Ted Williamson - Wireless Operator with 460 Squadron RAAF


Subject:   Lancaster Bomber.
Date:           Sun, 2 Apr 2000 11:02:47 +0930
From:          "A.E.Williamson" <lancast@iweb.net.au>

Dear Sir,

In the TV Guide enclosed in the 'Advertiser' of 29 March, page 52, there is a picture of a Lancaster bomber (see below). This picture is intriguing in that the normal Lanc. had 4 Rolls Royce engines driving propellers, the one in the picture had the two in-board engines driving propellers with the two outboard engines being jets.

I wonder if you would kindly advise me as to the origin of this photograph as it appears that it may be an experimental aircraft built in the latter stages of WW2 or just after.


A. E. Williamson (ex 460 Squadron, RAAF.)



"Advertiser" (Adelaide morning paper)
29 March 2000

Will love take flight again?

lancastrian.jpg (20067 bytes)

Memories: The Lancaster bomber, at the heart of a special, and prolonged, love story



Australian Story
8pm, ABS 2

A moving tale about an Australian World War II bomber crew member reunited with the woman he loved and lost during the war.

In 1945, Sydney airman Chris Jarrett was the sole survivor of an horrific Lancaster bomber crash which killed all of his closest mates.

Fifty-five years later, there has been a sequel.

Through an amazing co-incidence, Jarrett was reunited in Wales with the woman he fell in love with while recovering from the crash.

Australian Story follows Chris's journey back to the French town of Thin Le Moutier, where he is honored by hundreds of townspeople. Together, they scour the hills and discover remnants of the downed bomber.

Then, in Wales, Chris is reunited with his old love, Joan Birkill.

She has never even been on a plane but Chris hopes to persuade her to return home to Australia with him.

But, even at 80, the path of true love encounters some obstacles.



Subject:   Lancaster Bomber.
Date:           Mon, 3 Apr 2000 17:07:40 +0930
From:          "A.E.Williamson" <lancast@iweb.net.au>

Hi Peter,

The 'Advertiser' is the Adelaide morning newspaper. I will send you the photo by snailmail as I don't have a scanner--perhaps you would let me have it back when you have finished with it.

My son, who with his sons, are interested in 460 Squadron matters have advised me that the aircraft was a Lancastrian built after the war to satisfy the demand for civilian aircraft, and that this may have been an experiment to test jets.

I will forward to you any reply I receive from the 'Advertiser'

I hope that you are well,

Ted Williamson



Subject:     Lancastrian.
Date:              Tue, 11 Apr 2000 17:09:45 +0930
From:              "A.E.Williamson" <lancast@iweb.net.au>

CC:                 "Dick Goldring" <rgoldring@optusnet.com.au>

Hullo Peter,

I have not received a reply from 'The Advertiser' about the photo of the so-called Lancaster which turned out to be a Lancastrian but they did print a letter on 10 April from a Stan Taylor of Glenunga, suburb of Adelaide. It reads as follows:

' In the TV section "Pick of the Day"(The Advertiser 29/3/00), there is a photograph of a "Lancaster bomber". I would like to set the record straight on that photo.

That is not a Lancaster bomber as such. It is a civilianised  version; it is the Avro 691 "Lancastrian". This aircraft originated in Canada where, in 1942, a British-built Lancaster 111 was stripped of its turrets and camouflage by Victory Aircraft of Toronto, which fitted it with a pointed nose and tail fairings, and three extra windows were added.

The Lancaster was returned to Avro in the UK for more permanent conversion which involved, among other things, installation of extra fuel tanks to increase the range to 4000 miles.'

This letter makes no mention of the jet engines but more info. about this may transpire from other sources in due course.

Ted Williamson



Subject:     Lancastrian.
Date:              Thu, 20 Apr 2000 15:29:45 +0930
From:             "A.E.Williamson" <lancast@iweb.net.au>

CC:                "Dick Goldring" <rgoldring@optusnet.com.au>

Hi Peter,

The mystery of the jet engines has now been explained by another correspondent to "The Advertiser" viz. a Mr. Alan D.Paterson of West Beach, a suburb of Adelaide and he wrote the following:-

' The photograph is actually of an Avro "Ghost-Lancastrian" testbed (research aircraft). It was powered by two in-board Rolls-Royce Merlin piston engines of 1640hp each, driving three-bladed de Havilland propellers, and two out-board de Havilland Ghost centrifugal turbojet engines of 5000lb thrust each.

The " Ghost- Lancastrian" testbed tested the DH Ghost engines in the immediate post-World War II period and four of these engines were used to power the world's first pure jet airliner in 1949, the de Havilland Comet 1.

Another Lancastrian testbed was fitted with two Rolls-Royce Nene centrifugal turbojet engines of similar thrust to the Ghost engine( The Nene-Lancastrian) and flew from Paris to London in the then fast time of 41 minutes.

