp with flight details in blue on front signed by the BBMF and CWHM Lancaster crews (1500)
b) As (a) with Canadian Aircraft stamp (may differ from image shown) with flight details in red on front signed by both crews (2500)

MF2 - 60th Anniversary of the Augsburg Raid


artwork by Tony Theobald featuring Lancasters of Nos 44 and 97 Squadrons
(CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION)

a) bearing 33p definitive stamp signed by Warrant Officer B. Dowty, front gunner aboard 'KM-T' which took part in the Augsburg Raid on the 17 April 1942. 'KM-T' was mauled by German flighters and forced to crash land before having reached the target, having evaded capture for 13 days Dowty was captured and taken POW until the end of the war (300)
b) bearing 20p VC stamp on front and 8p Definitive on reverse with 'KM-B' label signed by Flight Lieutenant P.A. Dorehill DSO DFC*, who was Nettleton VC's co-pilot aboard 'KM-B' on the Augsburg Raid and the only 44 Squadron aircraft to make it back to the UK (300)
c) bearing 40p definitive stamp signed by Wing Commander E.E. Rodley DSO DFC* AFC, who was one of the No 97 Squadron pilots who took part in the Augsburg Raid and successfully bombed the target (300)
d) bearing 33p definitive stamp signed by Wing Commander K.K.R. Cook DFC, Chairman of the No 97 Squadron Association and served with the squadron from 1943-44 as a Navigator awarded the DFC and Pathfinder Wings (300)
v1) bearing definitive stamp signed by Wing Commander J.L. Nunn DFC AE BSc MRAES, flew Manchesters with Nos 97 & 207  Squadrons. He was shot down by a Bf 110 on 16 August 1941 and taken POW. He flew Lancasters with A&AEE after the war. Also signed by Flight Sergeant Harold Wilson DFM, Bomb Aimer with No 97 Squadron PFF from the end of 1943 through to August 1944.
 (200)
v2) bearing definitive stamp signed by Squadron Leader R E Curtis DSO DFC*, Navigator posted to No 44 Squadron in April 1942 to replace one of the Lancaster crews lost on the Ausburg raid. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in November 1942 having completing 30 operations with No 44 Squadron and later joined No 109 Squadron PFF for a further 104 operations. (75)

MF3 - 60th Anniversary of the 1,000 Bomber Raids


artwork by Tony Theobald featuring Manchester of No 50 Squadron and Lancasters of Nos 83 Squadron
(CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION)

a) bearing gold definitive stamp signed by Squadron Leader C.S.M. Andersen MBE, who was the Commanding Officer of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight from 1981 through to 1985 and flew Lancaster PA 474 on numerous occasions. During his RAF career he spent many years flying the Avro Shackleton (300)
b) bearing gold definitive stamp signed by Wing Commander R.M. Horsley DFC AFC, who was Flying Officer Leslie Manser VC's Wireless Operator / Air Gunner aboard Manchester 'VN-D'. After being order to bail out by Manser he evaded capture and with the help of the Belgian Resistance made it back to the UK in July 1942. Later retrained as a pilot and served with No 617 Squadron.  (300)
c) with 34p Mosquito/Portal stamp signed by Air Commodore E.B. Sismore DSO DFC** AFC AE, who took part in two of the three 1,000 Bomber Raids flying as a Navigator on Armstrong Whitworth Whitley aircraft (300)
d) with 31p Lancaster/Harris stamp signed by Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Michael Beetham GCB CBE DFC AFC DL FRAeS, President of the Bomber Command Association and a former pilot with No 50 Squadron, being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1944. He also served with Nos 35 and 57 Squadrons (200)
v1) with gold definitive stamp signed by Squadron Leader M.A. Smith DFC*, who took part in all three of the 1,000 Bomber Raids as pilot of Lancaster 'OL-S' which is shown on the cover.  (300)
v2) with gold definitive stamp signed by Wing Commander John Partridge DSO DFC*, who took part in the 1,000 Bomber Raids as a Lancaster pilot with No 83 Squadron. He was awarded an immediate Distinguished Flying Cross in July 1942 for a raid on Danzig followed by an immediate Bar the same month for a daylight raid on the Ruhr in which his aircraft was attacked by two Bf 110s and two FW 190s. (150)

