G for George

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G for George on display at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra
Members of 460 Squadron RAAF with G for George in August 1943
Prime Minister John Curtin exiting G for George during his visit to Britain in 1944

G for George is an Avro Lancaster Mk. I bomber, squadron code AR-G and serial number W4783, operated by No. 460 Squadron RAAF during World War II. It is now preserved at the Australian War Memorial (AWM), Canberra, Australia.


G-George flew 90[1][2] operational sorties over occupied Europe with 460 Squadron, and is the second most prolific surviving Lancaster, behind R5868 S for Sugar of No. 83 Squadron RAF/No. 463 Squadron RAAF/No. 467 Squadron RAAF (137 sorties). Most operational Lancasters were shot down before they had reached 20 sorties: of the 107,085 sorties by Lancasters despatched in bombing raids on Germany 2687 aircraft went missing[3] G-George has the added distinction of bringing home, alive, every crewman who flew aboard it.

Upon retirement from combat duty in 1944, G-George was flown to Australia by an all-RAAF crew of Bomber Command veterans, and played a major part in raising war bonds during a round-Australia publicity trip. Post war, it was left to decay in the open air at RAAF Base Fairbairn, before being moved to the AWM in the early 1950s.

In 2003, G-George returned to display at the AWM in the new ANZAC Hall after a five-year restoration program at the Treloar Technology Centre, which restored the aircraft as faithfully as possible to its wartime configuration.[4] It is displayed in conjunction with a sound and light show that attempts to convey something of the atmosphere of a World War II Bomber Command raid, and incorporates a German '88' flak gun and a Bf 109 fighter. The display is based on a sortie captained by Flying Officer "Cherry" Carter to Berlin on "Black Thursday" December 1943, so called because Bomber Command lost 50 of the 500 bombers detailed for the raid - more than half were lost in landing accidents due to bad weather.

G-George serves as a memorial to all Australians who flew with Bomber Command, and to the 1,018 dead of 460 Squadron.

The designation 'G-George' comes from the RAF phonetic alphabet in use at the time. Individual aircraft on a squadron were allocated a letter and would be referred to using the corresponding word from the phonetic alphabet. Many other RAF squadrons would also have had a G-George but with different aircraft bearing that designation as they were lost in action or otherwise.

See also[edit]

  • RAF Museum, Hendon - home to Lancaster "S for Sugar"



  1. ^ ""G For George" Avro Lancaster". Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 5 November 2015. The operational record linked from this page lists only 89.
  2. ^ "History of "G for George"". ozatwar.com. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  3. ^ Moyes 1976, p. 328.
  4. ^ "Conservation project Lancaster G for George". Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 11 September 2018.


  • Moyes, Philip J.R. Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 2nd edition 1976. ISBN 0-354-01027-1.
  • Nelmes, Michael V. and Ian Jenkins. G-for-George: A Memorial to RAAF Bomber Crews, 1939-45. Maryborough, Queensland, Australia: Banner Books, 2000. ISBN 1-875593-21-7.

External links[edit]