General characteristics:

Crew: 7:  Pilot - Flight Engineer - Navigator - Wireless Operator,

Bomb Aimer/Forward Gunner - Mid-Upper Gunner - Rear Gunner.

Length: 69 ft 5 in (21.16 m)

Wingspan: 102 ft (31.09 m)

Height: 19 ft 7 in (5.97 m)

Wing area: 1,300 ft² (121 m²)

Empty weight: 36,828 lb (16,705 kg)

Loaded weight: 63,000 lb (28,577 kg)

Power plant: 4 × Rolls-Royce Merlin 22 V12 engines, 1,280 HP (954 kW) each


Maximum speed: 240 knots (276 mph, 445 km/h) at 15,000 ft.

Range: 2,300 nm (4,300 Km) with minimal bomb load.

Service ceiling:[1] 23,500 ft (7,163 m)

Wing loading: 48 lb/ft² (240 kg/m²)

Power/mass: 0.081 HP/lb (130 W/kg)

Fuel Capacity: 2,150 Imp Gallons (9,774 Litres)


Guns: 8 × 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns in three turrets,

(10,000 rounds Rear Turret[2], less for MU and Forward)

Bombs: Dependant on fuel requirement, typical maximum 12,000 lb.)[3]




1.  The service ceiling is the density altitude above which it is not possible to attain a climb rate > 100ft/min.

2. Rear turret had 4 machine guns, other turrets 2.

3. Typical bomb loads ranged 7,000lb ~ 12,000lb with later Lancaster marks further modified to carry 22,000lb.


Bomber Command Lancasters were configured for single pilot operation


Wireless Operator at left, Navigator’s Station forward of Wireless Operator and behind Pilots seat, LHS.

Flight Engineer’s fold-down seat alongside pilot with additional instrumentation and controls on side panel.


Portion of Flight Engineers Side Panel


Rear Turrett (4 x 0.303 Browning Machine Guns with 10,000 rounds)


Lancasters lined up ready for take-off, Waddington, UK 1944


This is a reproduction of a picture hanging in the Committee Room of “The Clermont Club”, Clermont, QLD.

The inset photograph is that of F/S Brian Bennett, the Rear Gunner who came from Clermont, Qld.

The signature is that of Air Vice Marshall R. A. Cochrane, then commander of 3 Group and

5 Group Bomber Command, later to become Sir Ralph Cochrane, Air Chief Marshall.

(“Modane” refers to the Modane Rail Marshalling Yards on the French-Italian

border targeted by 467 Squadron & others 10/11/43)

Reference to Pilot Officer Fayle refers to his rank prior

 to his promotion to Flying Officer on 25/1/44


Somewhere in England 1943 ~ 1944 (1 crew member absent)

Sgt C.T. Baker 2nd from left, Flight Engineer, F/O Ernie Fayle, Pilot, 3rd from left -  F/S Brian Bennett, Rear Gunner, 4th from left.

It is believed that F/O F. Chappell, Navigator, is 5th from left.

Ernie Fayle and Brian Bennett were Australians (RAAF)

with Christopher Baker, together with the other 4 crew members being from the RAF.


Ernie's Statement of Service obtained from the Australian Government, Department of Defence.



Sydney, 15/8/41


Somers, 15/8/41

(13 weeks)

Aircrew recruits were initially sent direct to No. 1 Initial Training School at Somers in Victoria.

Temora, 13/11/41

(14 weeks)

 Elementary Flying training (Tiger Moth).

Bradfield Park, 22/2/42

(30 days)

 Initial Training School.

Temora 24/3/42

 (12 Days)

 Elementary Flying training.

Mallala, SA 5/4/42

(24 weeks)

Service Flying Training School. Avro Ansons and Oxfords (twin engined aircraft) used for advanced training.

Bradfield Park, 18/9/42

(29 days)

Embarkation Depot.

Sydney, 17/10/42

(29 days)


UK, 16/12/42


Bournemouth, 16/12/42

Personnel Reception Centre.

Banff, 16/2/43

(7 weeks)

Advanced Flying Unit.

Bruntingthorpe 6/4/43

(14 Weeks)

Operational Training Unit

Winthorpe, 17/7/43

(5 weeks)

Conversion Unit.

Bottesford 23/8/43

(3 months)

Posted to 467 Squadron.  First Operational Posting.

Waddington, 25/11/43

(12 Weeks)

Posted to newly formed RAAF 463 Squadron.  Final Posting to newly formed 463 Squadron.

To download a PDF file of "Statement of Service" and "Postings" Right Click and "Save Target As"  


Bottesford RAF Base

RAF Bottesford is located in Leicestershire, 6 miles north-west of the town of Grantham.

The airfield became operational in November 1941 with the arrival of No. 207 Squadron from Waddington. This squadron, the first to be equipped with the troublesome Manchester, was relieved to start exchanging them for Lancasters in March 1942. A new Australian manned squadron, No. 467, arrived on 23rd November 1942 commencing operations on the night of January 2/3, 1943.

In November 1943, No. 467 Squadron was moved out to Waddington as Bottesford had been allocated to the USAAF's IX Troop Carrier Command for the forthcoming operation.

