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No.617 Sqn RAF - Squadron Details - Aviation Directory

No.617 Sqn RAF


Name : No.617 Sqn RAF
Founded : 23rd March 1943
Country : UK
More Details :

Apres mois, le deluge - After me, the flood
Known Code Letters : , AJ, YZ, KC,

Known Service Details :

Pilot or Aircrew

Rank

Start of Service

End of Service

Known Dates

Aircraft

Airframes

Notes

Charles C Jock Calder

September 1944

January 1944

Lancaster

Daniel Allatson

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED918

Cyril Thorpe Anderson

Flight Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED924

Frank Ernest Appleby

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED921

James Lamb Arthur

Flight Sergeant

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED865

Killed in Action

William Astell

Flight Lieutenant

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED864

Killed in Action

Robert Norman George Barlow

Flight Lieutenant

unknown

16th May 1943

Lancaster

ED927

Killed in Action

Jack Kenneth Barrett

Flying Officer

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED910

Killed in Action

Ronald Batson

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED825

William Douglas Bickle

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED924

Richard Bolitho

Sergeant

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED864

Killed in Action

Joseph Gordon Brady

Warrant Officer

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED865

Killed in Action

Charles Brennan

Sergeant

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED925

Killed in Action

Kenneth William Brown

Flight Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED918

Arthur William Buck

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED924

Jack Buckley

Flying Officer

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED929

Anthony Fisher Burcher

Pilot Officer

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED925

Taken prisoner.

Phillip Sidney Burgess

Flying Officer

unknown

16th May 1943

Lancaster

ED927

Killed in Action

Stephen Burns

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED936

Lewis Johnstone Burpee

Pilot Officer

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED865

Killed in Action

Norman Rupert Burrows

Sergeant

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED937

Killed in Action

Vernon William Byers

Pilot Officer

unknown

16th May 1943

Lancaster

ED934

Killed in Action

George Alexander Chalmers

Flight Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED886

Leonard Chambers

Flying Officer

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED909

James Henry Clay

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED921

Allen Preston Cottam

Warrant Officer

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED927
ED937

Killed in Action

G A Deering

Flight Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED932

Ken Earnshaw

Flying Officer

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED925

Killed in Action

Leonard Eaton

Flight Sergant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED825

Eric Ewan

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED924

Harry Basil Feneron

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED918

John Fort

Pilot Officer

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED906

Bertie Towner Foxlee

Pilot Officer

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED909

Charles Ernest Franklin

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED886

James W Fraser

Flight Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED925

Taken prisoner.

Michael John David Fuller

Pilot Officer

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED937

Killed in Action

Francis Antony Garbas

Flight Sergeant

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED864

Killed in Action

Abram Garshowitz

Warrant Officer

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED864

Killed in Action

Guy Penrose Gibson

Wing Commander

March 1943

2nd August 1943

Manchester

ED932

Alan Gillespie

Pilot Officer

unknown

16th May 1943

Lancaster

ED927

Killed in Action

Harvey Stirling Glinz

Flying Officer

unknown

16th May 1943

Lancaster

ED927

Killed in Action

Brian Goodale

Flying Officer

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED929

Chester Bruce Gowrie

Warrant Officer

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED936

Raymond Ernest Grayston

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED912

John Gilbert Green

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED924

George Henry Ford Goodwin Gregory

Pilot Officer

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED925

Killed in Action

Jack Guterman

Sergeant

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED910

Killed in Action

William Hatton

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED906

Robert Claude Hay

Flight Lieutenant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED909

Dudley Percy Heal

Sergeant

25th March 1943

26th March 1944

Lancaster

ED918

Robert Jack Henderson

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED929

Harry J Hewstone

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED918

Victor Hill

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED906

Harold Sidney Hobday

Flying Officer

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED912

A D Holding

Flying Officer

unknown

20th January 1944

Lancaster

ED918

Killed in Action

John Vere Hopgood

Flight Lieutenant

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED925

Killed in Action

Donald Hopkinson

Flying Officer

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED864

Killed in Action

David Taylor Horsfall

Sergeant

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED887

Killed in Action

Cecil Lancelot Howard

Pilot Officer

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED886

William Howarth

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED921

R E G Hutchison

Flight Lieutenant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED932

Wilfred Ibbotson

Sergeant

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED887

Killed in Action

Brian Jagger

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED929

Charles McAllister Jarvie

Sergant

unknown

16th May 1943

Lancaster

ED934

Killed in Action

Thomas Jaye

Sergant

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED865

Killed in Action

Edward Cuthbert Johnson

Flying Officer

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED912

George Leonard Johnson

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED825

Thomas Barr Johnston

Flight Sergeant

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED910

Killed in Action

Robert George Thomas Kellow

Flight Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED912

G A Kendrick

Flying Officer

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED918

John Kinnear

Sergeant

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED864

Killed in Action

Leslie Gordon Knight

Pilot Officer

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED912

Jack Frederick Leggo

Flight Lieutenant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED909

Jack Robert George Liddell

Sergeant

unknown

16th May 1943

Lancaster

ED927

Killed in Action

William Charles Arthur Long

Sergeant

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED865

Killed in Action

Vincent Sandford MacCausland

Flying Officer

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED887

Killed in Action

Grant S MacDonald

Flight Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED918

Richard MacFarlane

Flying Officer

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED936

Donald Arthur MacLean

Flying Officer

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED825

David John Maltby

Flight Lieutenant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED906

John Marriott

Sergeant

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED937

Killed in Action

Ronald Marsden

Sergeant

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED910

Killed in Action

Harold Brownlow Morgan Mick Martin

Flight Lieutenant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED909

Henry Eric Maudslay

Squadron Leader

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED937

Killed in Action

Thomas W Maynard

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED936

Joseph Charles McCarthy

Flight Lieutenant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED825

James McDowell

Flight Sergeant

unknown

16th May 1943

Lancaster

ED934

Killed in Action

John W Minchin

Sergeant

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED925

Killed in Action

John Leslie Munro

Flight Lieutenant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED921

Lawrence William Nichols

Sergeant

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED887

Killed in Action

Vivian Nicholson

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED906

John Percival Nugent

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED924

Harry O'Brien

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED912

T V O'Shaughnessy

Flight Lieutenant

unknown

20th January 1944

Lancaster

ED918

Killed in Action

Stefan Oancia

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED918

Warner H T Ottley

Pilot Officer

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED910

Killed in Action

Robert Campbell Patterson

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED924

Guy Pegler

Sergeant

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED865

Killed in Action

Percy Edgar Pigeon

Flying Officer

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED921

Dennis John Dean Powell

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED886

J Pulford

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED932

William Radcliffe

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED825

Geoffrey Rice

Pilot Officer

26th March 1943

unknown

Lancaster

ED936

Charles Walpole Roberts

Flight Sergeant

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED887

Killed in Action

David Rodger

Flying Officer

unknown

unknown

ED825

Grant Rumbles

Flying Officer

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED921

David John Shannon

Flight Lieutenant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED929

Harold Thomas Simmonds

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED906

Thomas Drayton Simpson

Flight Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED909

Edward Clarence Smith

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED936

F M Spafford

Pilot Officer

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED932

Anthony Joseph Stone

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED906

Harry John Strange

Sergeant

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED910

Killed in Action

Leonard Joseph Sumpter

Flight Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED929

Frederick E Sutherland

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED912

H T Taerum

Pilot Officer

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED932

Alistair James Taylor

Sergeant

unknown

16th May 1943

Lancaster

ED934

Killed in Action

Frank Tees

Sergeant

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED910

Taken prisoner

John William Thrasher

Warrant Officer

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED936

William Clifford Townsend

Flight Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED886

R D Trevor-Roper

Flight Lieutenant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED932

William John Tytherleigh

Flying Officer

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED937

Killed in Action

Robert Alexander Urquhart

Flying Officer

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED937

Killed in Action

Daniel Revie Walker

Flying Officer

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED929

A Ward

Flying Officer

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED918

James Herbert Warner

Flying Officer

unknown

16th May 1943

Lancaster

ED934

Killed in Action

Douglas Edward Webb

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED886

Harvey Alexander Weeks

Flight Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED921

Leonard George Weller

Pilot Officer

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED865

Killed in Action

Samuel Leslie Whillis

Pilot Officer

unknown

16th May 1943

Lancaster

ED927

Killed in Action

Arthur Neville Whittaker

Pilot Officer

unknown

16th May 1943

Lancaster

ED934

Killed in Action

Ivan Whittaker

Pilot Officer

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED909

Floyd Alkwin Wile

Pilot Officer

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED864

Killed in Action

John Wilkinson

Sergeant

unknown

16th May 1943

Lancaster

ED934

Killed in Action

Raymond Wilkinson

Sergeant

unknown

unknown

Lancaster

ED886

Charles Rowland Williams

Flying Officer

unknown

16th May 1943

Lancaster

ED927

Killed in Action

Gordon Arthur Yeo

Sergeant

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED887

Killed in Action

Henry Melvin Young

Squadron Leader

unknown

17th May 1943

Lancaster

ED887

Killed in Action

Pilots and Aircrew for : No.617 Sqn RAF
A list of all aircrew from our database who are associated with this squadron. A profile page is available by clicking their name.
NameInfo
Allatson, Daniel
Click the name above to see a profile of Allatson, Daniel

   Died : 16 / 9 / 1943
Allatson, Daniel

He was Front Gunner on Lancaster ED918 AJ-F on the Dambusters Raid. The aircraft shot up a train on the way to the target which was the Sorpe dam. The Lancaster successfully dropped its mine and hit the dam, but the solid earthen dam was never breached. He was subsequently killed in action on 16th September 1943.
Anderson, Cyril Thorpe
Click the name above to see a profile of Anderson, Cyril Thorpe

   Died : 23 / 9 / 1943
Anderson, Cyril Thorpe

He was Pilot of Lancaster ED924 AJ-Y of No.617 Sqn for the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His aircraft did not find a target for their Upkeep mine due to weather and navigation difficulties. The aircraft returned safely with the mine still attached. He was later killed in action on 23rd September 1943.
Appleby, Frank Ernest
Click the name above to see a profile of Appleby, Frank Ernest
Appleby, Frank Ernest

