On 22 May 1943, the brand new Lancaster "Q" for Queenie, ED 930, took off from Prestwick in Scotland headed for Amberley in Australia. It flew via Montreal, Ottowa, San Francisco, Hawaii, and Canton Island finally arriving at Amberley airfield, west of Brisbane, on 4 June 1943. The flying time for the long journey was 74 hours. It was piloted by Peter Isaacson from 156 Squadron RAF. It then flew on to Mascot airfield in Sydney. The crew for the flight was as follows:-

Flight Lieutenant Peter Isaacson, DFC, AFC, DFM (Captain)
Flight Lieutenant Robert Nielsen, DFM (Navigator)
Flight Lieutenant Alan Ritchie, DFM (2nd Navigator & Bomb Aimer)
Pilot Officer M.D. (Don) Delaney (Flight Engineer)
Pilot Officer E.M. (Bill) Copley, DFM (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant J. Grose (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Archie Page (Air Gunner)
Corporal Claude Spencer (Airframe Fitter)

When "Q" for Queenie arrived at Amberley it had two extra VIP passengers on board. They were:-

- Lord Burghley, British Controller of Repairs and Overseas Supplies
- Group Captain C.B. Wincott (RAF) from the British Air Mission in Washington, USA


q07.jpg (107132 bytes) q08.jpg (82058 bytes)
q09.jpg (86611 bytes) q11.jpg (91851 bytes)
q12.jpg (91019 bytes)

These photos are from the display on "Q" for Queenie at the Queensland Air Museum at Caloundra


Flight Engineer "Don" Delaney had earlier been posted to A.V. Roe's plant at Woodford, to watch Lancaster (ED 930) come off the assembly lines at the same time meeting the managing director of A.V. Roe and Roy Chadwick, the designer of the Lancaster.

Peter Isaacson had earlier flown 26 operations with 460 Squadron RAAF. The following list is from John Watson's "460 Squadron (RAAF) - Pilots and Crews" list.

I02 Isaacson P S-194  2/43 - 4/3/43 To 156 Sqn PFF         (See J01) 26 Ops
---------------             (Wellington A/C)
(P2)    ------     Wales A W         ----            ----
(B) Wertzler E E   Wertzler E E   O'Donohue T   Wertzler E E
(N) Neilson R S    Neilson R S    Neilson R S   Neilson R S
(W) Copley E M     Copley E M     Copley E M    Copley E M
(G) Swain  J K     Swain J K      Swain J K     Grose J
            12            1             1            5
(E) Askam C       Askam C       Askam C
(B) Wertzler E E  Wertzler E E  Wertzler E E   (Lancaster A/C)
(N) Evans L M     Evans L M     Neilson R S
(W) Copley E M    Copley E M    Drummond J A
(G) Grose J       Crook J       Grose J
(G) Swain J K     Swain J K     Potter R L
            4             1              1
12,29/7/42 Severe flak damage. 21/12/42 Damaged by attacking Ju88,
        but gunners inflicted damage in return.


"Q" for Queenie was allocated the Australian serial number A66-1.

On 5th October 1943, Lancaster, A66-1 (ED 930), "Q" for Queenie VI took off on the 4th Liberty Loan Tour of Tasmania, Victoria and NSW began. Lancaster ED 930 (A66-1) "Q" for Queenie VI, piloted by Flt. Lt. Peter Isaacson, "beat up" the city of Sydney and flew under the Sydney Harbour Bridge on 22 October 1943 to raise funds for the War Loan. The media claimed “He did it for the £iberty £oan!”


Photo:- Ian Jenkins

4th Liberty Loan "Subscriber" badge
about 2cms in diameter


via Ian Jenkins

An envelope which bears the name of the Captain of Lancaster "Q for Queenie" A66-1, Flight
Lieutenant Peter Isaacson, and was carried in the aircraft throughout the Fourth Liberty Loan
Tour between 5 October 1943 and 26 October 1943. The envelope has been signed by some of
the crew members and is addressed to Ernest A. Crome, Cavendish St., Stanmore, NSW.


"Q" for Queenie flies under the Sydney Harbour Bridge on 22 October 1943


The Tour came to an end on 26 October 1943, when a wind shift caused a crash landing of "Q" for Queenie VI at Evans Head in northern New South Wales.


"Q" for Queenie crash lands at Evans Head on 26 October 1943


Augustus Selwyn Truman
Aeronautical Engineer on "Q" for Queenie

when it flew under the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Claude Spencer
Engineer on "Q" for Queenie when it flew
under the Sydney Harbour Bridge


A War Loan tour of New Zealand was conducted where a 5,000,000 pound War Loan was reportedly oversubscribed.

On 14 April 1944, the 1st Victory Loan Tour of Queensland and NSW was conducted, from June to October 1944. "Q" for Queenie had a Fighter Escort over Brisbane on 17 April 1944 as part of the leadup to its tour of the State for the 1st Victory Loan.


The Telegraph (Brisbane) Monday 17 April 1944

Bomber Had
Fighter Escort
Over City

The Lancaster bomber had an escort of six or more Spitfire fighters in its flight over Brisbane about midday today.

Thousands from rooftops watched it make several runs over the metropolis at a low altitude.

Sweeping in from the south after its two and a half hour flight over the South Coast and Warwick, the giant four-engined bomber circled Brisbane for ten minutes or so.

Its approach brought crowds out of doors on to the pavements and to the tops of city buildings. They obtained a good view of the aircraft, which was banked as it circled the area.

The Spitfire fighting planes were dwarfed by the RAF bomber, which will be open for public inspection at Archerfield on Wednesday and Thursday, and later this week will embark on a tour of the State to assist the First Victory Loan drive.

The Deputy Prime Minister (Mr. Forde) will be a passenger in it to Rockhampton.


Four of the Spitfires that escorted "Q" for Queenie belonged to 548 Squadron RAF based at Strathpine Airfield. Their first operational Spitfire had only arrived at Strathpine Airfield on 6 April 1944 amid much excitement. Unfortunately it overshot the runway and went through a fence and came to a sickening stop in the adjoining field.

The 17 April 1944 entry in the Operation Record Book for 548 Squadron RAF read as follows:-

17 April 1944 - A photograph on a Lancaster (the only Lancaster in Australia) was shown in this mornings paper with the caption "Lancaster to fly over Brisbane this morning to stimulate investments in War Bonds". What could be more fitting we wondered than that it should have an escort of Spitfires? The pilot of the Lancaster was immediately contacted and at 1130 hours a section of four of the Squadron (F/Lts. Watts, Cheek, and Price and F/O Hilton) were airborne and on the job. A flight of four aircraft from No. 549 Squadron also joined in and a terrific melee ensued over Brisbane. After whistling over the city at practically nought feet for some twenty minutes, the eight Spits formed up four a side on the Lanc. and brought it over the strip. The ground crew were very enthusiastic about the whole show.

After the war, "Q" for Queenie was stored at Tocumwal and in June 1949 it was converted to components at East Sale in Victoria. The stripped aircraft was towed to the Armament School at Dunston, where it was used for target practice. It was later melted down to ingots at Wagga. (Such a waste!)

"Pathfinder - The Peter Isaacson Story"
"In the Air-On the Ground"
By Denis Warner



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This page first produced 20 August 2000

This page last updated 01 January 2023