(Ernie and crew were first stationed here with 467 Squadron 23/8/1943 ~ 25/11/1943)

Waddington RAF Base

RAF Waddington is located in Lincolnshire, five miles south of the city of Lincoln.

The first military flying took place at Waddington with the arrival of 47 & 48 Reserve Squadrons in November 1916, when the Station opened as a flying training unit, a role it continued until the end of the First World War.

The base was closed in 1919, but was opened again in October 1926. At a later date, Waddington came under the control of Bomber Command and two squadrons were re-formed there in 1937.

No. 44 Squadron at Waddington became the first to receive the new Lancasters, which were taken into action for the first time on March 10/11,1942 when two No. 44 Squadron aircraft attacked Esse.

In November 1943 Waddington saw the arrival of the Australian No. 463 squadron with 30 Lancasters from Bottesford. The squadron became operational immediately and it participated in the raid on Berlin on November 23/24, just a few hours after it was formed. Altogether, Waddington lost more bombers on operations than any other Bomber Command station, a total of 345 of which 227 were Lancasters.

(Ernie and crew transferred from 467 Squadron to the newly formed

463  Squadron and were relocated to Waddington 25/11/43)

No. 467 Squadron, RAAF

No. 467 Squadron, RAAF was formed at Scampton, UK on 7/11/1942. Although intended as an Australian squadron the majority of the personnel were initially British. However, towards the end of the war the squadron comprised a majority of Australians.

The squadron relocated to Bottesford on 23/11/1942 and commenced operations on 2 January 1943. The squadron moved to Waddington on 12/11/1943 which remained the squadron's home until the end of the war. Equipped with Avro Lancaster heavy bombers, and forming part of 5 Group, RAF Bomber Command, the squadron's operational focus for much of the war was the strategic bombing offensive against Germany. Bombing almost entirely by night, it participated in all of the major campaigns of the offensive. After the end of WW2 467 Squadron moved to Metherington on 16/6/1945 and was eventually disbanded in October 1945.

(Australian War Memorial, Canberra archives)

No. 463 Squadron, RAAF

No. 463 Squadron, RAAF was formed from C Flight of 467 Squadron RAAF at Waddington, UK on 25/11/1943. Like 467 Squadron, 463 was equipped with Lancaster heavy bombers and formed part of 5 Group of RAF Bomber Command. The squadron began operations the night after its formation with an attack on Berlin. Night raids on Germany became a focus of the squadron's activities and it was heavily engaged during the Battles of Berlin and the Ruhr. It also took part in numerous raids on the sites used to assemble and launch V1 flying bombs and V2 rockets against Britain.

No. 463 RAAF Squadron sustained the highest loss rate of any of the Australian bomber squadrons.

(Australian War Memorial, Canberra archives)


The following is a history of the Lancaster that Ernie commanded during his last 12 missions. These include 3 sorties carried out in November 1943 whilst still attached to 467 Squadron, (Kassel, Dusseldorf and Modane) which do not appear as “Key Operations” on the listing below.

The information below has been extracted from a web site dedicated to providing as much information as possible about “Lost Bombers”;


# =  “Key Operation”,

* =  Commanded by F/O Ernest Athol Fayle

Lancaster DV338 Information

Type Lancaster Mk I

Serial Number DV338

Squadron 463


Operation Leipzig

Date 19th February 1944

Further Information

"Serial Range DV155 - DV407

This aircraft was one of 200 Lancasters ordered from Metro-Vick in 1941 and built as 91 Mk.1s with Merlin

22 engines and 109 Mk.111s with Merlin 28 engines mixed, from May 43 to Nov 43.

DV338 was a Mk.1 and was delivered to A.V. Roe 10 Oct 43 for 'Quality Control Inspection', and issued to

No.617 Sqdn, then to 619 Sqdn 16 Oct 43 but immediately transferred to No.467 Sqdn 21 Oct 43, joining

463 Sqdn 25 Nov 43.

Took part in the following Key Operations:

With No.467 Squadron;

Kassel 22/23 Oct 43 *

Dusseldorf 3/4 Nov 43 *

Modane 10/11/Nov 43 *

Berlin 22/23 Nov 43; #

Berlin 23/24 Nov 43; #

With No.463 Sqdn as JO-C;

Berlin 26/27 Nov 43; # (463 Sqdn's first Bombing Raid)

Berlin 2/3 Dec 43; #

Berlin 16/17 Dec 43; #

Berlin 23/24 Dec 43; #

Berlin 29/30 Dec 43; # *

Berlin 1/2 Jan 44; # *

Brunswick 14/15 Jan 44; # *

Berlin 20/21 Jan 44; *

Berlin 27/28 Jan 44 # *

Berlin 28/29 Jan 44; *

Berlin 30/31Jan 44; # *

Berlin 15/16 Feb 44; # *

Leipzig 19/20 Feb 44, Lost. # *

When lost this aircraft had a total of 186 hours.

Airborne 23:20 19 Feb 1944 from Waddington. Lost without trace.

All are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


Sgt C.T. Baker RAF KIA

F/O C.L. Chappell RAF KIA

Sgt L.K. Topham RAF KIA

Sgt R.J. Farrell RAF KIA

Sgt A.L.N. Vickery RAF KIA

F/S B.P. Bennett RAAF KIA






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