MF4 - 60th Anniversary of the First Pathfinder Raid


artwork by Tony Theobald featuring Halifax of No 35 Squadron, Wellington of No 156 Squadron,
Stirlings of No 7 Squadron and Lancasters of No 83 Squadron
(CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION)

a) bearing gold definitive stamp signed by Wing Commander B. Moorcroft DSO DFC MA, who having trained as a Navigator, served with No 61 Squadron and then transferred to the Pathfinder Force to No 83 Squadron PFF in April 1943 (300) 
b) bearing gold definitive stamp signed by Wing Commander P. Patrick MBE DFC, who flew Stirlings with No 149 Squadron in June 1942, then in December 1942 posted to 1651 Stirling Conversion Unit. In November 1943 he joined No 7 Squadron PFF becoming Flight Commander, 'C' Flight, flying Lancasters  (300)
c) bearing gold definitive stamp signed by Flight Lieutenant E.E. Stocker DSO DFC C.Eng M.I.Mech.E, who joined No 35 Squadron in May 1941 as a Flight Engineer on Halifax Mk1s, in January 1942 posted to No 102 Squadron before volunteering for the Pathfinder Force and joining No 35 Squadron PFF at RAF Graveley in August 1942 (300)
d) bearing DFC/DFM 1990 Gallantry stamp signed by Flight Lieutenant Don Briggs DFC, Harold Hernaman DFC and John Chapman DFM who all served with No 156 Squadron PFF between 1943-45 (300)
v1) bearing gold definitive stamp signed by Air Commodore Charles Willis DSO OBE DFC, who served with No 109 Squadron flying Wellingtons in 1941/1942 and was awarded an immediate DFC. (200)
v2) bearing gold definitive stamp signed by Squadron Leader Walter Wing MBE DFM, who joined No 35 Squadron as a Wireless Operator / Air Gunner on Halifax aircraft in August 1941. He took part in Bomber Command efforts during the Channel Dash in February 1942, both low level attacks on Tirpitz during April 1942 and all three 1,000 Bomber Raids which led to the awarded of the Distinguished Flying Medal in August 1942. He took part on the Flensburg Raid on the 18/19 August 1942. (200)

MF5 - 60th Anniversary of the Battle of the Ruhr

artwork by Tony Theobald featuring Mosquitoes of No 109 Squadron PFF and Lancaster of No 156 Squadron PFF
(CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION)

a) bearing gold definitive stamp signed by Master Engineer John Chapman DFM, who took part in the Battle of the Ruhr as a Flight Engineer with No 156 Squadron PFF and took part in the raid on Essen on 5/6 March 1943. Twice he was attacked by enemy night fighters, on the 11/12 and 16/17 June 1943 (on both occasions Graham Mandeno was his pilot), for his actions and bravery during these attacks he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal. Completed 47 operations with No 156 Squadron PFF (300)
b) bearing gold definitive stamp signed by Squadron Leader Graham Mandeno DSO DFC*, who took part in the Battle of the Ruhr as a pilot with No 156 Squadron PFF completing numerous sorties during the period. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in July 1943 having been attacked by enemy fighters on the 11/12 and 16/17 June 1943 (300)
c) bearing 34p 1986 Lord Portal/Mosquito stamp signed by Squadron Leader Ron Curtis DSO DFC*, who joined No 109 Squadron PFF in mid 1943 as a Navigator. He had all ready completed 30 operations with No 44 Squadron and went on to complete a further 104 operations with No 109 Squadron PFF. At the end of WWII he had completed a staggering 139 operations in Hampden, Lancaster and Mosquito aircraft (300)
d) bearing 34p 1986 Lord Portal/Mosquito stamp signed by Group Captain Robert Law DSO DFC MA AE, who joined No 109 Squadron PFF in July 1943 as a pilot having spent three years as a flying instructor. He took command of ‘A’ Flight in March 1944 and commanded No 109 Squadron PFF from December 1944 through to August 1945 completing 82 operations (300)
v1) bearing gold definitive stamp signed by Group Captain Geoffrey Womersley DSO* DFC, one of Bomber Command's outstanding pilots and was a Flight Commander and Lancaster pilot with No 156 Squadron during the Battle of the Ruhr and was later the Commanding Officer of No 139 Squadron from February 1944 to October 1944 flying Mosquitoes. (100)

