and Canada
in the
Second World War
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Exhibition Theme - Casualties

Bomber crew

Stella Bowen (1893-1947)
Bomber crew, Stella Bowen, Australian War Memorial, ART26265

Given the task of painting a typical Lancaster bomber crew, Bowen travelled to RAF Station Binbrook in Lincolnshire, where No. 460 Squadron RAAF was based. The men seemed preoccupied with their coming operation and showed little interest in her drawings. Next day they were reported missing and presumed killed: only one survived. Bowen completed the group portrait from sketches and official photographs: "It was horrible having to paint the picture after the men were lost. Like painting ghosts."

Oil on canvas 86.1 x 63.3 cm
Painted in London, 1944
Acquired under official war art scheme in 1944
Australian War Memorial

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