3 LFS

~17 November – 1 December 1944: No. 3 Group Lancaster Finishing School (3LFS), “C” Flight, RAF Feltwell, Thetford, Norfolk

The crew then went through Lancaster Finishing School at RAF Feltwell, in the first week covering ground instruction, aircraft evacuation exercises, familiarisation with aircraft systems and aircraft recognition tests. 

Then they flew 5 ½ daylight hours and 7 night hours, over only four days, as part of “C” Flight.

Because Lancaster bombers were urgently required for frontline duty, only a few could be spared for training, hence the surprisingly condensed “Finishing School” approach.

The crew’s five training flights were all on two aircraft, Lancasters A5-S, and A5-S2 .

Doug Williamson, on Fighter Affiliation exercises:

”Soon we were given a Lancaster, and we were off on a training flight with several pilots who were to practice corkscrews. Corkscrews were a form of evasive action. When attacked by enemy aircraft, the gunner would call “Enemy fighter! Corkscrew Port, go!” and the pilot would turn the plane on one side and dive a few hundred feet, then reverse the roll and climb back up again. This manoeuvre was very effective, as not only did it present a difficult target, but also the slipstream from the Merlins would disturb the fighter’s flight.

It also had an effect on the crew as well. We had to suffer a couple of hours of this treatment as each pilot had his go at the controls. The repeated application of negative gravitational force followed by several positive G forces reduced me and the navigator to a debilitated state, only just able to hold on to our breakfasts.”

– The Nazi & The Luftgangster, by D. B. Williamson and Lutz Dille.

The crew finished the Lancaster phase of their Heavy Conversion on 1 December.

They were now ready for operations, and posting to an operational squadron.

Leave a Comment