Rolls-Royce Merlin Engine

This engine, is the Packard license-built version of the Rolls-Royce Merlin. It was recovered from the crash site of Lancaster BIII, EE185 by Ailes Anciennes. In Septmber 1940, the Packard Company agreed to build engines for both the American and British war effort. This engine was then adapted for the American mass production market.

The engines produced by Packard were designated V-1650 liquid cooled and based on the famous Rolls Royce Merlin’s which had powered the famous Spitfires and Hurricanes during the Battle of Britain. The first two Packard built Merlin’s were demonstrated at a special ceremony at the Packard factory in Detroit on August the 2nd 1941 and full production began in 1942. By the end of World War II(WWII) more than 16,000 had been produced in the USA.

During the last 3 years of WWII the Royal Air Force(RAF) used Packard built Merlin’s in Spitfires, Mosquitoes and Lancaster’s My collection contains a Packard Merlin which is historically significant having seen active service with 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron (21 operations including 14 to Berlin) and 617 (Dambuster) Squadron (2 operations).

Lancaster EE185 was one of 620 Lancaster’s ordered from A V Roe (Chadderton) in 1941 and built between November 1942 and June 1943 (129 Mk I and 491 Mk III) The First Recorded operation was on the night of 12th June 1943, it failed to return from its 51st Mission on 3rd May 1944. The Aircraft was shot down By Hampt Martin Drewes of III/ NJG1 at 0118 near Neron (Eure–et–Loir) 18 Kms S.E Dreux France. All of the crew were killed and are buried together in Dreux Communial Cemetery Eure-et-Loir which is 3o miles South West of Paris. 20 miles north of Chartres.

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