Aircraft Codes & Letters

All Lancaster aircraft had squadron codes and individual letters, which meant that they could be easily identified when in the air. One of our all-time favourite photographs shows OF-B (B-Beer), a 97 Squadron aircraft, at Bourn in the summer of 1943. One of the ground crew is proudly pointing at the aircraft letter. (Courtesy of Jack Hill.)

Bourn was uncharacteristic of most wartime heavy bomber airfields in having a slope on the airfield, which began approximately at mid-way. This can be clearly seen in this photograph. The man who is taking it stands considerably lower than the Lancaster in the distance. The place where the photograph was taken looks very reminiscent of the area where the Rural Flying Corps has now been based for many years.

A            Apple

B            Beer

C             Charlie

D            Dog

E             Edward

F             Freddy

G            George

H            Harry

I              In (sometimes India)

J              Johnny

K             King

L             Love

M           Mother

N            Nuts

O            Orange

P             Peter

Q            Queen (Queenie)

R            Robert

S             Sugar

T             Tommy

U            Uncle

V            Vic (Victor)

W           William

X             X-Ray

Y             Yorker (York)

Z             Zebra