Avro Lancaster "G for George"
Since it was first installed in Aircraft Hall in June 1955 Avro Lancaster, serial number W4783, "G for George" has been one of the icons of the Australian War Memorial's collection. It is now one of only 17 Lancasters left in the world from the 7,378 originally manufactured.
W4783 is a Mk I Lancaster and was built by Metropolitan-Vickers Limited in Manchester in the United Kingdom in mid-1942. It was taken on charge by the RAF on 22 October 1942 and then allocated to A Flight of 460 Squadron RAAF. The aircraft's popular name was derived from its radio call sign - 'G'. The word 'George' represented 'G' in the phonetic alphabets in use during the Second World War.
During its 17 month operational career with 460 Squadron, W4783 flew 89 missions. The first was on the night of 5 December 1942 to attack Mannheim, and the last on the night of 20 April 1944 against Cologne. Having been identified for the purpose as early as November 1943, W4783 was flown to Australia in late 1944 to publicise the victory loans drive. It left the United Kingdom on 11 October and, flying via Iceland, Canada, the United States and various Pacific Islands, arrived at Amberley outside of Brisbane on 8 November. W4783 toured Australia during 1945, and made its last flight, to RAAF base Canberra, on 24 September 1945.
W4738 spent almost ten years, most of them exposed to the elements, at RAAF Canberra before being installed at the AWM. It was the centrepiece of Aircraft Hall for 44 years before being disassembled and removed for an extensive conservation program in March 1999. In the second half of 2003 it was reassembled, and returned to display, in Anzac Hall.