Nose Art Of Lancaster KB721

"Linden Rose"


Last Updated: April 2009

War Time Service: Dept to UK c.2-44, Arr'd UK c.2-44, 20 MU Aston Down del'd 22-2-44, A.V. Roe & Co. Ltd., Woodford (for inspections), Controller of Research and Development (CRD) at A&AEE Boscombe Down del'd 4-44 (for armament evaluation), 20 MU Aston Down del'd 27-7-44, 419 Sqn, RCAF del'd 28-8-44 VR-E, VR-B, RAF St. Mawgan del'd 1-6-45, Dept to CDN c.1-46, Arr'd in CDN 1-46


Serivce In Canada: 661 (Heavy Bomber) Wing, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia as a spare aircraft for Tiger Force, No. 2 Air Command del'd 1-46 At end of the war was classified as Class Instruction A448 at Aylmer 25-11-48; placed into storage, Sold to C. Logan along with a Tiger Moth; hauled to Scotland,

Ontario and scrapped.


Fate: Scrapped, 21 November 1948, Scotland, Ontatio, Canada

KB721 arrived on 419 Squadron, RCAF on 28 August 1944, being assigned the Squadron letters “VR” and the aircraft letter “E – Easy” (VR-E). Under this guise the Lancaster began its operational life.

On the night of 06/ 07 December 1944 Lancaster KB779 VR-B also known as “Brick Bradford” failed to return from operations against Osnabrück. Brick Bradford being a character from a comic strip.

Shortly after KB779’s loss KB721 was re-lettered to VR-B (B – Baker) and the face of Brick Bradford appeared on the side of the Lancaster and also upon the ground crews tool shed.

It is unclear at this time when the “Linden Rose” name was added, but it appears to have accrued shortly after the crew of pilot F/O W.J. “Smitty” Smith took over full time charge of the Lancaster in March or April 1945.

The name being derived from “Smity’s” daughter Linda (LIN) and son Dennis (DEN) to form the first “LINDEN”. No one however is sure where the “ROSE” became attached to the final name.

The addition of aircrafts new name, resulted in Lancaster’s bomb tally being moved from the somewhat common location of under the pilots window, forward to port side of the bomb aimer’s compartment. This being fairly obvious as a patch of darker “black” paint is clearly visible in this area and directly under the “Linden Rose” name.

Obviously deciding not to break the previous luck of the Lancaster, the crew appears to have decided to keep the face of Brick Bradford as well. However it appears that prior to returning to Canada a large “Rose” was used to conceal the Brick Bradford face.