MF6 - 60th Anniversary of the Dams Raid


artwork by Tony Theobald featuring the 'specially modified' Lancasters of No 617 Squadron
(CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION)

a) bearing gold definitive stamp signed by Wing Commander David Robertson RAF, Commanding Officer No 617 Squadron in May 2003 who led the squadron during the (second) Gulf War (300)
b) bearing gold definitive signed by Warrant Officer Colin Cole, Hon Secretary of the Lincolnshire Lancaster Association and also a wartime member of No 617 Squadron having taken part in the raid that sank Tirpitz in November 1944 as a Wireless Operator (300)
c) bearing DFC/DFM 1990 Gallantry stamp signed by Squadron Leader George Johnson DFM, who took part in the Dams Raid as Bomb Aimer on Flight Lieutenant Joe McCarthy's Lancaster 'AJ-T' which attacked the Sorpe Dam. Awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal for his part in the raid (300)
cv) same as (c) but bearing gold definitive stamp and flown in Tornado gold label (300)
d) with 31p 1986 Lancaster/Harris stamp signed by Richard Todd OBE, the famous actor who played the part of Guy Gibson in the film 'The Dam Busters' starring along side Michael Redgrave as Barnes Wallis (200)
dv) same as (d) but bearing Victoria Cross 1990 Gallantry stamp and flown in Tornado gold label (200)
e) multi-signed by members of No 617 Squadron who took part in Operation Iraqi Freedom (200)
fdcv2) bearing £2 Isle of Man Dambusters stamp signed Flying Officer Ray Grayston (200)

MF7 - 60th Anniversary of the Battle of Hamburg


artwork by Tony Theobald featuring Lancasters of No 12 Squadron dropping Window 
(CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION)

a) bearing 2003 HM Queen Coronation stamp signed by Flight Lieutenant Herbert Hoey DFM AE who joined No 12 Squadron on the 4 May 1943 and took part in the raids on Hamburg on the 24/25 July 1943 as the Navigator on Lancaster DV187 ‘PH-A’ and on the 27/28 July 1943 on Lancaster DV168 ‘PH-F’ (300)
b) bearing 2003 HM Queen Coronation stamp signed by Squadron Leader David Butler DFC who joined No 12 Squadron on 19 June 1943 and took part in the raid on Hamburg on the 24/25 July 1943 as rear gunner on Lancaster ‘PH-K’. Having completed his first tour in February 1944 he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. His second tour was with No 171 Squadron with Halifax aircraft (300)
c) bearing 2003 HM Queen Coronation stamp signed by Squadron Leader Jim Heyworth DFC* FRAeS who took part in the Hamburg raids on the 24/25 July, 29/30 July and 2/3 August 1943 flying Lancaster W4991 ‘PH-Q’ whilst on his second tour with No 12 Squadron. He then became a test pilot for Rolls Royce, being promoted to Chief Test Pilot in 1955 (300)
d) bearing 2003 HM Queen Coronation stamp signed by Squadron Leader Walter Snell DFC who joined No 12 Squadron on the 22 June 1943 and took part in the raid on Hamburg on the 24/25 July 1943 flying Lancaster ‘PH-V’. He took part in the second and third Hamburg raids flying Lancaster ‘PH-S’ on the 27/28 July and 29/30 July 1943. This variant is sold as a pair with variant e) signed by Flight Lieutenant Les Smith, who was Snell’s Flight Engineer for 29 operations including the three Hamburg raids listed above (150)

