617 Squadron is arguably the most famous Squadron in the world, formed in March 1943 for the specific aim of using the Bouncing Bomb invented by Barnes Wallis against the German Dams. Having succeeded in a raid, which many would have thought impossible, the Squadron continued to take part in the war as a specialised bombing unit, attacking the Dortmund Canal, sinking Tirpitz as well as destroying/damaging tunnels, U-boat pens and bunkers.
We have selected to shown the specially modified Lancaster Mk 1 which could crarry the Tallboy and Grand Slam bombs. The aircraft is shown on the airfield with bomb underneath on its bomb trolley waiting to be loaded prior an evening raid on Germany. The artist is Ross Wardle, who was one of the Matchbox Kits artists before the company dropped out of kit market.
Appropriately the cover is cancelled with Victoria Cross postmark.
Hand signed by Flight Lieutenant Ken Trent DFC*
158 Signed, Numbered and Certified
Ken Trent flew his initial tour with 576 and 625 Squdrons from August 1944. Most of the operations flown with 576 squadron were in 3 Lancasters which all survived to complete over 100 operations. Following the completion of the tour the crew split up and Trent continued flying operations with 625 squadron with scratch crews or new crews to give them some training. He was awarded the DFC during his first tour and promoted from pilot officer to acting Flight Lieutenant.
In 1945 he was posted to 617 Squadron at RAF Woodhall Spa where he flew another 10 operations taking part in the major operations performed by 617 until the end of the war. On the Berchtesgaden raid on 25th April the tallboy that he was carrying would not release and had to returned to Woodhall. He was awarded a bar to the DFC. He was also cousin to Squadron Leader Len Trent VC