Cover 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.
The cover bears a definitive stamp cancelled with BPFS 2682 postmark dated the 30 May 2002, which shows Manser's Aircraft Manchester 'VN-D' 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.
Hand signed by Wing Commander John Partridge DSO DFC*
150 Signed, Numbered and Certified
Pilot Officer John Partridge took part in the 1,000 Bomber Raids as a Lancaster pilot with No 83 Squadron. He joined No 83 Squadron in August 1941 flying Hampdens, then equipped with Manchesters in December 1941, followed by the Lancaster in May 1942. 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. He completed his first tour at the end of July, rejoining the Squadron for a second tour upon the formation of the Pathfinder Force on the 15 August 1942. He completed his second tour in February 1943 and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and posted to HQ No 8 Group PFF.