He was Flight Engineer on Lancaster ED921 AJ-W of No.617 Sqn for the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. The aircraft was heavily damaged by flak near the Dutch coast on the outward journey and was forced to abort the mission, but returned to base safely.
Arthur, James Lamb
Click the name above to see a profile of Arthur, James Lamb

   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Arthur, James Lamb

He was Bomb Aimer of Lancaster ED865 AJ-S of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters Raid. His Lancaster was part of the third wave and was shot down over Gilze-Rijen airfield in Holland. None of the crew survived the crash.
Astell, William
Click the name above to see a profile of Astell, William

   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Astell, William

He was Pilot on Lancaster ED864 AJ-B on the Dambusters Raid. He and the rest of the crew were killed when the aircraft struck a pylon or power cables en route to the target.
Avey, Charles
Click the name above to see a profile of Avey, Charles
Avey, Charles

Joining the RAF in 1944 he was posted to 617 Sqn as a Mid Upper Gunner on Lancasters and flew on the last 11 Operations of the war, dropping Grand Slam and Tall Boy bombs.
Barlow, Robert Norman George
Click the name above to see a profile of Barlow, Robert Norman George

   Died : 16 / 5 / 1943
Barlow, Robert Norman George

He was Pilot of Lancaster ED927 AJ-E of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters Raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His Lancaster was part of the second wave but never reached the target. The aircraft reportedly hit power lines and crashed near Haldern. None of the crew survived.
Barrett, Jack Kenneth
Click the name above to see a profile of Barrett, Jack Kenneth

   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Barrett, Jack Kenneth

He was Navigator on Lancaster ED910 AJ-C on the Dambusters Raid. The aircraft was hit by flak and crashed near Hamm, killing all but the rear gunner, whose turret was sheared off and separated from the fiery wreck of the Lancaster.
Batson, Ronald
Click the name above to see a profile of Batson, Ronald
Batson, Ronald

He was Front Gunner of Lancaster ED825 AJ-T of No.617 Sqn for the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His aircraft dropped its mine on the Sorpe dam, but it failed to breach. The aircraft returned safely.
Bell, John
Click the name above to see a profile of Bell, John
Bell, John

After initially training as a Navigator he went on to complete most of his 50 ops in Lancasters as a Bomb Aimer with 617 Sqn, including all the raids against the Tirpitz.
Bennett, Tom
Click the name above to see a profile of Bennett, Tom

   Died : 9 / 1 / 2013
Bennett, Tom

Born in 1919, Tom Bennett was a specialist navigator with 30 ops with 49 Sqn Lancasters. In April 1944 Bennett teamed up with his former pilot, Gerry Fawke, to convert to the Mosquito before joining No 617, where the CO, Leonard Cheshire, was perfecting low-level target marking techniques. The Lancaster-equipped squadron had four Mosquitos for this specialist role. Fawke and Bennett flew their first operation on April 18, with the Juvisy marshalling yards the target. They dived to 400ft to drop their markers before the Lancasters attacked, and the success of the operation proved to be the prelude to a concentrated period of similar operations in advance of the D-Day landings . Just before the landings No 617 received the huge 12,000lb “Tallboy”, often referred to as the “earthquake bomb”. Its first use, on the night of June 8, was a spectacular success. Trains bringing German reinforcements from the south of France had to pass through the Saumur tunnel near the Loire. The four Mosquitos marked the target for the Lancasters attacking from 10,000ft, and a Tallboy fell 60 yards from the tunnel mouth. The shock waves devastated the tunnel. Over the next few weeks, Fawke and Bennett marked the launch emplacements and storage sites for the V-weapons in the Pas de Calais, in addition to the E- and U-boat pens on the French Atlantic coast. After 26 operations in the Mosquito, Fawke and Bennett reverted to flying the Lancaster. The battleship Tirpitz had been identified in the far north of Norway — out of range of aircraft based in Scotland. A force of Lancasters deployed to the Russian airfield at Yagodnik, near Murmansk, and on September 15 1944 they attacked; but cloud and a smoke screen generated by the battleship thwarted them. On October 7 another No 617 Squadron special operation was mounted, this time against the Kembs Dam on the Rhine near the Swiss border. Fawke and Bennett led a high-level force as the squadron’s CO, Willie Tait, led a low-level attack. Despite heavy opposition, the daring raid was a success. A month later Fawke and Bennett again attacked Tirpitz, this time from Scotland (as the ship had moved south, within range). Once again cloud interfered with the attack . It was Bennett’s final sortie with No 617 . Thomas Bennett was born on January 27 1919 in Poplar, London, and educated at Raine’s Foundation School . He joined the RAF in early 1940, training as a wireless operator/air gunner before becoming a navigator. In June 1942 he teamed up with Fawke and they joined No 49 Squadron, which was re-equipping with the Lancaster. They attacked targets in the Ruhr, and on one occasion their Lancaster was badly damaged and Bennett was wounded. On October 17 1942 Bomber Command launched one of its rare daylight operations, when a force of Lancasters attacked the large Schneider factory at Le Creusot. Fawke and Bennett flew at the head of the formation as the large factory complex was bombed at dusk. Bennett attacked Berlin and a radio and radar factory at Friedrickshaven on the shores of Lake Constance, when their aircraft was damaged by flak and they flew on to North Africa on three engines. Shortly afterwards he was awarded a DFM. After completing his tour with No 617, Bennett was appointed station navigation officer at Woodhall Spa, the squadron’s home base . Bennett remained in the RAF, serving with the Service’s RAF delegation in Greece in 1949 before going to the Middle East with No 38 Squadron, flying Lancasters in the maritime patrol role. After a spell as wing adjutant at the RAF’s Initial Training School, in 1955 he took early retirement. He then worked in administration for the Port of London Authority until 1980
Bickle, William Douglas
Click the name above to see a profile of Bickle, William Douglas

   Died : 23 / 9 / 1943
Bickle, William Douglas

He was Wireless Operator of Lancaster ED924 AJ-Y of No.617 Sqn for the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His aircraft did not find a target for their Upkeep mine due to weather and navigation difficulties. The aircraft returned safely with the mine still attached. He was later killed in action on 23rd September 1943.
Bolitho, Richard
Click the name above to see a profile of Bolitho, Richard

   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Bolitho, Richard

He was Rear Gunner on Lancaster ED864 AJ-B on the Dambusters Raid. He and the rest of the crew were killed when the aircraft struck a pylon or power cables en route to the target.
Brady, Joseph Gordon
Click the name above to see a profile of Brady, Joseph Gordon

   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Brady, Joseph Gordon

He was Rear Gunner of Lancaster ED865 AJ-S of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters Raid. His Lancaster was part of the third wave and was shot down over Gilze-Rijen airfield in Holland. None of the crew survived the crash.
Brennan, Charles
Click the name above to see a profile of Brennan, Charles

   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Brennan, Charles

Killed on 17th May 1943 when his Lancaster ED925 AJ-M of No.617 Sqn crashed on the Dambusters raid. The aircraft dropped its mine late and it bounced over the Mohne dam, exploding beyond it. The aircraft was hit by flak and crashed not far from the target. He was the Flight Engineer.
Brown, Kenneth William
Click the name above to see a profile of Brown, Kenneth William

   Died : 23 / 12 / 2002
Brown, Kenneth William

Born 20th August 1920. Joined the Canadian Air Force in 1941, and joined No.617 Sqn in 1943. He was Pilot on Lancaster ED918 AJ-F on the Dambusters Raid. The aircraft shot up a train on the way to the target which was the Sorpe dam. The Lancaster successfully dropped its mine and hit the dam, but the solid earthen dam was never breached. Ken Brown died 23rd December 2002.
Buck, Arthur William
Click the name above to see a profile of Buck, Arthur William

   Died : 23 / 9 / 1943
Buck, Arthur William

He was Rear Gunner of Lancaster ED924 AJ-Y of No.617 Sqn for the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His aircraft did not find a target for their Upkeep mine due to weather and navigation difficulties. The aircraft returned safely with the mine still attached. He was later killed in action on 23rd September 1943.
Buckley, Jack
Click the name above to see a profile of Buckley, Jack
Buckley, Jack

He was Rear Gunner on Lancaster ED929 AJ-L of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His aircraft took several attempts, but successfully dropped its mine on the Eder dam although no breach was caused. The aircraft returned safely to base.
Burcher, Anthony Fisher
Click the name above to see a profile of Burcher, Anthony Fisher
Burcher, Anthony Fisher

Taken prisoner on 17th May 1943 when his Lancaster ED925 AJ-M of No.617 Sqn crashed on the Dambusters raid. The aircraft dropped its mine late and it bounced over the Mohne dam, exploding beyond it. The aircraft was hit by flak and crashed not far from the target. He was the
Burgess, Phillip Sidney
Click the name above to see a profile of Burgess, Phillip Sidney

   Died : 16 / 5 / 1943
Burgess, Phillip Sidney

He was Navigator of Lancaster ED927 AJ-E of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters Raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His Lancaster was part of the second wave but never reached the target. The aircraft reportedly hit power lines and crashed near Haldern. None of the crew survived.
Burns, Stephen
Click the name above to see a profile of Burns, Stephen

   Died : 21 / 12 / 1943
Burns, Stephen

He was Rear Gunner on Lancaster ED936 AJ-H of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th May 1943. The aircraft clipped the surface of the North Sea while flying low en route to the target, ripping the Upkeep mine from the aircraft and scooping up some seawater. Amazing, the aircraft did not crash, and despite the rear gunner almost being washed away by the rush of seawater as the aircraft climbed, managed to return to base. He was later killed in action on 21st December 1943.
Burpee, Lewis Johnstone
Click the name above to see a profile of Burpee, Lewis Johnstone

   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Burpee, Lewis Johnstone

He was pilot of Lancaster ED865 AJ-S of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters Raid. His Lancaster was part of the third wave and was shot down over Gilze-Rijen airfield in Holland. None of the crew survived the crash.
Burrows, Norman Rupert
Click the name above to see a profile of Burrows, Norman Rupert

