Snap captures last flight of 'haunted' bomber on show at RAF Cosford

Engines running, Avro Lincoln bomber RF398 prepares for its last ever flight and the beginning of a journey which would eventually bring it to Shropshire as a museum piece.

The last flight of  Avro Lincoln bomber RF - this plane is now to the RAF Museum at Cosford. This picture emailed in by Bomber Command historian Rob Davis, of Apley, Telford. rob.davis@blueyonder.co.uk Rob said: 'When my friend Mike 'Lancaster At War' Garbett died he left me a number of items, one of which is an A3 size high quality black-and-white photo of an Avro Lincoln RF398, taken at an unknown date as the aircraft was leaving Watton for preservation at Henlow.  The Lincoln is now at Cosford. I don't really need the photo as Lincolns are not my interest, so I ask if you know on a Lincoln enthusiast who would like to have the photo?  No charge. Rob Davis, Apley. measures 12 x 15 inches.  Contact details are ok but just the email address please.  It will have to be collected.' According to the museum's accession details the aircraft was flown from Watton to RAF Henlow on April 30, 1963, for storage for a future RAF Museum. It was moved to RAF Cosford for storage in the late summer of 1968. Does not say when it became a museum exhibit. Library code: Cosford nostalgia 2020..
The last flight of Avro Lincoln bomber RF - this plane is now to the RAF Museum at Cosford. This picture emailed in by Bomber Command historian Rob Davis, of Apley, Telford. rob.davis@blueyonder.co.uk Rob said: 'When my friend Mike 'Lancaster At War' Garbett died he left me a number of items, one of which is an A3 size high quality black-and-white photo of an Avro Lincoln RF398, taken at an unknown date as the aircraft was leaving Watton for preservation at Henlow. The Lincoln is now at Cosford. I don't really need the photo as Lincolns are not my interest, so I ask if you know on a Lincoln enthusiast who would like to have the photo? No charge. Rob Davis, Apley. measures 12 x 15 inches. Contact details are ok but just the email address please. It will have to be collected.' According to the museum's accession details the aircraft was flown from Watton to RAF Henlow on April 30, 1963, for storage for a future RAF Museum. It was moved to RAF Cosford for storage in the late summer of 1968. Does not say when it became a museum exhibit. Library code: Cosford nostalgia 2020..

This evocative photo is from Telford-based Bomber Command researcher Rob Davis. And if you like it, it could just be winging its way to you, because Rob is looking to give it a suitable home.

Rob said: "When my friend Mike Garbett, who wrote 'Lancaster At War,' died he left me a number of items, one of which is an A3-size high quality black-and-white photo of an Avro Lincoln, RF398, taken at an unknown date as the aircraft was leaving Watton for preservation at Henlow. The Lincoln is now at Cosford.

"I don't really need the photo as Lincolns are not my interest, so I am wondering if there is a Lincoln enthusiast who would like to have the photo, at no charge.

"It measures 12 inches by 15 inches and will have to be collected."

Anybody interested can email Rob at rob.davis@blueyonder.co.uk

We can actually date the photo precisely from the accession details at the RAF Museum at Cosford, where this Lincoln is on display.

A ghostly figure admires the supposedly haunted Lincoln at Cosford.

The RAF's last Lincolns – they were a development of the legendary Lancaster bomber – were retired in 1963 and Rob's picture was clearly taken on April 30 that year when RF398 flew on what turned out to be the penultimate RAF Lincoln flight, from Watton to RAF Henlow in Bedfordshire, to be put in store.

It was the last time that aircraft flew, and the last Lincoln flight of all was probably RF461 which flew from 27 Maintenance Unit at RAF Shawbury to Aldergrove in Northern Ireland in June 1963, and was subsequently sold for scrap.

RF398, which had first flown in September 1945 and never saw combat, was later moved to RAF Abingdon, and came to RAF Cosford in the late summer of 1968, and is now part of the collection of the RAF Museum at Cosford.

In later years it hit the headlines as it was supposedly haunted. Several people reported seeing the ghostly figure of an airman in the bomber and others said they had heard the noises of buttons being switched on and Morse code being tapped out.

In 1991 the plane was the subject of an inconclusive investigation by psychology lecturers Dr Dave Young and Dr Steve Ray from Wolverhampton Polytechnic, who were hoping to find the truth behind the ghostly stories surrounding the plane.

For weeks they monitored the aircraft by recording every sound, videoing inside the cockpit and measuring temperature changes.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News