About these pictures of Rabbit’s Stew

wpid-1_1747_kb882-rabbits-stew-june-45-jpg

collection Richard Koval via Clarence Simonsen

And this one…

Avro Lancaster X - Rabbit's Stew - équipage Roland Laporte

collection Jacques P. Lamontagne

And this one…

Al Davies KB882 May 45

collection Al Davies

And this one…

Jacques P Lamontagne 001

collection Jacques P. Lamontagne

I am just trying to make sense in all these pictures from different collections. Clarence is trying to help me with this problem. 

Hello Pierre,

No. 420 and No. 425 Squadrons flew Halifax aircraft on operations in WWII based at Tholthorpe. On 8 May 45 , the war in Europe ended and nobody cared about keeping records, such as Lancaster serial numbers in use by squadrons. [That’s where the major problems developed, which effects historians until today.]

No. 420 and 425 were selected to be part of Tiger Force which would fly the Canadian Lancaster Mk. Xs against Japan, but they had never flown the Lancaster.  At once, [9 May 45] they began to received new and veteran Lancaster Mk. X aircraft, which were flown to Tholthorpe.  Some of these aircraft contained original squadron nose art that was painted during WWII. 

No. 420 and 425 begin training in their new Lancaster’s and during this time the French/Canadian nose artist begins to paint 425 squadron art on their 20 aircraft. No. 420 receives 20 Lancaster aircraft and they also begin to paint nose art on their aircraft. This mix of 40 nose art and aircraft serial number is never officially recorded, and that is a big problem today for historians. 
No. 420 [Snowy Owl] begin leaving for Canada on 12 June 45 and the next day 13 June No. 425 follow to Canada. For some reason a few of the 420 Lancaster with nose art are transferred to 425 and return to Canada with French/Canadian crews. To add to this problem, the pilots only record the Lancaster code letter in their log book, such as Laporte « R » but we do not know the serial number or aircraft. Thus, you have to use the date in log book as the correct guide.
KB909 first flew with No. 419 Moose Squadron as VR-Y and then in early May 45 was flown to 420 Squadron and became PT-R. [You have this photo with no nose art].
George Tremblay RCAF Plane-3
KB903 was a new Lancaster that flew as PT-P and another record shows it as PT-R, with 420 squadron, then it is transferred to 425 and becomes KW-R for return to Canada. This is the Lancaster WL-R that Laporte records in his log book, but what is the serial number? Many record this as Rabbit’s Stew, but I am not convinced.
Jacques P. Lamontagne 053
Records clearly show KB882 as Rabbit’s Stew and that is what I sent to you. They left for Canada on 31 May 45 and arrived at Yarmouth on 10 June 45. No 428 with Rabbit’s Stew is in Canada before No. 425 squadron leave England on 12 June 45?
I’m not sure this clears anything up for you?
Clarence

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