FULL DETAILS


MF1 - 60th Anniversary of the Lancaster

To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the first flight of the Lancaster prototype we have produced a superb cover in association with the Lincolnshire Lancaster Association and the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.  The artwork by Tony Theobald depicts the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s own Lancaster PA 474 ‘Mickey the Moocher’ overflying the city of Lincoln, while the lower half of the illustration shows the Canadian Warplane Heritage’s Canadian built Lancaster flying over Toronto. All the covers have been flown in the two Lancasters, the BBMF flying the covers during the Biggin Hill 60th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain Air Display and the Canadian’s flying the covers not once, but twice, over Niagara Falls. Furthermore each cover is signed by the two Lancaster crews and numbered and certified on the reverse and each contain informative insert cards.

There are two versions available, the first variant bears the 31p 1986 RAF stamp very aptly depicting MRAF Sir Arthur Harris and the Lancaster and has been cancelled with a specially designed British Forces Post Services postmark commemorating the first flight of the Lancaster prototype. The covers bear the two flight cachets and have been signed by the BBMF and Canadian Warplane Heritage Lancaster crews. The second version bears one of the Canadian aircraft stamps cancelled with a special Lancaster postmark applied by Canada Post and bear abbreviated flight details and again have been signed by the members of both Lancaster crews.

MF2 - 60th Anniversary of the Augsburg Raid

To mark the 60th Anniversary of this daring daylight raid on the MAN Factory at Augsburg, which was supplying the diesel engines for the German U-boat fleet, a stunning commemorative cover has been produced. The cover artwork shows the Waddington based No 44 Squadron Lancaster R5508, ‘KM-B’ which Squadron Leader John Nettleton flew on the raid and whose courage and devotion to duty won him the Victoria Cross, the scene below shows the Lancaster L7573, ‘OF-K’ being ‘bombed up’ at Woodhall Spa with the four 1,000 lb high explosives, on the raid this aircraft was flown by Squadron Leader J.S. Sherwood DFC, who having led the 97 squadron contingent and bombed the factory was shot down moments later.

The raid called for the bravest of aircrew as the target was over 1,000 miles from England and to make matters worse the raid was to take place in broad daylight with no fighter escort, flying at less than 250ft in order to avoid enemy radar. Despite a diversionary raid to draw the German fighters away from the intended target and route, the six 44 Squadron Lancasters were savaged by Bf 109s and FW 190s returning home to their airfield. Only two of No 44 Squadron’s Lancasters made it to the target and only Nettleton’s aircraft made it back across the channel. The No 97 Squadron Lancasters all made it to the target, but two were shot down over the target. In all seven of the twelve Lancasters that took part failed to return and 49 out of the 85 airmen who took part were posted as ‘missing’ – however they had succeeded in causing severe disruption at the factory.

Each cover bears a British Forces Post Office special handstamp, dated the 17 April 2002, which shows Lancaster ‘KM-B’ and commemorates both the 60th Anniversary of the raid and also the award of the Victoria Cross to Nettleton. Furthermore the covers have been flown in Lancaster PA474 of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, which was formerly painted in the markings of ‘KM-B’. The reverse of the cover bears an illustration of the Victoria Cross and a brief write up on the raid, along with the flight details, while inside the covers there are two detailed inserts. All covers are issued as signed covers and currently there are four variants available:

The first is signed by Warrant Officer Bert Dowty, who was an air gunner with No 44 Squadron and had completed one operational sortie. On the Augsburg Raid he was the front gunner on Lancaster ‘T’ for Tommy, which was attacked by German fighters and forced to crash land. He managed to evade capture for over two weeks before being made a POW. The cover bears a 33p definitive stamp. Dowty is also the Vice-President of the 44 Squadron Association.

The second special is signed by Flight Lieutenant Pat Dorehill DSO DFC*, who was Nettleton’s co-pilot on the Augsburg Raid in ‘B’ for Baker of No 44 Squadron and he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for his part in the raid. The cover bears the 20p 1990 Gallantry Victoria Cross stamp with an 8p definitive stamp on the reverse.

