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In May 1940, the Vickers Wellington bomber was included in the list of aircraft declared a high priority by Great Britain's Ministry of Aircraft Production. The Wellington was built around Barnes Wallis’ geodetic structure concept, maximising airframe strength for minimum weight. Powered by two Bristol Pegasus engines, the Wellington was first test flown in May 1936 and entered service with RAF Bomber Command in 1938. Full-scale production of the Mk.IC (Type 415) model started in April 1940; the most numerous of the Mk.Is, the Mk.IC differed from previous variants by replacing the ventral turret with guns fitted to the aircraft’s beams. In place of the Frazer-Nash FN-25 turret, the Mk.IC featured two side blisters consisting of 0.303 inch Vickers Class K machine guns with 483 rounds each (7 flat pan magazines, standard capacity). The Mk.IC bombers of later series were fitted with Colt-Browning Mk.II .303 inch belt-fed machine guns with 600 rounds each. The standard bomb capacity was 4,500 lbs (2,041 kg); this was normally made up of nine 500-lb (227-kg) bombs or two 2,000-lb (907-kg) bombs. A special model, the Type 423, was based on the Wellington Mk.IC; it was able to deliver one 4,000-lb (1,816-kg) extra-heavy Cookie Mk.I or Mk.II bomb to the target. To accomplish this, the central bomb bay doors were removed and the bomb bay itself was modified. The defensive armament remained the same. On the night of July 7th 1941, Sgt James Ward became the only Wellington crewman to win a Victoria Cross when his Mk.IC was hit by a German night fighter and its starboard engine set on fire. With a rope attached to him, Ward crawled out onto the wing and tearing holes in the aircraft’s fabric for hand holds, reached the fire to extinguish it. The Wellington served not only as a bomber, it was also modified for use in the maritime role for RAF Coastal Command. In January 1941, the Mk.IC began to be used as an anti-submarine patrol aircraft, although no design changes were made. In December 1941, the first torpedo bomber conversions were made. The Wellington Mk.IC (TB) torpedo bomber was identical to the Mk.IC in terms of its engines and defensive armament but could carry up to two Mk.XII torpedoes. The first special anti-submarine model designed for the RAF Coastal Command was the Type 428 Wellington GR Mk.VIII (TB). Its structure had the airframe of the later Mk.IC series. The GR Mk.VIII (TB) reconnaissance/torpedo bomber began production in the spring of 1942 in three versions: one version with radar, one version with a retractable searchlight (in place of a nose turret), and the last variant developed as a long range reconnaissance aircraft with extra fuel tanks installed in the bomb bay. All three, starting with the 66th production aircraft, were equipped with the same torpedo mount as the Mk.IC (TB) model. The Wellington torpedo bombers were used for the first time in the Mediterranean Sea at the end of December 1941; anti-submarine models began to patrol the North Sea in May 1942. The first German submarine destroyed by these aircraft was sunk on July 6, 1942. 2,547 Mk.IC aircraft were produced, including 138 Mk.IC (TB) torpedo bombers and 271 GR Mk.VIII (TB) torpedo bombers.