Canadian Warplanes 5: Avro Lincoln

Avro Lincoln

(RCAF Photo)

Avro Lincoln B, Mk. XV, RCAF (Serial No. FM300), 27 April 1947.

Avro Lincoln B. Mk. I (1), (Serial No. RE258), B Mk. II (1), (Serial No. SX 924), B. Mk. XV (1), (Serial No. FM 300), for a total of 3 aircraft.

The Avro Type 694, better known as the Avro Lincoln, is a British four-engined heavy bomber, which first flew on 9 June 1944.  Developed from the Avro Lancaster, the first Lincoln variants were initially known as the Lancaster Mk. IV and Mk. V; these were renamed Lincoln Mk. I and Mk. II.  It was the last piston-enginedbomber operated by the RAF.

The Lincoln attained operational status in August 1945.  It had been initially assigned to units of the Tiger Force, a Commonwealth heavy bomber force which had been intended to play a role in the closing stages of the Second World War by participating in the campaign against Japan, with operations against the Japanese mainland.  The war ended before the Lincoln went into action.  Production of the type proceeded and the type was adopted in quantity, allowing it to complement and progressively replace the preceding Lancaster in RAF service during the late 1940s.

One Lincoln B Mk. XV pattern aircraft was completed in Canada by Victory Aircraft.  A follow-up order for a total of six RCAF variants was cancelled shortly following the end of hostilities.  Along with two additional Lincoln Mk. I and Mk. II aircraft on loan from the RAF, the type was briefly evaluated postwar by the RCAF.  The main difference between the Lancaster Mk. V and the Lincoln Mk. II is that the Lincoln was fitted with Merlin 68A engines.  Three Avro Lincolns were in service with the RCAF from 1946 to 1948.  The Mk. XV Lincoln was to equip the squadrons forming the RCAF's contribution to "Tiger Force," that was to be the Commonwealth's contribution to the war against Japan following the defeat of Germany. The program was cancelled following the Japanese surrender.

The Lincoln B. Mk. I (Serial No. RE258), was taken on strength with the RCAF on 11 Feb 1946.  After trials with Winter Experimental Establishment (WEE), Lincoln RE258.  It was struck off strength on 10 June 1947 and then returned to England.  RE258 ultimately went to Australia where it was reduced to components in 1953 at Woomera, Australia.  Before leaving Canada, its equipment was transferred to SX924.

(Donna Davis Photo)

The Lincoln B. Mk. II (Serial No. SX924), was taken on strength with the RCAF on 1 Nov 1947.  SX924 was assigned to the WEE as the replacement aircraft.  The Lincoln experienced fuel flow problems and ditched into Watson Lake, Yukon Territory, on 10 Nov 1948, and was written off after the crash on 11 Nov 1948.   Unfortunately one airman was killed in the crash.  The water was shallow enough that it enabled the rest of the crew to successfully get out.  As of 2012, large pieces (wings, centre section and rear fuselage and tail) are still in the lake where it crashed

The Lincoln B. Mk. XV (Serial No. FM300), was taken on strength with the RCAF on 17 Aug 1946.  It was struck off strength on 4 March 1947.

(RCAF Photo)

Avro 694 Lincoln B, Mk. XV, RCAF (Serial No. FM300).  Although built in Canada, none have been preserved here.  Two are preserved in Argentina and two in the UK.

(Wilma Bearman Photo via Don Smith)

Avro Lincoln B. Mk. I (Serial No. RE258).

(RAF Photo)

Early production Avro 694 Lincoln (Serial No. RA638) on a test flight test in August 1945.

(RAF Photo)

Avro Lincoln B Mk. II, RF523, "Thor II", of the Empire Air Armament School, Manby, possibly during a tour of Canada and the USA in Nov-Dec 1946.