The third special is signed by Wing Commander Rod Rodley DSO DFC* AFC, who was the pilot of one of the six No 97 Squadron Lancaster’s that took part in the Augsburg Raid for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC). The cover bears a 40p definitive stamp.

The final special is signed by Wing Commander Kenneth Cook DFC, Chairman of the 97 Squadron Association and a former wartime Pathfinder Force Navigator with No 97 Squadron, awarded his DFC in June 1944.

MF3 - 60th Anniversary of the 1,000 Bomber Raids

To mark the 60th Anniversary of the first 1,000 Bomber Raid and as an opportunity to include the Avro Manchester in this series we have produced yet another striking commemorative cover. The top half of the artwork shows Lancasters of No 83 Squadron setting course for the intended target of Cologne, while the lower half of the artwork shows Flying Officer Leslie Manser's Avro Manchester struggling home on just one engine, unfortunately the aircraft crashed in Belgium before he could cross the channel, however his bravery in saving the lives of his crew at the cost of his own resulted in the award of the Victoria Cross. Only three 1,000 Bomber Raids were carried out, as the concept of getting 1,000 bombers into the air was quite a feat and all resources were used including the OTUs, the first raid resulted in 898 aircraft bombing Cologne with the loss of 41 aircraft. 

Each cover bears a British Forces Post Office special handstamp, dated the 30 May 2002, which shows the Manchester 'VN-D' which Flying Officer Manser VC flew, and commemorates the 60th Anniversary of the 1,000 Bomber Raids. Furthermore the covers have been flown in Lancaster PA474 of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight from RAF Coningsby on a local sortie over RAF Scampton, the former home of No 83 Squadron and Skellingthorpe where No 50 Squadron were based. All covers will be issued as signed covers and currently there are four variants available:

The first is signed by Squadron Leader 'Scott' Anderson MBE, who was the Commanding Officer of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight from 1981 through to 1985 and flew Lancaster PA 474 on numerous occasions. During his RAF career he spent many years flying the Avro Shackleton, which was the final chapter in the Lancaster story, having started with the Manchester, and further refined to create the Lincoln. 

The second special is signed by Wing Commander Robert Horsley DFC AFC, who was Flying Officer Leslie Manser's Wireless Operator / Air Gunner aboard Manchester 'VN-D'. After being order to bail out by Manser he evaded capture and with the help of the Belgian Resistance made it back to the UK in July 1942. He later retrained as a pilot and completed his second tour of operations with No 617 Squadron flying Lancasters. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross while serving with No 50 Squadron in 1942.

The third special is signed by Air Commodore Edward Sismore DSO DFC** AFC AE, who took part in two of the three 1,000 Bomber Raids flying as a Navigator on Armstrong Whitworth Whitley aircraft. Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1943 while with No 105 Squadron for a successful attack on Berlin, the first Bar while serving with No 140 (Wing) and the second Bar again with No 140 (Wing) for successful attacks on Gestapo headquarters at Copenhagen and Odense flying Mosquito aircraft. Appropriately we have used the 34p Royal Mail Mosquito stamp from 1986.

The final special is signed by Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Michael Beetham GCB CBE DFC AFC DL FRAeS, President of the Bomber Command Association and a former pilot with No 50 Squadron, being award the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1944. He also served with Nos 35 and 57 Squadrons, and took part in Operation Lancaster when the Lancasters of No 35 Squadron flew a goodwill tour of the USA in July 1946. Each cover bears the 31p Royal Mail Lancaster / MRAF Sir Arthur Harris stamp from 1986 - please note that we only have 200 of this particular variant.

