Thursday, October 16, 2014

AAF at Bassingbourn - The Lancaster Bomber Tour

In the basement of an "antique store" these two books of 35mm negatives were found. They were destined for the dumpster no doubt, but rescued for LOST GALLERY and the enthusiasts who treasure the history and memorabilia of the second world war.

The first book of contains 327 negatives. The photographs were scanned and uploaded to a set on Flickr in 2007 and then grouped generally by subject for the pages of LOST GALLERY. Most of the photographs in this set are of aircraft in world war two. Nothing was known for sure about the photographs but slowly over the years some information has accumulated. It was established that the date for most of the photographs is late 1944.

Most of the negatives had notations on the accompanying index pages. Mostly the photographer was concerned about the lighting and exposure of each frame but occasionally also made notes on the subject matter. Where possible these notations will be included under each picture on this page.

The 205 negatives in the other file were taken postwar, about half in England and the rest in Texas, USA. The photographs apparently show a bit of touring before leaving the England based AAF unit and the first photographs after arriving in Texas.

Negative files

This page will review all of the negatives in the set that feature a British Lancaster Bomber called "S for Sugar" and the information that has accumulated since 2007.

All images are the property of
Lost Gallery
and the author. Permission must be granted for their use.
All rights reserved.

After these ten photographs were posted on Flickr in 2007, there was much discussion about the plane. It is the only series of negatives that the photographer identified in his notations other than shutter speed, lighting, etc. Each negative was labeled
"125 Mission Lancaster".

It was concluded that this was "S for Sugar", a British Lancaster Bomber with an astounding mission record. Here are the comments of many of the contributors.

From Dave Nola on Flickr: "S for Sugar" was the call sign she did not have a pet name like most others but she had a quote from (Herman) Goering the head of the Luftwaffe, instead, if you zoom in you can see it just below the tally, it reads "no enemy plane shall fly over the Germany"

From Steve Birdsall on Flickr: I found a reference to this in Roger Freeman's Mighty Eighth War Diary:

As part of an exercise to make 8AF personnel appreciate the RAF Bomber Command's contribution to their joint campaign, veteran Lancaster S for Sugar visited nearly every base during February. On the 21st it was at North Pickenham [a B-24 Liberator base] where personnel were allowed aboard. The 125 mission scoreboard also caused great interest.

125 mission Lancaster 05
125 mission Lancaster

Clearly this was part of that tour then. Many of the photographs in the set seem to be at Bassingbourn or perhaps our photographer traveled somewhere else to attend the lecture. The date for this series would be sometime in February 1945 then. If it was known which base this is in the photo the exact date could probably be determined.

125 mission Lancaster 05 detail
Detail of left edge of photograph at the left.

The tail in the distance appears to be a DC-4 transport plane - used for top brass in the USAAF. This must have been a big occasion.

From Flickr member Mick Baxter: This aircraft is s-sugar which still exists and is in raf hendon museum,london.even the visible nose art is still on her.check my stream,click on the tags,put in "lancaster" and a lot of shots of her today will come up..this may well be raf waddington as i,m sure she finished the later part of her carreer here..ended up with an incredible 137 missions..

125 mission Lancaster 04
125 mission Lancaster
125 mission Lancaster 03
125 mission Lancaster

From D. Sheley on Flickr: With a Hawker Hurricane and B-17 in the background.

125 mission Lancaster 02
125 mission Lancaster

125 mission Lancaster 01
125 mission Lancaster
125 mission Lancaster 06
125 mission Lancaster

125 Mission Lancaster buzz w 2 left props feathered 03
125 Mission Lancaster buzz w 2 left props feathered
125 Mission Lancaster buzz w 2 left props feathered 01
125 Mission Lancaster buzz w 2 left props feathered

125 Mission Lancaster buzz w 2 left props feathered 02
125 Mission Lancaster buzz w 2 left props feathered
125 Mission Lancaster buzz w 2 left props feathered 04
125 Mission Lancaster buzz w 2 left props feathered

CLICK HERE to view the
from the other negative file from this same photographer.

Look at the bazookas on that little honey!
multiple bazookas installed on cub 03
Click here for the whole story!

Here are more stories about the 91st Bomber Group and some of the missions flown on a fine website by
Sam Halpert

For others in the AAF Bassingbourn series see also
The P-61 Black Widow
B-17 Bomber
The Lancaster Bomber
P-51 Mustang (This one)
The Avro York
The Short Stirling Bomber
The Piper Cub with the Bazookas
And Miscellaneous personnel and landscapes
Bassingbourn from a Window on the base.

Bassingbourn 1944 384th Bomber Group, B17 landing Discovered! Long lost negatives taken during the winter of 1944-45 at Bassingbourn AAF base in England.

Area 51 and a Half Area 51 and a Half You are probably not authorized to see these.

Don't take my picture! Oh! You DID didn't you! completely unaware of the photographer This is a collection of photographs that disappear on the way home from the photo processing shop.

And don't miss
Cabinet Card Gallery
Square America
Tattered and Lost
Vernacular Photography
The best
sites on the web.

And for postcards try
And see what's going on over at
Sepia Saturday!

All images are the property of Lost Gallery and the author. Permission must be granted for their use. All rights reserved.

THE KIDS Lesson one.
It is always a mystery how a photograph of any of these precious children could end up lost or abandoned. Here are a few. You will probably say "Ooh..." at least once.

Dee and the Business School Dee and the Business School
The beautiful Dee. A curious story; What do you see?

Neiffel and Helvetica Typehigh

"What are they doing?"

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