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Wellington file photo [4179]


CountryUnited Kingdom
ManufacturerVickers-Armstrongs, Limited
Primary RoleMedium Bomber
Maiden Flight15 June 1936


ww2dbaseThe Wellington twin-engine medium bombers were designed by R. K. Pierson in the mid-1930s. The design proved to be tough even when damaged in battle, but it was complex enough that it hampered production somewhat. The first Royal Air Force bombing involving Wellington bombers took place on 4 Sep 1939, where Wellington bombers from No. 9 and No. 149 Squadrons, along with Blenheim bombers, attacked German shipping at BrunsbĂĽttel, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. On 25 Aug 1940, they participated on the first night raid on Berlin. On 30-31 May 1942, Wellington bombers made up 599 of the 1,046 aircraft sent to attack Cologne; in that raid, 2,000 tons of high explosives were delivered in a 90-minute window, destroying 250 factories as well as downtown Cologne, killing countless civilians and leaving 45,000 homeless. As they were replaced by more modern designs, Wellington bombers were transferred to the Middle East and Asia. During the design's production life, 11,464 were built.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jul 2007

Wellington Timeline

16 Oct 1941 RAF Pilot Officer A. J. Heyworth was able to return hom to Britain after his Wellington bomber suffered serious damage while bombing Mannheim, Germany. He flew most of the way on only one engine while the other was aflame.
4 Jun 1942 Shortly after midnight the Italian submarine Luigi Torelli bound for a patrol area off Puerto Rico was attacked by Squadron Leader Jeaff Greswell's (No. 172 Squadron RAF) Leigh Light equipped Wellington bomber. The attack (the first to be made using a Leigh light) caused extensive damage to the Italian submarine, which was forced to abort her mission and return to port for repairs.
6 Jul 1942 The British RAF Coastal Command scored its first enemy vessel sunk with the newly equipped Wellington bombers.
13 Oct 1945 The last of 11,461 Vickers Wellington aircraft to be built rolled off the production line.


MachineryTwo Bristol Pegasus Mk. XVIII radial engines rated at 1,050hp each
Armament2x7.7mm nose turret Browning machine guns, 4x7.7mm tail turret Browning machine guns, 2x7.7mm waist Browning machine guns, 2,000kg of bombs
Span26.27 m
Length19.69 m
Height5.33 m
Wing Area78.40 m˛
Weight, Empty8,417 kg
Weight, Maximum12,927 kg
Speed, Maximum378 km/h
Rate of Climb5.70 m/s
Service Ceiling5,486 m
Range, Normal2,905 km


Wellington bomber in flight, date unknownWellington bombers of the Royal New Zealand Air Force, shortly before they were given to United Kingdom for the war effort in the west, Aug-Sep 1939
See all 7 photographs of Wellington Medium Bomber

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Hobilar says:
1 Sep 2007 10:34:29 AM

Affectionally named Wimpy-The Wellingtons nickname originated from the character J.Wellington Wimpy of the Popeye cartoons
2. Bruce says:
4 Aug 2009 03:50:43 AM

A squadron of the South African Airforce (26 Squadron SAAF) was equipped with Wimpys and based in Takoradi, Gold Coast(Now Ghana)during WWII. They carried out anti submarine patrols and convoy escourt duty over the Atlantic. See 26 Sqn website at http://mysite.mweb.co.za/residents/bd000006/
3. jonathan lilley says:
26 Jan 2012 11:24:00 AM

My grandfather flew a wellington bomber in ww2 in the middle east his squadron was 38 his name was FLT SGT Henry Lilley . Sadly he did not return his right engine was gone and most of the crew bailed out . But he was still flying it his name is at AL Alamein need to get there one day RIP grandad
4. richard swan says:
2 Mar 2014 11:17:06 PM

My father Richard David Swan built Lancs during the war. I am trying to find out more info - which factory etc
5. don says:
13 Apr 2014 01:11:25 AM