MF4 - 60th Anniversary of the First Pathfinder Raid

To mark the 60th Anniversary of the formation of the Pathfinder Force, which later became No 8 Group, we have produced yet another stunning commemorative cover. The cover artwork shows the four initial Pathfinder squadrons; No 7 Squadron with equipped with Short Strilings, No 35 Squadron with the HP Halifax, No 83 equipped with the Avro Lancaster and No 156 Squadron with the Vickers Wellington. The artwork shows No 7, 83 and 156 Squadrons on the first Pathfinder Raid on their way to mark and bomb Flensburg on the 18/18 August 1942, while the bottom half of the artwork shows a Halifax of No 35 Squadron being prepared. Although the initial raid was not a great success, given the very limited preparation and training of the newly formed force, however the Pathfinder Force was to prove an extremely important part of Bomber Command during the remainder of the war. 

Each cover bears a British Forces Post Office special handstamp, dated the 17 August 2002, which shows the Pathfinder Badge and No 8 Group logo to and commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the formation of the Pathfinder Force. Furthermore the covers have been flown in Lancaster PA474 of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight in a flypast over RAF Wyton, the Pathfinders HQ. All covers will be issued as signed covers and currently there are four variants available:

The first is signed by Wing Commander Bernard Moorcroft DSO DFC MA, who having trained as a Navigator, served with No 61 Squadron and then transferred to the Pathfinder Force to No 83 Squadron PFF in April 1943. In March 1944 he became a founder member of No 635 Squadron PFF and became the Squadron Navigation Officer. After completing 70 operations posted to HQ PFF Group as Deputy Group Training Officer in April 1945.

The second special is signed by Wing Commander Philip Patrick MBE DFC, who flew Stirlings with No 149 Squadron in June 1942, then in December 1942 posted to 1651 Stirling Conversion Unit. In November 1943 he joined No 7 Squadron PFF becoming Flight Commander, 'C' Flight, flying Lancasters. In March 1944 he was posted as a Flight Commander to the newly formed No 582 Squadron PFF equipped again flying Lancasters.

The third special is signed by Flight Lieutenant E.E. Stocker DSO DFC C.Eng M.I.Mech.E, who joined No 35 Squadron in May 1941 as a Flight Engineer on Halifax Mk1s, in January 1942 posted to No 102 Squadron before volunteering for the Pathfinder Force and joining No 35 Squadron PFF at RAF Graveley in August 1942. Later served with Nos 7 and 582 Squadrons PFF equipped with Lancasters. Awarded the Distinguished Service Order in 1945 for completing a staggering 100 operations with Halifax and Lancaster bombers.

The final special is signed by wartime members of No 156 Squadron PFF, including Flight Lieutenant Don Briggs DFC, who was with No 156 Squadron PFF in 1944/45 and post war was Victor pilot and took part in Operation 'Grapple' the dropping of the first British Atomic bomb. The cover is also signed by Harold Hernaman DFC and John Chapman DFM who both served with No 156 Squadron during 1943/44 completing numerous operations.

MF5 - 60th Anniversary of the Battle of the Ruhr

To mark the 60th Anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Ruhr we are releasing a commemorative cover to mark this important time in Bomber Command’s history. The top part of the artwork shows two Mosquitoes of No 109 Squadron PFF which for the first time on a major raid used OBOE precision marking to target Essen on the 5/6 March 1943, while below a Lancaster of No 156 Squadron PFF is shown performing the vital task of dropping back up markers for the following waves of RAF bombers. The raid was a great success OBOE allowed the pathfinders to mark the targets blind (without having to see them) and was extremely accurate, the back up markers also marked well resulting in a successful start to the Battle of the Ruhr, and these tactics were the basis for many of the future raids to follow. 
Each cover bears a British Forces Post Office special handstamp, dated the 5 March 2003, which shows a Mosquito and commemorates the 60th Anniversary of the Raid on Essen. The covers have been flown in Lancaster PA 474 to the 2003 Royal International Air Tattoo, RAF Fairford where the Lancaster was part of the 100 Years of Flight static display. All covers will be issued as signed covers and there will be four official variants available detailed as follows :

The first is signed by Master Engineer John Chapman DFM, who took part in the Battle of the Ruhr as a Flight Engineer with No 156 Squadron PFF and took part in the raid on Essen on 5/6 March 1943. Twice he was attacked by enemy night fighters, on the 11/12 and 16/17 June 1943 (on both occasions Graham Mandeno was his pilot), for his actions and bravery during these attacks he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal. Completed 47 operations with No 156 Squadron PFF and later became a PFF Night Training Unit instructor.

