The iconic Lancaster ‘G for George’, code AR-G, serial number W4783, operated by No. 460 Squadron during World War II, was recently disassembled by a team from the Air Force History and Heritage Branch and the Australia War Memorial Collections Services, during a four-week period.
The Lancaster has been one of the most popular exhibits at the Australian War Memorial and has been on display in Anzac Hall since early 2000s. Anzac Hall will soon be demolished to make way for a new larger hall that will house displays being developed over the next few years.
The bomber flew 89 operational missions over Germany and occupied Europe during the height of the bomber offensive.
Built in 1942, G for George was in active service until it retired in 1944. G for George will be reassembled and placed on display at the Australian War Memorial Mitchell Annex, which will be open to the public in the later part of 2021.
The team removed panels, bomb bay doors, engines and tailplane assembly, the undercarriage components, and the wings as a whole piece and separated the fuselage into four sections. Expertise and knowledge was passed between both teams.
Australian War Memorial Collection Services Project Manager, Kassandra O’Connell said they valued the support.
“We are grateful to have RAAF support embedded within the team for this iconic collection disassembly and movement,” she said.
Air Force Team Leader Warrant Officer Stan Lawler said he enjoyed working on the project.
“It was an honour and a privilege to work with the Australian War Memorial team on this magnificent aircraft, and to remember all those who worked to keep G for George flying for our aircrew during the bomber offensive,” he said.
G for George will return to the new Anzac Hall when construction and installation of the updated displays has been completed.