   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Burrows, Norman Rupert

Killed on 17th May 1943 when his Lancaster ED937 AJ-Z of No.617 Sqn was shot down by flak over Emmerich on the return journey from the Dambusters raid. He was Rear Gunner of the aircraft that attacked the Eder dam, its bomb bouncing over the structure and exploding beyond, probably damaging the Lancaster.
Byers, Vernon William
Click the name above to see a profile of Byers, Vernon William

   Died : 16 / 5 / 1943
Byers, Vernon William

Killed on 16th May 1943. He was Pilot on Lancaster ED934 AJ-K of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters Raid. The aircraft was shot down by flak off the island of Texel prior to reaching the Dutch coast on the outward journey to the dams. The aircraft was the first to be shot down on the raid.
Byford, Alistair J
Click the name above to see a profile of Byford, Alistair J
Byford, Alistair J

Officer Commanding 31 Squadron. He has flown nearly 3000 hours including 10 operational deployments. Piloted 617 Squadron Tornado during the Gulf War.
Calder, Charles C Jock
Click the name above to see a profile of Calder, Charles C Jock

   Died : 17 / 5 / 1997
Calder, Charles C Jock

Twice mentioned in dispatches. Nos 78, 76, 158 and 617 Squadrons. Born 12th July, 1920. Joined RAF early 1940. Training E.F.T.S. Prestwick, S.F.T.S. Little Rissington, O.C.U. Abbingdon. Joined 78 Whitley Squadron approx May/June 1941. Some three months later posted to 76 Halifax Squadron as deputy Flight Commander. Awarded D.F.C. Nov/Dec 1941 posted as O.C. 76 Squadron Training Flight. Approx June 1942 transferred to Riceal to form Halifax O.C.U. Promoted to Squadron Leader. Approx August 1943 appointed O.C. 158 Squadron, promoted to Wing Commander. March /April screened and posted as C.F.I. Marston Moor O.C.U. Volunteered tojoin 617 Squadron. Application approved approx September 1944. Remained with 617 until screened approx January 1945. Awarded bar to D.S.O. He was Mentioned in Despatches for the first time on 2nd June 1943. He was Mentioned in Despatches for a second time as Acting W/Co on 14th January 1944. On 13th June the London Gazette published the notification that he was to be awarded the DSO for service with 158 Squadron. The citation for this reads..

This officer has completed a second tour of operations and has displayed the highest qualities of skill and gallantry throughout. He has displayed the greatest determination in pressing home his attacks and has achieved much success. On one occasion, in an operation against Frankfurt, two engines became unserviceable. In spite of this, Wing Commander Calder flew the aircraft back to this country after cleverly outmanoeuvring a fighter which had closed in to attack. This officer is an efficient and forceful squadron commander, whose genius for leadership has contributed in good measure to the success of the formation he commands.

Having completed his second Tour he was posted to a training instructional role for a while but served with 617 Squadron in the later months of the War. He piloted the aircraft that dropped the first of the 22,000lb Grand Slam bombs - the biggest high-explosive bomb developed by any country during the war - to wreck the Bielefeld railway viaduct in Germany. He was awarded the Bar to the DSO for service with 617 Squadron, Gazetted on 5th June 1945. The citation reads..

Since being awarded the Distinguished Service Order, this officer has completed many sorties. Throughout these operations he has shown the greatest resolution and the successes obtained are a splendid tribute to his great skill and courage. Wing Commander Calder led the squadron on the operation when the first 22,000 Ib. bomb was dropped over Germany. The target was the viaduct at Bielefeld and complete success was achieved. This officer has rendered much loyal and devoted service.

He died on 17th May 1997 aged seventy eight years old.
Castagnola, J
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Castagnola, J

Joining the RAF in 1941 he graduated as a pilot after completing his training in America. Returning to England he joined 51 Squadron in early 1943 flying from RAF Snaith. Joining 617 Squadron in early 1944 he took part in many of the squadrons successes including attacks on U-boat pens and all three raids against the Tirpitz.
Chalmers, George Alexander
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   Died : 0 / 8 / 2002
Chalmers, George Alexander

George Alexander Chalmers was born on February 12 1921 at Peterhead in Scotland. He was educated at Aberdeen Academy before working briefly at a local Crosse & Blackwell factory and joining the RAF as a boy entrant. After boy's service and qualifying as a wireless operator and air-gunner, Chalmer joined the RAF in 1938. Geogre Chalmers was posted to No 10, a two-engine Whitley bomber squadron at Dishforth, Yorkshire, from where he took part in leaflet-dropping operations over Germany after the outbreak of war. On 1st March 1940 He was the air gunner in Whitley K9026 which took off at 17.30hrs, the crew were briefed to carry out a leaflet dropping operation over Berlin. On their return they ran low on fuel and one of the aircraft's engines cut out on approach to land at Dishforth. The aircraft undershot and hit the ground some 400 yards east of the base at 03.10hrs on 2nd March 1940. Damage was sustained to the aircraft's inner fuel tanks, leading edge of the port wing and the starboard undercarriage and undersurfaces were damaged but it was repaired. The records suggest that for this operational flight this aircraft had been borrowed from 78 Squadron by 10 Squadron and flown by a 10 Squadron crew. In August 1940 Chalmers transferred to No 7, the RAF's first four-engine Stirling bomber squadron which was operating from Leeming. There followed a spell with No 35, a four-engine Halifax bomber squadron, with which Chalmers was fortunate to survive an attack on the battle cruiser Scharnhorst at La Rochelle - his captain managed to make base despite being severely wounded and piloting a badly-damaged aircraft. When he joined 617 Squadron he was a Flight Sergeant and served as wireless operator on Lancaster AJ-O during the Dambusters raid which was piloted by Bill Townsend. Awarded the DFM for his part in the attack on the Ennepe Dam he was commissioned a few months later and awarded the DFC after 65 operations. In 1946 Chalmers was granted an extended service commission, and served in No 617 and No 12 Squadrons until 1950, when he was posted to No 38, a Lancaster squadron in the Middle East. He was released as a flight lieutenant in 1954, and served in the Reserve until 1961. Meanwhile, he had joined the civil service at Harrogate, where he worked for the Ministry of Defence dealing with the RAF's technical requirements. In this period his advice was much valued in the sphere of flight refuelling. On his retirement from the MoD in 1984, the company Flight Refuelling hosted a farewell party for him at which he was hailed as an "expert in specialised spares procurement", especially in relation to a refuelling system of outstanding value used by the RAF in the Falklands conflict. Sadly, George Chalmers passed away in August 2002 aged 81.
Chambers, Leonard
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Chambers, Leonard

Flew as Wireless Operator on Lancaster ED909 AJ-P of No.617 Sqn on 16th May 1943 for the Dambusters raid. Their aircraft dropped their mine which exploded off to the side of the Mohne dam. The aircraft returned safely.
Cheshire, Leonard
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   Died : 31 / 7 / 1992
Cheshire, Leonard

One of the most courageous and determined bomber leaders of World War II, Leonard Cheshire flew four operational tours, starting in June 1940 with 102 Squadron on Whitley bombers at RAF Driffield. In November 1940, he was awarded the DSO for getting his badly damaged aircraft back to base. He completed his first tour in January 1941, but immediately volunteered for a second tour, this time flying Halifaxes with 35 Squadron. He became Squadron Leader in 1942, and was appointed commanding officer of 76 Squadron later that year. Leonard Cheshire ordered that non-essential weight be removed from the Halifax bombers in a bid to increase speed and altitude, hoping to reduce the high casualty rates for this squadron. Mid-upper and nose turrets were removed, and exhaust covers taken off, successfully reducing the loss rate. In July 1943 he took command of 617 Squadron. During this time he led the squadron personally on every occasion. In September he was awarded the Victoria Cross for four and a half years of sustained bravery during a total of 102 operations, leading his crews with careful planning, brilliant execution and contempt for danger, which gained him a reputation second to none in Bomber Command. Sadly, Leonard Cheshire died of motor neuron disease on 31st July 1992, aged 74.

Excerpt from VC citation :

In four years of fighting against the bitterest opposition he maintained a standard of outstanding personal achievement, his successful operations being the result of careful planning, brilliant execution and supreme contempt for danger – for example, on one occasion he flew his P-51 Mustang in slow figures of eight above a target obscured by low cloud, to act as a bomb-aiming mark for his squadron. Cheshire displayed the courage and determination of an exceptional leader." It also noted a raid in which he had marked a target, flying a Mosquito at low level against "withering fire".
Clay, James Henry
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Clay, James Henry

He was Bomb Aimer on Lancaster ED921 AJ-W of No.617 Sqn for the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. The aircraft was heavily damaged by flak near the Dutch coast on the outward journey and was forced to abort the mission, but returned to base safely.
Cobb, Neil
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Cobb, Neil

Piloted Tornado aircraft of 617 Sqn during the Gulf war.
Cole, Colin
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Cole, Colin

As a Wireless Operator, he flew on Wellingtons, Stirlings and Ansons and flew 18 Ops on Lancasters with 617 Sqn including raids to sink the Tirpitz and the final raid of the war in Europe on Berchtesgaden.
Cottam, Allen Preston
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Cottam, Allen Preston

Killed on 17th May 1943 when his Lancaster ED937 AJ-Z of No.617 Sqn was shot down by flak over Emmerich on the return journey from the Dambusters raid. He was Wireless Operator of the aircraft that attacked the Eder dam, its bomb bouncing over the structure and exploding beyond, probably damaging the Lancaster.
Curtis, Lawrence
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   Died : 21 / 6 / 2008
Curtis, Lawrence

Joining the RAF in 1939, he was posted as a wireless operator firstly to 149 Squadron and then 99 Squadron on Wellingtons. He then joined OTU on Whitleys before moving firstly to 158 Squadron, and then 617 Squadron on Lancasters, where he was Unit Signals Leader for 18 months. After bomber operations he joined Transport Command in 1944. He died on 21st June 2008.
Deering, G A
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   Died : 16 / 9 / 1943
Deering, G A

Front Gunner on Lancaster ED932 AJ-G of No.617 on the Dambusters raid.
Earnshaw, Ken
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Earnshaw, Ken

Killed on 17th May 1943 when his Lancaster ED925 AJ-M of No.617 Sqn crashed on the Dambusters raid. The aircraft dropped its mine late and it bounced over the Mohne dam, exploding beyond it. The aircraft was hit by flak and crashed not far from the target. He was the Navigator.
Eaton, Leonard
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Eaton, Leonard