The second special is signed by Squadron Leader Graham Mandeno DSO DFC*, who took part in the Battle of the Ruhr as a pilot with No 156 Squadron PFF completing numerous sorties during the period. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in July 1943 having been attacked by enemy fighters on the 11/12 and 16/17 June 1943. He left the Squadron in December 1943 and awarded a Bar to his DFC. After instructing at 11 OTU he converted to Mosquito aircraft and joined No 139 Squadron PFF in June 1944 and later awarded the DSO.

The third special is signed by Squadron Leader Ron Curtis DSO DFC*, who joined No 109 Squadron PFF in mid 1943 as a Navigator. He had all ready completed 30 operations with No 44 Squadron and went on to complete a further 104 operations with No 109 Squadron PFF, all flown with Squadron Leader John Burt DSO DFC* as his pilot. In November 1944 he was awarded the Bar to his DFC, followed by a DSO in 1945 for completing a 100 operations. At the end of WWII he had completed a staggering 139 operations in Hampden, Lancaster and Mosquito aircraft. 

The final special is signed by Group Captain Robert Law DSO DFC MA AE, who joined No 109 Squadron PFF in July 1943 as a pilot having spent three years as a flying instructor. He took command of ‘A’ Flight in March 1944 and commanded No 109 Squadron PFF from December 1944 through to August 1945. He then commanded RAF Little Staughton until its closure. Awarded the DFC in November 1944, followed by the DSO in 1945 and completed 82 operations.
Once again each cover comes with a detailed insert inside. The first two variants bear a Gold 1st Class Definitive stamp, while the third and fourth variants bear the 1986 34p Lord Portal/Mosquito stamp. 

MF6 - 60th Anniversary of the Dams Raid

To mark the 60th Anniversary of the Dams Raid carried out by No 617 Squadron on 16/17 May 1943 equipped with specially modified Lancasters fitted with Barnes Wallis' remarkable bouncing bomb we are releasing what will be the most popular cover we have so far issued, with stunning artwork and superb signatures. The top part of the artwork shows Lancaster 'AJ-A' flown by Squadron Leader H Young about to prepare to make his attack, while the lower half of the artwork shows Wing Commander Guy Gibson and his crew boarding Lancaster 'AJ-G'. The raid was a great success and a great moral boast for the Allied war effort and immortalised in the film 'the Dam Busters' released in the mid-1950s.

Each cover bears a British Forces Post Office special handstamp, dated the 16/17 May 2003, which shows the Lancaster 'AJ-G' which Wing Commander Guy Gibson flew, and commemorates the 60th Anniversary of the Dams Raid. Furthermore the covers have been double flown in a Tornado of No 617 Squadron and also in VC 10, XV102, named 'Guy Gibson VC' of No 10 Squadron. All covers will be issued as signed covers and there will be four official variants available detailed as follows :

The first is signed by Wing Commander David Robertson RAF, the current Commanding Officer of No 617 Squadron who led the squadron during the second Gulf War earlier this year. The Squadron's Tornado GR4s were involved in dropping the latest RAF weapon, the Storm Shadow 'bunker-busting' long-range cruise missiles and also in avoiding Iraqi anti-aircraft missiles.

The second special is signed by Warrant Officer Colin Cole, Hon Secretary of the Lincolnshire Lancaster Association and also a wartime member of No 617 Squadron having taken part in the raid that sank Tirpitz in November 1944 as a Wireless Operator. He remained with No 617 Squadron until January 1946 and also took part in the preparations for the 'Tiger Force'.

The third special is signed by Squadron Leader George Johnson DFM, who took part in the Dams Raid as Bomb Aimer on Flight Lieutenant Joe McCarthy's Lancaster 'AJ-T' which attacked the Sorpe Dam. Awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal for his part in the raid, he went on to complete two tours with No 617 Squadron.

