"The finest bomber of the war! Its efficiency was almost incredible, both in performance and in the way it could be saddled with ever-increasing loads without breaking the camel's back. The Lancaster far surpassed all the other types of heavy bombers. Not only could it take heavier bomb loads, not only was it easier to handle, and not only were there fewer accidents than with other types, the casualty rate was also consistently below those of other types." — Sir Arthur T. Harris
On August 28th 2014, the skies above Darlington were graced by presence of one of only two airworthy Lancaster bombers in the world. Named in honour of Pilot Officer Andrew Mynarski — recipient of the Victoria Cross — and affectionally known as VeRA, she took to the air from the former Middleton St George airfield, home to the 419th, 420th and 428th squadrons of the Royal Canadian Air Force during WWII.
VeRA, along with PA474, are the last flying examples of what Sir Arthur Harris called the "shining sword" in Bomber Command's air offensive against Germany. Designed by legendary engineer Roy Chadwick and flown with great skill and determination in the face of appalling odds by crews only shortly out of their teenage years, the Lancaster is arguably the most iconic symbol of our war effort. VeRA is a fitting tribute to the courage and sacrifice displayed during those dark times.