The Mk.VI was produced for operational trials of the Rolls-Royce Merlin 85 and 87 engines. Only ten such aircraft were ever built, but served with several operational squadrons and took part in offensive operations.
The Mk.VII(FE) was primarily designated to use with Tiger Force and operate in the Far East against Japan, although most of the modifications were to allow the aircraft to operate in the extreme weather conditions that the Far East theatre would demand. This variant also included the installation of a mid-upper turret equipped with twin .50 calibre machine guns.
Other minor variants also existed, but by and large none of these saw significant operational wartime service.
In all, Lancaster Squadrons carried out 156,308 operational sorties dropping 604,612 tons of bombs, 51,513,105 incendiaries and laid over 12,000 sea mines. However, the aircraft's finest hours may have come in "non-offensive" operations just as the war was either about to or had just come to a close.
The first of these was during Operation Manna where Lancaster Squadron's dispatched a total of 3,156 sorties to drop 6,684 tons of food supplies to the starving Dutch in May 1945.
The second Operation Dodge saw many of the Lancaster Squadrons tasked to perform another act of humanity. This time it was to return Allied Prisoners of War from various locations throughout Europe back to England. In a period of 24 days, a total of 2,900 round trips were flown and 74,000 ex-POW's were returned.
With the end of hostilities both in Europe and the Far East, the Lancaster was by no means finished in its service to the various Air Forces who operated them. The RAF continued to use the aircraft in various rolls including photographic and maritime reconnaissance up until October 1956. The Royal Canadian Air Force, who flew back many of the surviving Mk.X's to Canada, also continued to use the aircraft again in photographic and maritime rolls until the late 1950's.
Additionally surplus aircraft, some almost brand new, were sold to the Air Forces of Argentina, Eygpt and France, where they were to be used in a variety of roles until replaced by newer aircraft types. Others still were sold to private companies and were converted for use as airliners, transports, jet engine test beds or were equipped to act as mid-air refueling tankers.
Today only 26 identifiable airframes are known to exist in the world. Of these only two, The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight's PA474 and the Canadian War Plane Heritage Mynarski Lancaster FM213 continue to fly and allow future generations to witness the aircraft in its true element, namely the air. The remainder are by and large preserved in various locations throughout the world, but remain well and truly grounded. However Mk.VII Lancaster NX611 "Just Jane" has been restored to taxiing condition by volunteers at the Lincolnshire Heritage Memorial Centre at East Kirkby in Lincolnshire. It's the only place in the world the general public can enjoy the experience of a taxi run in a Lancaster on an original airfield.