The final special is signed by Richard Todd OBE, the famous actor who played the part of Guy Gibson in the film 'The Dam Busters' starring along signed Michael Redgrave as Barnes Wallis. Served during WWII in the Army taking part in the D-Day Landings and in the Capture of Pegasus Bridge, which he later went on to star as his Commanding Officer Major John Howard in the film 'The Longest Day' he is also, very appropriately, vice-president of the Lincolnshire Lancaster Association.

Due to the number of stamps being issued for the 60th Anniversary of the Dams Raid there will be extra variants available in addition to those listed above bearing Isle of Man and Guernsey stamps. Details will be released as the covers become available.

MF7 - 60th Anniversary of the Battle of Hamburg

 

To mark the 60th Anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Hamburg we have produced a commemorative cover to mark these raids and also to mark the first operational use of ‘window’ which saved many of the Allied aircraft and aircrew by confusing the German radar sets used by the Luftwaffe Nightfighters and radar controlled flak guns. The artwork shows Lancasters of No 12 Squadron dropping their bombs over the targets whilst also dropping ‘window’ from both the flare chute and the bomb bay. Bomber Command went on to carry out four raids on Hamburg within 10 days and the first two were followed by daylight raids by the USAAF in a effort to disrupt one of German’s largest cities and vital navy dockyard. The second raid was to be the night that a fierce firestorm broke out caused by high temperatures and low humidity in a very built up area, added to which ‘window’ had completely confused the German radar and the bombing was accurate and concentrated by a Bomber force of nearly 800 aircraft, the result being an important Allied victory.

Each cover bears a British Forces Post Office special handstamp, dated the 25 July 2003, which shows a Lancaster and commemorates the 60th Anniversary of the Battle of Hamburg. The covers have been double flown firstly in VC 10 XR807 of No 10 Squadron, which is named after Garland VC and Gray VC who won their Victoria Crosses with No 12 Squadron in May 1940 flying Fairey Battles in France. The covers were then reflown in Lancaster PA 474 over Wickenby airfield the wartime base of No 12 Squadron. All covers will be issued as signed covers, but this time there will be five official variants available, with the last variant made up of two covers, detailed as follows :

The first is signed by Flight Lieutenant Herbert Hoey DFM AE who joined No 12 Squadron on the 4 May 1943 and took part in the raids on Hamburg on the 24/25 July 1943 as the Navigator on Lancaster DV187 ‘PH-A’ and on the 27/28 July 1943 on Lancaster DV168 ‘PH-F’. He completed his first tour in January 1944 and after instructing at 28 OTU he went on to join Transport Command as an instructor.

The second special is signed by Squadron Leader David Butler DFC who joined No 12 Squadron on 19 June 1943 and took part in the raid on Hamburg on the 24/25 July 1943 as rear gunner on Lancaster ‘PH-K’. Having completed his first tour in February 1944 he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He went on to complete a second tour with No 171 Squadron equipped with Halifax aircraft.

The third special is signed by Squadron Leader Jim Heyworth DFC* FRAeS who took part in the Hamburg raids on the 24/25 July, 29/30 July and 2/3 August 1943 flying Lancaster W4991 ‘PH-Q’ whilst on his second tour with No 12 Squadron. He was awarded a Bar to his Distinguished Flying Cross at the end of his second tour. He then became a test pilot for Rolls Royce, being promoted to Chief Test Pilot in 1955 through until he retired in 1962.

The final special is signed by Squadron Leader Walter Snell DFC joined No 12 Squadron on the 22 June 1943 and took part in the raid on Hamburg on the 24/25 July 1943 flying Lancaster ‘PH-V’. He took part in the second and third Hamburg raids flying Lancaster ‘PH-S’ on the 27/28 July and 29/30 July 1943. He completed his tour in January 1944 and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. This variant is sold as a pair with a fifth variant signed by Flight Lieutenant Les Smith, who was Snell’s Flight Engineer for 29 operations including the three Hamburg raids listed above.