The Arvo Lancaster was one of the most successful combat aircraft used by the RAF during World War II. These heavy bombers dropped a combined total of 608,612 tons of explosives over German targets.
Buit in June 1945, NX665 was destined for service in the Pacific as part of the proposed Allied invasion of Japan. However, Japanese surrender in September 1945 made the deployment unnecessary. The aircraft instead went into storage at Handow, United Kingdom, until sold to the French navy in 1951.
Following acquisition by the French, NX665 was given the military identification WU13 and deployed first in France, then Moroco and Algeria on anti-submarine patrol, maritime reconnaissance, and air-sea rescue operations. After service in North Africa WU13 returned to France in preparation for deployment in the Pacific with Escardrille 98 based in Noumea, New Caledonia. The Pacific deployment was the aircrafts last period of active service before being gifted to MOTAT as a good will gesture to New Zealand by the French Governmant.
WU13 is painted in World War II livery to commemorate the many New Zealanders who served with RAF Bomber Command.