Friday, April 16, 2010

A RCAF Lancaster Just for Matt

My friend Matt is a huge Milton Caniff fan and spends a good portion of his blog writing about Caniff. A few years ago Matt told me that Caniff's Miss Lace character from the comic strip Mail Call was used as nose art on many American bombers, most famously on the B-17G "A Bit O'Lace." Well imagine my surprise to find out that Miss Lace was also used on at least one RCAF aircraft, Lancaster KB747. Lancaster KB747 was built as a Lancaster X by Victory Aircraft Limited at Malton, Ontario in 1943 and flew 72 ops with 428 "Ghost" Squadron RCAF carrying the codes NA-X. After the war in Europe ran down, KB747 returned to Nova Scotia to join the RCAF's contribution to the Tiger Force. The RCAF Tiger Force squadrons never left Canada before the war in the Pacific ended and KB747 was struck off charge in 1947 and scrapped. KB747 was named "Madam X" after the Lionel Barrymore directed movie and carried Miss Lace as nose art.


Modeler's Notes: KB747 is an early Lancaster X with the Frazer-Nash FN50 mid-upper turret, short nose blister, paddle blade props, and standard bomb bay doors. I would assume it would has exposed exhaust stacks as carried by most Lancaster Xs. "Madam X" would be an easy build with the newer Hasegawa and Revell AG kits as they have all of the parts necessary right in the box. (I have both, but prefer the Revell AG kit based upon price.) The Airfix Lanc would require some modifications to the nacelles to expose the exhausts along with some aftermarket exhausts. Also note the large areas of paint chipping on the nose and the multi-coloured mission tally. (Photos courtesy of the Canada Department of National Defence/Library and Archives of Canada.)

4 comments:

Matt Tauber said...

Nice article, Jim. Thanks!

Monica said...

Hi Thank you for that article, I just wanted to tell you that my Grandfather was the rear gunner on the Madam X for 428 Squadron in WWII.

Darlene said...

My grandfather was also a tail gunner on the madam x, he was part of the crew that flew her home to Halifax. I know there is a picture of Madam X with grandpa and the rest of the crew upon that landing, I understand they were some of the first Canadian soldiers to return home after the end of the war, and grandma kept this newspaper picture, however upon her passing none of us can find it.

Reg said...

Darlene - did you know the bird also went off the edge of the runway upon arrival in Halifax? As well dad as a large photo and I have a small one here in Ontario.