He was Wireless Operator of Lancaster ED825 AJ-T of No.617 Sqn for the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His aircraft dropped its mine on the Sorpe dam, but it failed to breach. The aircraft returned safely.
Ewan, Eric
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   Died : 23 / 9 / 1943
Ewan, Eric

He was Front Gunner of Lancaster ED924 AJ-Y of No.617 Sqn for the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His aircraft did not find a target for their Upkeep mine due to weather and navigation difficulties. The aircraft returned safely with the mine still attached. He was later killed in action on 23rd September 1943.
Feneron, Harry Basil
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Feneron, Harry Basil

He was Flight Engineer on Lancaster ED918 AJ-F on the Dambusters Raid. The aircraft shot up a train on the way to the target which was the Sorpe dam. The Lancaster successfully dropped its mine and hit the dam, but the solid earthen dam was never breached.
Fish, C B R
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Fish, C B R

Leaving university early he joined the RAF in November 1941 to train overseas and qualified as a navigator in the summer of 1942, remaining with OTU for a period. Due to his expertise in high altitude bombing he was called up to 617 Sqn in July 1944 on Lancasters and took part in many of the squadrons precision bombing raids, including the attack on the Tirpitz. He remained with 617 Sqn until he left the RAF in 1946 to return to university.
Flatman, M B
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Flatman, M B

Joining the RAF in 1942, with pilot training in the USA, Mark Flatman is unusual in that his first operational posting was direct to 617 Squadron in September 1944. The final Tirpitz operation was his first as Captain of Aircraft, having done three operations as second pilot, including the previous Tirpitz attempt with Tony Iveson. He was to stay with 617 Squadron until November 1946. Granted an extended service commission he went on to the Bomb Ballistic Unit at Martlesham Heath flying Lancasters, Lincolns and Mosquitoes on experimental work. He left the RAF in 1949 to return to farming, for which he was originally trained.
Fort, John
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   Died : 15 / 9 / 1943
Fort, John

He was Bomb Aimer on Lancaster ED906 AJ-J of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. As part of the first wave, the aircraft successfully dropped its Upkeep mine and breached the Mohne dam. The aircraft returned safely. He was subsequently killed in action on 15th September 1943.
Foxlee, Bertie Towner
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Foxlee, Bertie Towner

Flew as Front Gunner on Lancaster ED909 AJ-P of No.617 Sqn on 16th May 1943 for the Dambusters raid. Their aircraft dropped their mine which exploded off to the side of the Mohne dam. The aircraft returned safely.
Franklin, Charles Ernest
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Franklin, Charles Ernest

He was Bomb Aimer on Lancaster ED886 AJ-O on the Dambusters Raid. The aircraft flew below tree top level en route to their target - the Ennepe dam - where they successfully hit the target, but the dam held firm. The aircraft was the last of the Dambusters to return to base.
Fraser, James W
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Fraser, James W

Taken prisoner on 17th May 1943 when his Lancaster ED925 AJ-M of No.617 Sqn crashed on the Dambusters raid. The aircraft dropped its mine late and it bounced over the Mohne dam, exploding beyond it. The aircraft was hit by flak and crashed not far from the target. He was the Bomb Aimer.
Fuller, Michael John David
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Fuller, Michael John David

Killed on 17th May 1943 when his Lancaster ED937 AJ-Z of No.617 Sqn was shot down by flak over Emmerich on the return journey from the Dambusters raid. He was Bomb Aimer of the aircraft that attacked the Eder dam, its bomb bouncing over the structure and exploding beyond, probably damaging the Lancaster.
Garbas, Francis Antony
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Garbas, Francis Antony

He was Front Gunner on Lancaster ED864 AJ-B on the Dambusters Raid. He and the rest of the crew were killed when the aircraft struck a pylon or power cables en route to the target.
Garshowitz, Abram
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Garshowitz, Abram

He was Wireless Operator on Lancaster ED864 AJ-B on the Dambusters Raid. He and the rest of the crew were killed when the aircraft struck a pylon or power cables en route to the target.
Gibson, Guy Penrose
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   Died : 19 / 9 / 1944
Gibson, Guy Penrose

Leader of the Dambusters Raid for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. He had served with No.83 Sqn on Hinds and Hampdens, then No.29 Sqn on Blenheims and Beaufighters. Later he joined No.106 Sqn on Manchesters and Lancasters before flying with No.617 Sqn for the Dambusters raid. He was killed when his Mosquito crashed on 19th September 1944.
Gillespie, Alan
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   Died : 16 / 5 / 1943
Gillespie, Alan

He was Bomb Aimer of Lancaster ED927 AJ-E of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters Raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His Lancaster was part of the second wave but never reached the target. The aircraft reportedly hit power lines and crashed near Haldern. None of the crew survived.
Glinz, Harvey Stirling
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   Died : 16 / 5 / 1943
Glinz, Harvey Stirling

He was Front Gunner of Lancaster ED927 AJ-E of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters Raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His Lancaster was part of the second wave but never reached the target. The aircraft reportedly hit power lines and crashed near Haldern. None of the crew survived.
Goodale, Brian
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Goodale, Brian

He was Wireless Operator on Lancaster ED929 AJ-L of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His aircraft took several attempts, but successfully dropped its mine on the Eder dam although no breach was caused. The aircraft returned safely to base.
Goodman, L S Benny
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Goodman, L S Benny

Benny Goodman (Pilot) volunteered for aircrew at 18 years of age and was called up in 1940. After basic training he went to RAF Abingdon - a Whitley OTU - for what he was told would be straight through training. This did not materialise and he found himself in the role of a Ground Gunner. In 1941, a posting eventually came through to the Initial Training Wing followed by Elementary Fyling School at Peterborough and an instructors course at Woodley, Reading; then to Clyffe Pyparde, a holding unit. A sea journey to Canada followed and Service Flying Training School on Ansons. On completion he was posted to Kingston, Ontario, to instruct Acting Leading Naval Airmen on the Royal Navy tactics of the time, e.g. jinking after take off, dive bombing, etc. Eventually he returned to the UK and OTU on Wellingtons at Silverstone and Heavy Conversion Bomber Unit at Swinderby on Stirlings, followed by a short course at the Lancaster Conversion Unit. After an interview Benny and his crew were surprised and delighted to find they had been selected for 617 squadron - this was in 1944 and they had stayed together as a crew on 617 squadron until the war in Europe ended. He completed 30 missions - all with Jock Burnett as his flight engineer. Notable raids Jock took part in were on the Tirpitz, 29th October 1944, dropping the Grand Slam 22,000 bomb on the Arnsberg Viaduct, 19th March 1945, and the attack on Berchtesgarten Eagles Nest, 25th May 1945.
Gowrie, Chester Bruce
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   Died : 21 / 12 / 1943
Gowrie, Chester Bruce

He was Wireless Operator on Lancaster ED936 AJ-H of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th May 1943. The aircraft clipped the surface of the North Sea while flying low en route to the target, ripping the Upkeep mine from the aircraft and scooping up some seawater. Amazing, the aircraft did not crash, and despite the rear gunner almost being washed away by the rush of seawater as the aircraft climbed, managed to return to base. He was later killed in action on 21st December 1943.
Grayston, Raymond Ernest
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   Died : 15 / 4 / 2010
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.
Green, John Gilbert
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   Died : 23 / 9 / 1943
Green, John Gilbert

He was Bomb Aimer of Lancaster ED924 AJ-Y of No.617 Sqn for the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His aircraft did not find a target for their Upkeep mine due to weather and navigation difficulties. The aircraft returned safely with the mine still attached. He was later killed in action on 23rd September 1943.
Gregory, George Henry Ford Goodwin
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Gregory, George Henry Ford Goodwin

Killed on 17th May 1943 when his Lancaster ED925 AJ-M of No.617 Sqn crashed on the Dambusters raid. The aircraft dropped its mine late and it bounced over the Mohne dam, exploding beyond it. The aircraft was hit by flak and crashed not far from the target. He was the Front Gunner.
Grimes, S V
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Grimes, S V

Wireless Operator with No.617 Sqn.
Guterman, Jack
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Guterman, Jack

He was Wireless Operator on Lancaster ED910 AJ-C on the Dambusters Raid. The aircraft was hit by flak and crashed near Hamm, killing all but the rear gunner, whose turret was sheared off and separated from the fiery wreck of the Lancaster.
Hamilton, Malcolm Mac
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Hamilton, Malcolm Mac

After joining Coastal Command in 1943, Mac converted to Lancasters, and was posted to Bomber Command, joining 619 Squadron at Woodall Spa for his first tour. Here he flew sorties mainly to Berlin andthe Ruhr. For his second tour he joined Cheshires 617 Squadron, again at Woodall Spa, where he flew precision operations, including the raids on the Saumur rail tunnel, the U-boat pens, V1 sites and V2 rocket bases, and the raids against the German battleship Tirpitz.
Hatton, William
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   Died : 15 / 9 / 1943
Hatton, William

He was Flight Engineer on Lancaster ED906 AJ-J of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. As part of the first wave, the aircraft successfully dropped its Upkeep mine and breached the Mohne dam. The aircraft returned safely. He was subsequently killed in action on 15th September 1943.
Hay, Robert Claude
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   Died : 13 / 2 / 1944
Hay, Robert Claude

Flew as Bomb Aimer on Lancaster ED909 AJ-P of No.617 Sqn on 16th May 1943 for the Dambusters raid. Their aircraft dropped their mine which exploded off to the side of the Mohne dam. The aircraft returned safely. He was later killed in action on 13th February 1944.
Heal, Dudley Percy
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   Died : 0 / 2 / 1999
Heal, Dudley Percy