Mr. Chen, Thanks for the wonderful site. The 11,000-odd figure for Wellington production seems on the high side, I seem to recall that 3-4000 were built. Thank you again. Don
6. don says:
13 Apr 2014 01:13:20 AM

Mr. Chen, Please accept my apologies, a brief search revealed your production figure to be correct- I had forgotten that they were built right through the end of the war. Best regards, Don
7. Peter Packwood says:
3 Feb 2015 12:42:41 PM

My father William Thomas Packwood served in the RAF 1939- 1945. Ground crew Wellington bombers he was stationed in North Africa and also Germany. Born in Dudley. Would anyone have any idea which squadron this would be. And a shot in the dark if any body reads this about him if any past family members heard of him. Regards Peter,
8. Ian Martindale says:
16 Dec 2015 01:01:57 PM

I note no mention of Barnes Wallis in the development of the Wellington, I always was led to believe he was responsible for the geodesic design of the fuselage, true or propaganda?
9. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
16 Dec 2015 05:12:43 PM

Rex Pierson was Vickers’ chief designer for the Wellington but that design relied heavily on geodesic construction principles developed by Barnes Wallis in his pre-war work on airship design. The bomber Wallis is best known for having a greater role in developing was the Lancaster.
10. John says:
30 Jan 2016 10:29:14 AM

My grandfather, Joseph W. Bonen, flew with the Civilian Technical Corps in the UK in WW2. My mother remembered that he flew Wellington bomber and was with RAF or RCAF. I have been unable to find any further information online re this. Any suggestions? Thanks
11. Don says:
13 Apr 2016 03:39:53 AM

My father flew Wellingtons in the Nth Africa and Italy campaigns based at Blida Algeria in 150 Squadron RAF and was there during 1942-43 .The desert air force played a decisive role aiding the eventual collapse of Nazi German and Italian occupation of the middle east
12. Bob says:
16 Aug 2016 09:53:20 AM

What happened to the two Wellington Bombers that at were at R.A.F.Cosford when I left there in the middle 50's. They were in a moth balled state but one of them was "airworthy"as it was unoffically stripped and flown by a flight Sargent pilot.He was apparently court marshalled.
13. Ron Munro says:
19 Dec 2017 04:28:28 PM

460 SQN RAAF in WWII flew Vickers Wellington Bombers. BUT I fail to see the Wellington listed in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Series of Air Craft that served with in the RAAF. This to me means the Wellington Bomber wasn't a RAAF Asset. Who did they belong to??
14. yehuda wegman says:
27 Dec 2017 03:39:10 AM

Any 1 knows about Wellington with mor ethan 6 crewmembers ?
thank u
15. yehuda wegman says:
27 Dec 2017 03:56:34 AM

any 1 knows somthing about 8 Aircrew kIA at 25.08.1944 buried in Haifa cematery ?
1-c.g.r adams. pailot
2- r.h breach
3- j.jhohanstone
4 -d.e macdonald
5 - g.marr
6 -t. robinson
7 -f.s mulder
8- s.c williams


16. Kate says:
31 Mar 2018 12:41:06 PM

My great Uncle Sgt. Wallace Carter died 03/04/1943 as a gunner flying over France, 166 squadron. I have an excellent photo of him in his “Biggles” helmet
17. archivist says:
27 Nov 2018 11:32:27 AM

Yehuda Wegman Wellington Bombers normally carried a crew of 5 or 6 but some French manned Wellingtons had a crew of 7. One such aircraft crashed at Bunker Hill near Consett, Co Durham, England

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Notable Figure:
» Wallis, Barnes

Wellington Medium Bomber Photo Gallery
Wellington bomber in flight, date unknownWellington bombers of the Royal New Zealand Air Force, shortly before they were given to United Kingdom for the war effort in the west, Aug-Sep 1939
See all 7 photographs of Wellington Medium Bomber

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