The Rolls-Royce Nene became one of the world's most widely used jet engines, mainly in military aircraft.'

I found the above to be most interesting'

Ted Williamson.



Subject:    Lancastrian.
Date:             Sun, 23 Apr 2000 11:38:40 +0930
From:            "A.E.Williamson" <lancast@iweb.net.au>

Hullo Peter,

I have just had a look at your new page re the Lancastrian and it no doubt will be of interest to all who were associated with the Lanc.and others as well.

In his letter to the 'Advertiser', Mr. Paterson enclosed a different photo of the aircraft which taken from above seems to show it to better advantage---I will post it to you.

Ted Williamson



Subject:    Lancastian.
Date:             Thu, 4 May 2000 10:36:21 +0930
From:            "A.E.Williamson" <lancast@iweb.net.au>

CC:               "Dick Goldring" <rgoldring@optusnet.com.au>

Hi Peter,

The Lancastrian saga continues---there was another chap writing a letter to the Editor of "The Advertiser" on 3 May 2000, viz. Mr. Stan Waddington of Blair Athol, a suburb of Adelaide. He wrote the following :

" Further to the discussion on the Lancastrian/Lancaster, the aircraft Stan Taylor (Letters, The Advertiser,10/4/00) refers to as originating in Canada was and always remained designated a Lancaster, although it was no longer a "bomber"-(R5727 ex-44 Squadron, RAF, re-lettered CF-CMS by the Canadians).

The first true Lancastrian was VB673, sold to BOAC in February 1945 and given the registration letters G-AGLF. In May the following year, an England-to-Australia route was inaugurated with Lancastrian G-AGLV, taking 2 days and 15 hours to reach Sydney.

Lancasters/Lancastrians were used to test both turbojet and turboprop engines for future aircraft--for example, Orenda, Avon, Sapphire, Ghost, and Armstrong-Siddeley ASX (turbojets) and Griffen, Mamba, Python and Dart (turboprops).

All of the Lancastrians used as testbeds for jet engines (with the exception of VH737) were C2 variants, and and not converted bombers."

Peter, I wonder who will be next in providing info. on the developments to an aircraft very dear to our hearts?

Ted Williamson.



Subject:   Strange Lanc.
Date:           Wed, 24 May 2000 16:50:36 +0930
From:          "A.E.Williamson" <lancast@iweb.net.au>

To:               "Dick Goldring" <rgoldring@optusnet.com.au>,
                   "Phil Williamson" <philw@sa.apana.org.au


The following letter from Richard Evans may be of interest to you, particularly to you Dick re his reference about his father having been on 467 Squadron.

Regards to you all,

Ted Williamson.

----- Original Message -----
From:           <Mattyevans@aol.com>
To:                <lancast@iweb.net.au>

Sent:            Tuesday, May 23, 2000 8:09 PM
Subject:   Strange Lanc.

> Dear Mr. Williamson,

> Greetings. I presume the Lanc. in question is FM209, probably assembled /modified in Canada (Malton, Ontario) to test "jet" engines. The caption for the photo. I have describes them as "Orenda" engines, also the word "Iriquois" is associated with this engine (helicoptors ?). The photo. is dated 1949, and an altitude of 30,000ft. recorded for the test.

> Avro-Canada seems to have been developing a number of Jet a/c during this period, my source implies that these were knocked on the head in1959 due to presssures from down-south.

> The source of this Avro-Canada info. is the 1993 "Aviation Heritage" calendar. (Pub.by "Canadian Airlooms", P.O. Box 533, Milton, Ontario, L9T 4Z1 )

> My father, J.W.Evans (John /Jack or Puck) flew with 467 Squadron, and was taken a P.O.W after being shot-down over the Rhur Valley in Nov. 1943. He died in 1976. I'd be interested to correspond further.

> Hope all this is of interest,

> cheers,
> Richard Evans.



Subject:     Lancastrian
Date:              Mon, 4 Dec 2000 22:42:30 -0000
From:            "Emmet" <e.swinburn@btinternet.com>

While doing some research I came across this web site.

My grandfather was the flight engineer on the Lancastrian testbed for the Nene Jet engines in 1947. I have a photograph of the aircraft at Hucknul. The Aircraft was a Lancastrian 691, serial number VM732. All I know is that the aircraft did belong to the RAF 24 Squadron before it was used as a test bed. I am currently trying to find out the fate of this aircraft, welcome any further infomation.

Emmet Swinburn


Can anyone help me with more information?


"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products

I need your help


 Peter Dunn OAM 2020


Please e-mail me
any information or photographs

"Australia @ War"
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This page first produced 21 April 2000

This page last updated 22 February 2020