Sergeant Dudley Heal Navigator AJ-F, born 1916 Hampshire.
RAF 1940
Uxbridge 29.3.1940
Reserve 30.3.1940
Uxbridge 8.5.1940
4 RC 14.5.1940
Wyton 1.6.1940
Southampton 20.6.1940
53 OTU 10.3.1941
1 RW 10.5.1941
8 ITW 17.5.1941
PTC,Toronto,Canada 19.7.1941
31 PD 18.11.1941
Moncton
31 PD 9.5.1942
3 PDC 18.5.1942
3 (O) AFU 20.6.1942
19 OTU 18.8.1942
434 Squadron 22.12.1942
44 Squadron 4.2.1943 (6 ops)
617 Squadron 25.3.1943
navigator
award DFM (28.5.1943) (Dams)
29 OTU 26.3.1944
214 Squadron 8.2.1945
2 Embarkation Unit,Southampton 11.9.1945
released 11.3.1946
worked at Southampton Docks in the 1970's. Is thought to have passed away in Southampton around February 1999. He was Navigator on Lancaster ED918 AJ-F on the Dambusters Raid. The aircraft shot up a train on the way to the target which was the Sorpe dam. The Lancaster successfully dropped its mine and hit the dam, but the solid earthen dam was never breached.
Henderson, Robert Jack
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Henderson, Robert Jack

He was Flight Engineer on Lancaster ED929 AJ-L of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His aircraft took several attempts, but successfully dropped its mine on the Eder dam although no breach was caused. The aircraft returned safely to base.
Hewstone, Harry J
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Hewstone, Harry J

He was Wireless Operator on Lancaster ED918 AJ-F on the Dambusters Raid. The aircraft shot up a train on the way to the target which was the Sorpe dam. The Lancaster successfully dropped its mine and hit the dam, but the solid earthen dam was never breached.
Hill, Victor
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   Died : 15 / 9 / 1943
Hill, Victor

He was Front Gunner on Lancaster ED906 AJ-J of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. As part of the first wave, the aircraft successfully dropped its Upkeep mine and breached the Mohne dam. The aircraft returned safely. He was subsequently killed in action on 15th September 1943.
Hobday, Harold Sidney
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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.
Holding, A D
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   Died : 20 / 1 / 1944
Holding, A D

Killed on 20th January 1944 when his Lancaster ED918 AJ-F of No.617 Sqn crashed on a training flight.
Hopgood, John Vere
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Hopgood, John Vere

Killed on 17th May 1943 when his Lancaster ED925 AJ-M of No.617 Sqn crashed on the Dambusters raid. The aircraft dropped its mine late and it bounced over the Mohne dam, exploding beyond it. The aircraft was hit by flak and crashed not far from the target. He was the pilot.
Hopkinson, Donald
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Hopkinson, Donald

He was Bomb Aimer on Lancaster ED864 AJ-B on the Dambusters Raid. He and the rest of the crew were killed when the aircraft struck a pylon or power cables en route to the target.
Horsfall, David Taylor
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Horsfall, David Taylor

He was Flight Engineer on Lancaster ED887 AJ-A of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. As part of the first wave, the aircraft successfully dropped its Upkeep mine and began the breach in the Mohne dam. Over the Dutch coast on the return leg, the aircraft was shot down with no survivors.
Howard, Cecil Lancelot
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Howard, Cecil Lancelot

He was Navigator on Lancaster ED886 AJ-O on the Dambusters Raid. The aircraft flew below tree top level en route to their target - the Ennepe dam - where they successfully hit the target, but the dam held firm. The aircraft was the last of the Dambusters to return to base.
Howarth, William
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Howarth, William

He was Front Gunner on Lancaster ED921 AJ-W of No.617 Sqn for the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. The aircraft was heavily damaged by flak near the Dutch coast on the outward journey and was forced to abort the mission, but returned to base safely.
Hutchison, R E G
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   Died : 16 / 9 / 1943
Hutchison, R E G

Wireless Operator on Lancaster ED932 AJ-G of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid.
Ibbotson, Wilfred
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Ibbotson, Wilfred

He was Rear Gunner on Lancaster ED887 AJ-A of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. As part of the first wave, the aircraft successfully dropped its Upkeep mine and began the breach in the Mohne dam. Over the Dutch coast on the return leg, the aircraft was shot down with no survivors.
Iveson, Bob
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Iveson, Bob

Serving with 1 Squadron as Harrier Flight Commander during the Falklands War, he led the first low-level attacks against the runway at Port Stanley. He was later shot down by Argentine Forces but ejected before the plane impacted and survived. He was picked up by helicopter three days later, having evaded capture and was subsequently awarded the RAF Escaping Trophy. He subsequently led 617 Sqn through the first Gulf War.
Iveson, Tony
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   Died : 5 / 11 / 2013
Iveson, Tony

Tony Iveson fought in the Battle of Britain with RAF Fighter Command, as a Sergeant pilot, joining 616 Squadron at Kenley flying Spitfires on 2 September 1940. On the 16th of September, he was forced to ditch into the sea after running out of fuel following a pursuit of a Ju88 bomber. His Spitfire L1036 ditched 20 miles off Cromer in Norfolk, and he was picked up by an MTB. He joined No.92 Sqn the following month. Commissioned in 1942, Tony undertook his second tour transferring to RAF Bomber Command, where he was selected to join the famous 617 Squadron, flying Lancasters. He took part in most of 617 Squadrons high precision operations, including all three sorties against the German battleship Tirpitz, and went on to become one of the most respected pilots in the squadron.

Some of Tony Iveson's operational sorties with No.617 Squadron:

5-8-44 Submarine pens-Brest 12,000LB Tallboy
6-8-44 Submarine pens-Keroman 12,000LB Tallboy
7-8-44 Submarine pens-Lorient-Sqaudron scrubbed the operation
8-8-44 Submarine pens-La pallice-12,000LB Tallboy
24-8-44 E-boat pens -Ijmuiden-12,000LB Tallboy
27-8-44 Shipping-Brest- 12 x 1000LB
11-9-44 Tirpitz-Alten Fiord 12,000LB Tallboy plus Johnny Walker Mines
23-9-44 Aqueduct, Dortmund Ems Canal-12,000LB Tallboy
3-10-44 Westkapelle Sea Wall- Squadron abandoned sortie
7-10-44 Rhine Barrage, North of Basle-12,000LB Tallboy
28-10-44 Tirpitz-12,000LB Tallboy
12-11-44 Tirpitz-12,000LB Tallboy
8-12-44 Urft Dam-12,000LB Tallboy
11-12-44 Urft dam - 12,000LB Tallboy
15-12-44 Submarine pens- Ijmuiden-12,000LB Tallboy
21-12-44 Politz-12,000LB Tallboy
12-1-45 Submarine pens-Bergen-12,000LB Tallboy


Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross, gazetted 16th March 1945.

This officer has completed numerous sorties on his second tour of operational duty, including three attacks against the battleship Tirpitz. In January, 1945, he was detailed to attack the U-boat pens at Bergen. Whilst over the target his aircraft was attacked by two fighters. The first burst of machine-gun fire from the enemy aircraft struck the tailplane, rudder and elevator. The port inner engine was set on fire and the rear turret was put out of action. After the fighters broke off their attack Squadron Leader Ivesons aircraft came under heavy fire from the antiaircraft batteries. It was almost impossible to maintain level flight. Squadron Leader Iveson instructed another member of the crew to lash the control column in such a way as to ease the strain. Under these most trying conditions, Squadron Leader Iveson flew clear of the fire zone and afterwards reached a home based airfield where he landed his seriously damaged aircraft safely. By his great skill, courage and determination, this officer was undoubtedly responsible for the safe return of the aircraft.

Jagger, Brian
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   Died : 30 / 4 / 1944
Jagger, Brian

He was Front Gunner on Lancaster ED929 AJ-L of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His aircraft took several attempts, but successfully dropped its mine on the Eder dam although no breach was caused. The aircraft returned safely to base. He was killed in action on 30th April 1944.
Jarvie, Charles McAllister
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   Died : 16 / 5 / 1943
Jarvie, Charles McAllister

Killed on 16th May 1943. He was Front Gunner on Lancaster ED934 AJ-K of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters Raid. The aircraft was shot down by flak off the island of Texel prior to reaching the Dutch coast on the outward journey to the dams. The aircraft was the first to be shot down on the raid.
Jaye, Thomas
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Jaye, Thomas

He was Navigator of Lancaster ED865 AJ-S of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters Raid. His Lancaster was part of the third wave and was shot down over Gilze-Rijen airfield in Holland. None of the crew survived the crash.
Jenkinson, Ken
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Jenkinson, Ken

Initially on Lancasters with 57 Sqn, as Radio Operator to pilot Ian Ross, he remained with the crew when they joined 617 Sqn and their aircraft crash landed in Russia after the first raid on the Tirpitz.
Johnson, Edward Cuthbert
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   Died : 1 / 10 / 2002
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.
Johnson, George Leonard
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Johnson, George Leonard

Joining the RAF in 1940, George Johnson served with 97 Squadron before joining 617 Squadron. Bomb aimer on American Joe McCarthy’s Lancaster AJ-T, they attacked the Sorpe Dam, for which he was awarded the DFM. Commissioned a few months later, George retired from the RAF in 1962.
Johnston, Thomas Barr
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Johnston, Thomas Barr

He was Bomb Aimer on Lancaster ED910 AJ-C on the Dambusters Raid. The aircraft was hit by flak and crashed near Hamm, killing all but the rear gunner, whose turret was sheared off and separated from the fiery wreck of the Lancaster.
Kearns, T
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Kearns, T

New Zealander Terry Kearns joined the RNZAF in December 1940, transferring to England in 1941 to join 75 (NZ) Squadron, flying Wellingtons. In 1942 he took part in the first 1000 bomber raids before joining 156 Squadron Pathfinders. After a period as an instructor, he joined 617 Squadron at Warboys on operations. He flew the Mosquito FBVI on precision low-level target marking throughout 1944. He took part in most of 617's major operations, including raids on the Samur rail tunnel, and the V1 rocket sites.
Kellow, Robert George Thomas
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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.
Kendrick, G A
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Kendrick, G A

Injured on 20th January 1944 when his Lancaster ED918 AJ-F of No.617 Sqn crashed on a training flight.
Kennedy, Steve
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Kennedy, Steve

Navigator, 617 Squadron Tornado during the Gulf War.
Kinnear, John
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Kinnear, John

He was Flight Engineer on Lancaster ED864 AJ-B on the Dambusters Raid. He and the rest of the crew were killed when the aircraft struck a pylon or power cables en route to the target.
Knight, Leslie Gordon
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   Died : 16 / 9 / 1943
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.
Knights, Bob
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   Died : 4 / 12 / 2004
Knights, Bob

