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Type : Lancaster
Last Flew : 26th September 1946
Known Codes :
|03rd May 1943||Joined No.617 Sqn with code AJ-N.|
|16th May 1943||Took part in the Dambusters raid as part of the first wave. Successfully bombed the Eder dam, causing it to be breached. Returned to base safely. Crew : Pilot Officer Leslie Gordon Knight (Pilot), Sergeant Raymond Ernest Grayston (Flight Engineer), Flying Officer Harold Sidney Hobday (Navigator), Flight Sergeant Robert George Thomas Kellow (Wireless Operator), Flying Officer Edward Cuthbert Johnson (Bomb Aimer), Sergeant Frederick E Sutherland (Front Gunner), Sergeant Harry E O'Brien (Rear Gunner).|
|26th September 1946||Scrapped.|
|Pilots and Aircrew who flew : Lancaster ED912|
|A list of all aircrew from our database who are associated with this aircraft. A profile page is available by clicking their name.|
|Grayston, Raymond Ernest|
Click the name above to see a profile of Grayston, Raymond Ernest
| Grayston, Raymond Ernest |
Ray Grayston had been serving in 50 Squadron when he was posted to 617 Squadron in March 1943. The flight engineer of Les Knight’s Lancaster AJ-N, they attacked and successfully breached the Eder Dam, Ray was shot down on 16th September 1943, and was taken to Stalag Luft III as a POW. Sadly, we have learned that Ray Grayston passed away on 15th April 2010.
|Hobday, Harold Sidney|
Click the name above to see a profile of Hobday, Harold Sidney
| Hobday, Harold Sidney |
He was Navigator on Lancaster ED912 AJ-N of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His aircraft dropped its bomb successfully, breaching the second target, the Eder dam, and returned to base safely.
|Johnson, Edward Cuthbert|
Click the name above to see a profile of Johnson, Edward Cuthbert
| Johnson, Edward Cuthbert |
He joined the RAFVR early in the war, serving with 50 and 106 Squadrons. When he joined 617 Squadron in 1943 he was the bomb aimer on Lancaster AJ-N piloted by Les Knight on the Dambusters raid. During that raid they first attacked the Mohne Dam and then went on to attack and actually breach the Eder Dam, for which he was awarded the DFC. Later in 1943 he was shot down but evaded capture and during a two month journey returned to England via Holland, France, Spain and Gibraltar. Sadly, Edward Johnson died 1st October 2002.
|Kellow, Robert George Thomas|
Click the name above to see a profile of Kellow, Robert George Thomas
| Kellow, Robert George Thomas |
He was Wireless Operator on Lancaster ED912 AJ-N of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His aircraft dropped its bomb successfully, breaching the second target, the Eder dam, and returned to base safely.
|Knight, Leslie Gordon|
Click the name above to see a profile of Knight, Leslie Gordon
| Knight, Leslie Gordon |
He was Pilot on Lancaster ED912 AJ-N of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His aircraft dropped its bomb successfully, breaching the second target, the Eder dam, and returned to base safely. He was later killed in action.
Click the name above to see a profile of O'Brien, Harry
| O'Brien, Harry |
He was Rear Gunner on Lancaster ED912 AJ-N of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His aircraft dropped its bomb successfully, breaching the second target, the Eder dam, and returned to base safely.
|Sutherland, Frederick E|
Click the name above to see a profile of Sutherland, Frederick E
| Sutherland, Frederick E |
‘Doc’ Sutherland was the front gunner on Les Knight’s Lancaster AJ-N that went to the Mohne Dam, and then successfully attacked and breached the Eder Dam. Shot down four months later, he managed to evade capture and escape back to England with the help of the Resistance movements, returning through Holland, France and Spain.
|Squadrons for : Lancaster ED912|
|A list of all squadrons known to have flown Lancaster ED912. A profile page is available by clicking the squadron name.|
No.617 Sqn RAF
Country : UK
Founded : 23rd March 1943
Apres mois, le deluge - After me, the flood
|No.617 Sqn RAF|
Full profile not yet available.
|Aircraft type : Lancaster|
|A profile page including a list of all art prints for the Lancaster is available by clicking the aircraft name.|
Manufacturer : Avro
Production Began : 1942
Retired : 1963
Number Built : 7377
The Avro Lancaster arose from the avro Manchester and the first prototype Lancaster was a converted Manchester with four engines. The Lancaster was first flown in January 1941, and started operations in March 1942. By March 1945 The Royal Air Force had 56 squadrons of Lancasters with the first squadron equipped being No.44 Squadron. During World War Two the Avro Lancaster flew 156,000 sorties and dropped 618,378 tonnes of bombs between 1942 and 1945. Lancaster Bomberss took part in the devastating round-the-clock raids on Hamburg during Air Marshall Harris' Operation Gomorrah in July 1943. Just 35 Lancasters completed more than 100 successful operations each, and 3,249 were lost in action. The most successful survivor completed 139 operations, and the Lancaster was scrapped after the war in 1947. A few Lancasters were converted into tankers and the two tanker aircraft were joined by another converted Lancaster and were used in the Berlin Airlift, achieving 757 tanker sorties. A famous Lancaster bombing raid was the 1943 mission, codenamed Operation Chastise, to destroy the dams of the Ruhr Valley. The operation was carried out by 617 Squadron in modified Mk IIIs carrying special drum shaped bouncing bombs designed by Barnes Wallis. Also famous was a series of Lancaster attacks using Tallboy bombs against the German battleship Tirpitz, which first disabled and later sank the ship. The Lancaster bomber was the basis of the new Avro Lincoln bomber, initially known as the Lancaster IV and Lancaster V. (Becoming Lincoln B1 and B2 respectively.) Their Lancastrian airliner was also based on the Lancaster but was not very successful. Other developments were the Avro York and the successful Shackleton which continued in airborne early warning service up to 1992.
See our aviation history timeline for all today's historical aviation events - air victories, aircraft losses and pilot details.
|RECENT UPDATES TO OUR AVIATION HISTORY DATABASES|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : W. A. Fullerton : Squadrons updated (added No.58 Sqn RAF), Squadron service dates updated|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : Flight Lieutenant Roy Pengilley : Squadrons updated (added No.582 Sqn RAF), Squadron service dates updated|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : Clarke : Airframes updated (added Wellington R1004)|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : Sergeant Hughes :|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : Pates : Squadrons updated (added No.149 Sqn RAF), Squadron service dates updated|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Hampden X3001 : Airframe notes updated (added 10-02-1941 : Hampden was shot down by a night-fighter and crashed north of Alkmaar in Holland.)|
|New victory claim added : He111 claimed on 19th August 1942 by Stanislaw Brzeski of No.317 Sqn RAF|
|526th Bomb Squadron added to the squadrons database.|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Whitley P4981 : Aircrew updated|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : Flying Officer Charles Parker :|
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