A member of the elite 617 Dambusters squadron, Bob Knights had a key role on the night before D-Day. With the rest of the squadron he flew on Operation Taxable which simulated the approach of the invasion across the Pas de Calais by dropping metal strips of window to a very precise pattern. The enemy was completely deceived and kept most of their best troops on the wrong side of the Seine. Bob Knights had already flown a full operational tour with 619 Squadron Lancasters, including eight trips to Berlin, before volunteering for 617 Squadron. Under Cheshire he flew on some of the squadrons most challenging precision operations and later under Willie Tait took part in the attack that finally destroyed the Tirpitz. Seconded to BOAC in December 1944 he stayed with the airline after the war for a 30 year long career. He died 4th December 2004.
Langston, John
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Langston, John

Originally serving as a Navigator with 630, 189 and 246 Sqns, he then volunteered for 617 Sqn becoming a Flight Engineer, taking part in many operations including the viaduct bombing raids on Armsberg and Bielefeld in 1945.
Leggo, Jack Frederick
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Leggo, Jack Frederick

Flew as Navigator on Lancaster ED909 AJ-P of No.617 Sqn on 16th May 1943 for the Dambusters raid. Their aircraft dropped their mine which exploded off to the side of the Mohne dam. The aircraft returned safely.
Liddell, Jack Robert George
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   Died : 16 / 5 / 1943
Liddell, Jack Robert George

He was Rear Gunner of Lancaster ED927 AJ-E of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters Raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His Lancaster was part of the second wave but never reached the target. The aircraft reportedly hit power lines and crashed near Haldern. None of the crew survived.
Long, William Charles Arthur
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Long, William Charles Arthur

He was Front Gunner of Lancaster ED865 AJ-S of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters Raid. His Lancaster was part of the third wave and was shot down over Gilze-Rijen airfield in Holland. None of the crew survived the crash.
Lucas, Kenneth
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   Died : 1 / 2011
Lucas, Kenneth

Ken Lucas joined the RAF in June 1940, and trained as ground crew for bomber Command. He was sent first to 49 Squadron at RAF Scampton, before transferring to 617 Squadron upon its formation, Involved in all the major servicing of the aircraft before the raid including fitting the motors that drove the belt that spun the bomb, and attaching the critical lamps to the underside of the aircraft. Sadly, Ken Lucas passed away in January 2011.
MacCausland, Vincent Sandford
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
MacCausland, Vincent Sandford

He was Bomb Aimer on Lancaster ED887 AJ-A of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. As part of the first wave, the aircraft successfully dropped its Upkeep mine and began the breach in the Mohne dam. Over the Dutch coast on the return leg, the aircraft was shot down with no survivors.
MacDonald, Grant S
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   Died : 13 / 5 / 2012
MacDonald, Grant S

He was Rear Gunner on Lancaster ED918 AJ-F on the Dambusters Raid. The aircraft shot up a train on the way to the target which was the Sorpe dam. The Lancaster successfully dropped its mine and hit the dam, but the solid earthen dam was never breached. Sadly, we have learned that Grant S MacDonald passed away in May 2012.
MacFarlane, Richard
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   Died : 21 / 12 / 1943
MacFarlane, Richard

He was Navigator on Lancaster ED936 AJ-H of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th May 1943. The aircraft clipped the surface of the North Sea while flying low en route to the target, ripping the Upkeep mine from the aircraft and scooping up some seawater. Amazing, the aircraft did not crash, and despite the rear gunner almost being washed away by the rush of seawater as the aircraft climbed, managed to return to base. He was later killed in action on 21st December 1943.
MacLean, Donald Arthur
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MacLean, Donald Arthur

He was Navigator of Lancaster ED825 AJ-T of No.617 Sqn for the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His aircraft dropped its mine on the Sorpe dam, but it failed to breach. The aircraft returned safely.
Maltby, David John
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   Died : 15 / 9 / 1943
Maltby, David John

He was Pilot on Lancaster ED906 AJ-J of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. As part of the first wave, the aircraft successfully dropped its Upkeep mine and breached the Mohne dam. The aircraft returned safely. He was subsequently killed in action on 15th September 1943.
Marriott, John
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Marriott, John

Killed on 17th May 1943 when his Lancaster ED937 AJ-Z of No.617 Sqn was shot down by flak over Emmerich on the return journey from the Dambusters raid. He was Flight Engineer of the aircraft that attacked the Eder dam, its bomb bouncing over the structure and exploding beyond, probably damaging the Lancaster.
Marsden, Ronald
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Marsden, Ronald

He was Flight Engineer on Lancaster ED910 AJ-C on the Dambusters Raid. The aircraft was hit by flak and crashed near Hamm, killing all but the rear gunner, whose turret was sheared off and separated from the fiery wreck of the Lancaster.
Martin, Harold Brownlow Morgan Mick
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   Died : 3 / 11 / 1988
Martin, Harold Brownlow Morgan Mick

Born 27th February 1918, Australian Mick Martin joined the RAF in 1940 and had flown tours with 455 Squadron RAAF and 50 Squadron RAF before joining Guy Gibson at 617 Squadron. Pilot of Lancaster ED909 AJ-P of No.617 Sqn, Mick Martin was Deputy Leader of the Dams Raid and flew in Gibsons lead group. Third aircraft to attack the Mohne Dam, he was awarded the DSO for his part in the raid. Mick Martin later served with Leonard Cheshire, and went on to a distinguished career after the war. ADC to the Queen in 1963, he eventually retired from the RAF as an Air Marshal in 1974. Mick Martin died 3rd November 1988.
Maudslay, Henry Eric
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Maudslay, Henry Eric

Killed on 17th May 1943 when his Lancaster ED937 AJ-Z of No.617 Sqn was shot down by flak over Emmerich on the return journey from the Dambusters raid. He was Pilot of the aircraft that attacked the Eder dam, its bomb bouncing over the structure and exploding beyond, probably damaging the Lancaster.
Maynard, Thomas W
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   Died : 21 / 12 / 1943
Maynard, Thomas W

He was Front Gunner on Lancaster ED936 AJ-H of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th May 1943. The aircraft clipped the surface of the North Sea while flying low en route to the target, ripping the Upkeep mine from the aircraft and scooping up some seawater. Amazing, the aircraft did not crash, and despite the rear gunner almost being washed away by the rush of seawater as the aircraft climbed, managed to return to base. He was later killed in action on 21st December 1943.
McCarthy, Joseph Charles
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   Died : 6 / 9 / 1998
McCarthy, Joseph Charles

In March 1943, a special Royal Air Force (RAF) unit, 617 Squadron, was created to try a new tactic--low altitude bombing using deep penetration bombs that weighed from 9,500 to 22,000 pounds. Their first targets were three dams in the Ruhr industrial area of western Germany: the Mohne, the Eder, and the Sorpe. These dams supplied water for Ruhr steel mills and hydroelectric power. Twenty Avro Lancaster bombers were specially modified for this mission to carry a new, rotating skip bomb that would bounce across the lake, sink, and then explode at the base of the dam. So secret was the dambusting mission, that the pilots and navigators were briefed only the day before as to the actual targets. The three dams were struck, and two were breached, on the night of 16 May 1943. "Joe " McCarthy, from Long Island, New York, was an original member of 617 Squadron. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in 1941 and soon transferred with his crew to RAF Bomber Command. From 1941 until late 1944, he flew the Hampden, Manchester, Lancaster, and Mosquito bombers and compiled a total of 80 combat missions. As Officer Commanding, German Aircraft Flight, he tested and flew over 20 different German aircraft, which had been taken from captured German airfields back to Farnborough for extensive engineering evaluation. During this period, McCarthy flew the first British operational jet, the Meteor, and the experimental Windsor bomber. Upon returning to Edmonton, Canada, he continued flight testing a variety of aircraft for cold weather operations as well as the experimental Canadian flying wing. During 28 years in the RCAF, he flew 64 different British, American, German, and Canadian aircraft. Later assignments included base executive officer for an F-86 NATO installation in France; Commander, Flying Training School, RCAF Station Penhold, Canada; and Commanding Officer of the 407 Maritime Squadron, flying the P2V Neptune. From 1961 to 1962, he was Chief of Air Operations for the United Nations' forces in the Congo, and from 1963 to 1966, worked in plans and policy for CINCLANT/CINCLANTFLT. Wing Commander McCarthy's final assignment was as base operations officer for two maritime squadrons flying the Argus antisubmarine warfare aircraft in Nova Scotia. He retired from the RCAF in 1969 and, after a second career in real estate, fully retired in 1986. Passed away 6th September 1998.
McDowell, James
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   Died : 16 / 5 / 1943
McDowell, James

Killed on 16th May 1943. He was Rear Gunner on Lancaster ED934 AJ-K of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters Raid. The aircraft was shot down by flak off the island of Texel prior to reaching the Dutch coast on the outward journey to the dams. The aircraft was the first to be shot down on the raid.
McKie, A M
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   Died : 1 / 8 / 2008
McKie, A M

Born in Crewe in July 1922, Alex McKie joined the RAF in 1938 as an apprentice, and was selected for pilot training in 1942. After training, he joined No.106 Squadron flying Lancasters as a navigator. With this squadron, he flew eight raids to Berlin. Completing 30 operations, he was awarded the DFM, before volunteering in June 1944 to join No.617 Squadron, a squadron which by this time was famous for the legendary Dambusters raid. During a raid on the German battleship Tirpitz in Norway, Mckie and his crew were forced to crash-land in neutral Sweden after losing two engines. After blaming their intrusion into Sweden on faulty navigation, they were repatriated. Sadly, Alex McKie passed away on 1st August 2008.
Minchin, John W
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Minchin, John W

Killed on 17th May 1943 when his Lancaster ED925 AJ-M of No.617 Sqn crashed on the Dambusters raid. The aircraft dropped its mine late and it bounced over the Mohne dam, exploding beyond it. The aircraft was hit by flak and crashed not far from the target. He was the Wireless Operator.
Morris, Steve
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Morris, Steve

Navigator, 617 Squadron Tornado during the Gulf War.
Munro, John Leslie
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   Died : 4 / 8 / 2015
Munro, John Leslie

New Zealander Les Munro was the Captain and pilot of Lancaster AJ-W assigned to attack the Sorpe Dam, but was forced to turn back en-route to the target after heavy flak damage over Holland had rendered his aircraft unable to carry on with the operation. Squadron Leader Les Munro, who has died aged 96, was the last surviving pilot to have taken part on the Dambusters raid, which attacked the Ruhr Dams in May 1943. His Lancaster was one of the first to take off on the night of May 16. Their target was the Sorpe Dam. Flying at very low level over the Dutch island of Vlieland, the bomber was badly damaged by anti-aircraft fire. The radios and electrical system were disabled but, crucially, so was the intercommunication system between members of the crew. Without this it was impossible to carry out the precise attack from a height of 60 feet, so with great reluctance, Munro turned for his home base at Scampton, near Lincoln, still with his bouncing bomb on board. John Leslie Munro was born on April 5 1919 at Gisborne, New Zealand, where his Scottish father had emigrated in 1903. He worked as a farmer before joining the Royal New Zealand Air Force in July 1941. He trained initially in New Zealand and then in Canada, where he completed his qualification as a pilot. On arrival in England he trained on bombers before joining No 97 Squadron, which had recently been re-equipped with the Lancaster. After an operation to drop mines in the sea-lanes to German occupied ports, Munro attacked industrial cities in Germany during the so-called Battle of the Ruhr when Essen, Dusseldorf and Cologne were among his targets. He also flew on two raids to Berlin and attacked targets in Italy. He and his crew were approaching the end of their tour of operations (30 sorties) when volunteers were called for to form a new squadron for a special operation. Munro discussed it with his crew and they agreed to apply. A few days later, on March 25, they arrived at Scampton to join X Squadron on its formation, later to become No 617. Soon after leaving No. 97 Squadron, Munro was awarded the DFC for pressing home his attacks with great courage and determination. Within days of arriving at Scampton, all the crews were practising intensive low-level flying including runs over lakes and reservoirs when high-tension cables, barrage balloons and birds were an ever-present hazard. During a trial flight with the Upkeep bouncing bomb designed by Barnes Wallis, Munro was flying below the prescribed height of 60 feet when a great plume of water made by the bomb as it made its first bounce damaged the tailplane of his Lancaster. After the Dams Raid, Munro remained on No 617. The squadron suffered further heavy losses and morale was badly affected. Under the leadership of its new commanding officer, Wing Commander Leonard Cheshire, Munro was made a flight commander. The other two flight commanders were Dave Shannon, an Australian, and the American Joe McCarthy and these three, under Cheshires inspiring leadership, created one of the most effective squadrons to serve in Bomber Command. Cheshire described his three flight commanders as the backbone of the squadron. Of the three, the slow speaking, taciturn New Zealander was the least flamboyant, but his rock steady dependability and utter reliability were an inspiration to his young crews. Cheshire was dissatisfied with the marking of targets by the Pathfinder Force and he developed his own low-level marking technique that proved highly successful. Munro dropped flares from high level and Cheshire dived beneath them to accurately mark the targets for the following bombers. On the eve of D-day on June 5 1944, No 617 flew Operation Taxable, a complex flight requiring extremely accurate flying, navigation and timing. Munro, with Cheshire as his co-pilot, was flying one of the lead aircraft, which flew a series of orbits as it advanced across the English Channel towards the Pas de Calais dropping window (reflective metal strips) to simulate an amphibious landing force approaching the area. This deception created doubt in the Germans minds as to where the Allied landing was taking place and delayed the despatch of reinforcements to Normandy. After the landings, the squadron flew in support of troops establishing the bridgehead. On the night of June 8 , it had a spectacular success when Munro dropped one of the new 12,000-lb Tallboy bombs, which completely destroyed the Saumur railway tunnel. On the following nights he dropped Tallboys on the E-boat pens at Le Havre and Boulogne before attacking the V-weapon sites at Wizernes and Mimoyecques. After this latter raid, his 55th, he and his fellow flight commanders were retired. He had recently been awarded the DSO, his citation concluding with the words, His achievements have been worthy of the greatest praise. Munro finished the war in command of a Bomber Defence Training Flight. He returned to New Zealand and left the RNZAF in February 1946 as a squadron leader. Munro made a major contribution to community life in New Zealand and was Mayor of Tekuiti from 1978 to 1995. He was awarded the Queens Service Order in 1981 and appointed Commander of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 1997 for services to local government and community. Munro retained strong links with his old squadron and made a number of trips to the United Kingdom on special anniversaries. He was present when the Queen dedicated the Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park in 2012. In 2015 he placed his medals with an auction house to raise money for the maintenance of the memorial. At the last minute, Lord Ashcroft stepped in to stop the sale, offering to donate £75,000 to the memorials upkeep if Munro gifted his medals to the Museum of Transport and Technology in Auckland. Squadron Leader Les Munro, born April 5 1919, died August 4 2015.
Nichols, Lawrence William
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Nichols, Lawrence William

He was Wireless Operator on Lancaster ED887 AJ-A of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. As part of the first wave, the aircraft successfully dropped its Upkeep mine and began the breach in the Mohne dam. Over the Dutch coast on the return leg, the aircraft was shot down with no survivors.
Nicholson, Vivian
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   Died : 15 / 9 / 1943
Nicholson, Vivian

He was Navigator on Lancaster ED906 AJ-J of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. As part of the first wave, the aircraft successfully dropped its Upkeep mine and breached the Mohne dam. The aircraft returned safely. He was subsequently killed in action on 15th September 1943.
Nugent, John Percival
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   Died : 23 / 9 / 1943
Nugent, John Percival

He was Navigator of Lancaster ED924 AJ-Y of No.617 Sqn for the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His aircraft did not find a target for their Upkeep mine due to weather and navigation difficulties. The aircraft returned safely with the mine still attached. He was later killed in action on 23rd September 1943.
O'Brien, Harry
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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.
O'Shaughnessy, T V
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   Died : 20 / 1 / 1944
O'Shaughnessy, T V

Killed on 20th January 1944 when his Lancaster ED918 AJ-F of No.617 Sqn crashed on a training flight.
Oancia, Stefan
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   Died : 15 / 5 / 1999
Oancia, Stefan

Born in Stonehenge, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1923, Sgt. Stefan Oancia enlisted in the RCAF on the 1st of August 1941. Trained at No.2 ITS (graduated 4 December 1941), No.3 AOS (graduated 13 March 1942), No.2 BGS (graduated 25 April 1942) and No.1 ANS (graduated 25 May 1942). He was Bomb Aimer on Lancaster ED918 AJ-F on the Dambusters Raid. The aircraft shot up a train on the way to the target which was the Sorpe dam. The Lancaster successfully dropped its mine and hit the dam, but the solid earthen dam was never breached. He survived the raid and the war and was awarded the DFM, presented at Buckingham Palace on 22nd June 1943. Sadly he passed away on the 15th of May 1999.
Ottley, Warner H T
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Ottley, Warner H T

He was Pilot on Lancaster ED910 AJ-C on the Dambusters Raid. The aircraft was hit by flak and crashed near Hamm, killing all but the rear gunner, whose turret was sheared off and separated from the fiery wreck of the Lancaster.
Parsons, Beck
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Parsons, Beck

Vital to the whole Dambusters operation was the complete dedication by the ground crew of 617 Squadron. Personified by Beck Parsons. Joining the RAF in 1940, he trained as an electrician and worked with Avro Manchester’s with 207 Squadron at Waddington. In March 1943 he was posted to 617 Squadron at Scampton where he flew with Barnes Wallis during the tests on the bouncing bomb. As Electrical NCO Beck was responsible for the electrics on “B” flight at the time of the raid, together with ‘Top Maintenance’ on five of the Lancaster’s, including those of Guy Gibson and Mick Martin.
Patterson, Robert Campbell
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   Died : 23 / 9 / 1943
Patterson, Robert Campbell

He was Flight Engineer of Lancaster ED924 AJ-Y of No.617 Sqn for the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His aircraft did not find a target for their Upkeep mine due to weather and navigation difficulties. The aircraft returned safely with the mine still attached. He was later killed in action on 23rd September 1943.
Pearson, R
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Pearson, R

Joined the RAF in 1943 to begin training as an Air Gunner. After the usual short attachments at various training stations eventually ending up at No 2 AGS Dalcross. Air firing was carried out from an Avro Anson. There was always a mad rush to be first aboard the aircraft on every detail, not from enthusiasm, but from trying to avoid winding up the undercarriage after take off. M/Sig Pearson went from Dalcross to Kinloss to join a crew flying Whitleys and several months later ended up at 158 Sqdn Lissett to commence operations on Halifaxes. After half a tour and very happy at Lissett his crew were posted onto a PFF Sqdn, 635 Sqdn Downham Market. His first operation, and very nearly his last, was a daylight raid on Hamburg. On the bombing run, they had the misfortune to be selected by the pilot of a ME262 as his victim. He was not spotted until he was dead astern and blazing away with the four 30mm cannon in the nose. Evasive action was given and the pilot promptly stood the Lanc on its nose. Unfortunately not all the cannon shells missed and they lost quite a piece of fuselage leaving ammo belts hanging out in the slipstream. After regaining level flight, they were attacked again by another ME262, but this time they were lucky. Both ME pilots decided to push off and find some other sitting duck! Despite these attacks, they carried on and bombed, making their way home across the North Sea, not a pleasant journey. The pilot received an immediate award of the DFC. M/Sig Pearson finished the war out at Downham Market and after the war in Europe ended was posted to 83 Sqdn Conningsby for Tiger Force training and operations against the Japanese. Fortunately the war in the east ceased just as they were ready to depart. He was demobbed in May 1947, but was not happy out of uniform so was back in again at the end of 1949 as an A/G flying on Lincolns at 9 Sqdn. Binbrook. He had a short detachment with 617 Sqdn at Shallufa, Egypt and at the end of 1952 was posted onto B29 aircraft with 15 Sqdn. Coningsby. After six months he was posted to Little Rissington on a Link Trainer course and then to FTS Syerston as a Link instructor to Naval cadet pilots. In 1955, he was required to either remuster to a ground trade or take another aircrew trade. He was posted to Swanton Morley to take training as an Air Signaller and from then to St Mawgan 228 Sqdn on Shackletons. Next came a posting to Northolt in a drawing office drawing En-Route charts and Terminal Approach Procedures. Back to flying in 1961 and a posting to 224 Sqdn Gibraltar and then to Air Traffic Control School at Shawbury. On completion of this course came a posting to RAF Lyneham as Local Controller and thence to RAF Colerne as Approach Controller. He left the service in 1968.
Pegler, Guy
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Pegler, Guy

He was Flight Engineer of Lancaster ED865 AJ-S of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters Raid. His Lancaster was part of the third wave and was shot down over Gilze-Rijen airfield in Holland. None of the crew survived the crash.
Philips, J D
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Philips, J D

Having qualified as a Flight engineer, he was one of the first crews to join 617 Sqn following the Dams raids and completed operations against the mighty Tirpitz Battle Ship.
Pigeon, Percy Edgar
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Pigeon, Percy Edgar

He was Wireless Operator on Lancaster ED921 AJ-W of No.617 Sqn for the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. The aircraft was heavily damaged by flak near the Dutch coast on the outward journey and was forced to abort the mission, but returned to base safely.
Powell, Dennis John Dean
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   Died : 16 / 9 / 1943
Powell, Dennis John Dean

He was Flight Engineer on Lancaster ED886 AJ-O on the Dambusters Raid. The aircraft flew below tree top level en route to their target - the Ennepe dam - where they successfully hit the target, but the dam held firm. The aircraft was the last of the Dambusters to return to base. He was later killed in action on 16th September 1943.
Pulford, J
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   Died : 13 / 2 / 1944
Pulford, J

Flight Engineer on Lancaster ED932 AJ-G of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid.
Radcliffe, William
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Radcliffe, William

He was Flight Engineer of Lancaster ED825 AJ-T of No.617 Sqn for the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His aircraft dropped its mine on the Sorpe dam, but it failed to breach. The aircraft returned safely.
Reid, Bill
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   Died : 28 / 11 / 2001
Reid, Bill

Volunteering for RAF aircrew in 1940, Bill Reid learned to fly in California, training on the Stearman, Vultee and Harvard. After gaining his pilots wings back in England he flew Wellingtons before moving on to Lancasters in 1943. On the night of Nov 3rd 1943, his Lancaster suffered two severe attacks from Luftwaffe night fighters, badly wounding Reid, killing his navigator and radio operator, and severely damaging the aircraft. Bill flew on 200 miles to accurately bomb the target and get his aircraft home. For this act of outstanding courage and determination he was awarded the Victoria Cross. Died 28th November 2001.



Citation for the Victoria Cross, gazetted 14th December 1943.

On the night of November 3rd, 1943, Flignt Lieutenant Reid was pilot and captain of a Lancaster aircraft detailed to attack Dusseldorf. Shortly after crossing the Dutch coast, the pilots windscreen was shattered by fire from a Messerschmitt. Owing to a failure in the heating circuit, the rear gunners hands were too cold for him to open fire immediately or to operate his microphone and so give warning of danger; but after a brief delay he managed to return the Messerschmitts fire and it was driven off. During the fight with the Messerschmitt, Flight Lieutenant Reid was wounded in the head, shoulders and hands. The elevator trimming tabs of the aircraft were damaged and it became difficult to control. The rear turret, too, was badly damaged and the communications system and compasses were put out of action. Flight Lieutenant Reid ascertained that his crew were unscathed and, saying nothing about his own injuries, he continued his mission. Soon afterwards, the Lancaster was attacked by a Focke Wulf 190. This time, the enemys fire raked the bomber from stem to stern. The rear gunner replied with his only serviceable gun but the state of his turret made accurate aiming impossible. The navigator was killed and the wireless operator fatally injured. The mid-upper turret was hit and the oxygen system put out of action. Flight Lieutenant Reid was again wounded and the flight engineer, though hit in the forearm, supplied him with oxygen from a portable supply. Flight Lieutenant Reid refused to be turned from his objective and Dusseldorf was reached some 50 minutes later. He had memorised his course to the target and had continued in such a normal manner that the bomb-aimer, who was cut off by the failure of the communications system, knew nothing of his captains injuries or of the casualties to his comrades. Photographs show that, when the bombs were released, the aircraft was right over the centre of the target. Steering by the pole star and the moon, Flight Lieutenant Reid then set course for home. He was growing weak from loss of blood. The emergency oxygen supply had given out. With the windscreen shattered, the cold was intense. He lapsed into semiconsciousness. The flight engineer, with some help from the bomb-aimer, kept the Lancaster in the air despite heavy anti-aircraft fire over the Dutch coast. The North Sea crossing was accomplished. An airfield was sighted. The captain revived, resumed control and made ready to land. Ground mist partially obscured the runway lights. The captain was also much bothered by blood from his head wound getting into his eyes. But he made a safe landing although one leg of the damaged undercarriage collapsed when the load came on. Wounded in two attacks, without oxygen, suffering severely from cold, his navigator dead, his wireless operator fatally wounded, his aircraft crippled and defenceless, Flight Lieutenant Reid showed superb courage and leadership in penetrating a further 200 miles into enemy territory to attack one of the most strongly defended targets in Germany, every additional mile increasing the hazards of the long and perilous journey home. His tenacity and devotion to duty were beyond praise.

London Gazette, 1943.

Rice, Geoffrey
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   Died : 0 / 11 / 1981
Rice, Geoffrey

Pilot Offcier geoffrey Rice was born on 4th January 1917. Geoff Rice joined the RAF in 1941 and was posted to No.57 Sqn on 20th February 1943. Joining No.617 Sqn on 26th March 1943, he was promoted to Flying Officer on 20th August 1943 and awarded the DFC on 16th November 1943. He was later promoted to Flight Lieutenant. He was shot down on 20th December 1943, but was hidden by the French Resistance for six months before being captured. He was taken prisoner of war until the end of the war, not returning to the UK until 10th May 1945. Geoff Rice passed away in November 1981 in Somerset. He was Pilot on Lancaster ED936 AJ-H of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th May 1943. The aircraft clipped the surface of the North Sea while flying low en route to the target, ripping the Upkeep mine from the aircraft and scooping up some seawater. Amazing, the aircraft did not crash, and despite the rear gunner almost being washed away by the rush of seawater as the aircraft climbed, managed to return to base.
Riding, Harold
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Riding, Harold

Originally joining 106 Sqn as a WOp/AG he transferred to 617 Sqn where he did a full tour during from late 1943. He was the only person in the RAF to be promoted from ACI directly to Pilot Officer in only one day.
Roberts, Charles Walpole
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Roberts, Charles Walpole

He was Navigator on Lancaster ED887 AJ-A of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. As part of the first wave, the aircraft successfully dropped its Upkeep mine and began the breach in the Mohne dam. Over the Dutch coast on the return leg, the aircraft was shot down with no survivors.
Roddis, Harold
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Roddis, Harold

Flight Mechanic on the 617 Squadron Dambuster aircraft.
Rodger, David
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   Died : 1 / 9 / 2004
Rodger, David

Born in Sault Ste marie, Ontario on February 23rd 1918, the son of a Scots carpenter, David Rodger was an avid collector of aeroplane magazines as a boy, that began his interest in flying. David Roger went to the local technical school, then worked for Algoma Steel while serving in the Canadian Militia. Rodger joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in October 1941 and trained as an air gunner before being commissioned as pilot officer, and then arriving in England in 1942. David Rodger converted to Lancaster bombers, and joined No 97 Squadron at Woodhall Spa near Lincoln, and it was here he teamed up with McCarthy. During their time with 97 squadron they attacked the main industrial cities on the Rhur and also Hamburg and Berlin. By the time they joined No 617 Squadron, they were recognised as an experienced crew. Rodger and McCarthy had already completed more than 20 bombing raids together when they were selected to join No 617 Squadron, forming at RAF Scampton in March 1943 under the command of Wing Commander Guy Gibson. David Rodger was the rear gunner in "Big Joe" McCarthy's Lancaster, which attacked the Sorpe Dam during Operation Chastise, the Dam Buster raid of May 16th 1943. On the night of the raid their aircraft was unservicable due to an engine problem, so they took the reserve aircraft which had been fitted with the upkeep bouncing bomb, but not had time to be fitted with the crucial spoptlights which were used to keep the aircraft at the height of 60 feet. As McCarthy took the bomber across the coast at 100ft, Rodger, in the rear turret, was soon in action trying to douse the searchlights before "having a lively exchange with a light flak gun". By the time they arrived at the Sorpe, McCarthy's men were the only survivors of the team charged with attacking the dam, which was shrouded in mist as they arrived. With a tall church spire on the approach and a hill to be avoided after the attack, McCarthy had great difficulty getting into position to drop the mine. The lack of the height-finding spotlights made the job almost impossible. The crew made nine dummy attacks before releasing their weapon accurately at last. But the force of the explosion was insufficient to breach the earth dam, and McCarthy and his men set course for base. After the success of the Dam raids 617 squadron now under the command of Wing Commander Leonard Cheshire specialised in the attack of pinpoint targets, and Cheshire and his four senior crews from the dam buster raid developed daring and accurate low-level target-marking techniques. Rodger was appointed the gunnery leader of the squadron in September. Rodger then attacked targets in Italy, and made pinpoint raids against viaducts and the huge concrete constructions associated with the V-1 rocket programme in the Pas de Calais. In addition to their marker role, the Lancasters of No 617 carried the massive 12,000-ton "Tallboy" bomb, which was used to devastating effect against V-sites and railway tunnels. During the night of June 5 1944, 16 Lancasters of No 617 carried out a unique operation, dropping a dense screen of "window" (foil strips) which advanced slowly across the Channel to simulate a large convoy of ships approaching the French coast between Boulogne and Le Havre, north of the real invasion area. After 14 months on No 617, McCarthy and his crew were finally rested in July 1944. Rodger, who had flown 50 bombing operations, including 24 with No 617, was awarded the DFC for "his calm resolution in the face of the heaviest opposition, which has been an inspiration to his crew". Rodger returned to Canada in September 1944, where he married, and was released from the RCAF the following year. He returned to work at Algoma Steel, where he became a superintendent. Always a keen outdoorsman, he loved fishing and played his last game of ice hockey at 84. David Rodger died on September 1st 2004 in Canada aged 86.
Ross, N R Nicky
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   Died : 18 / 4 / 2008
Ross, N R Nicky

No's 40, 103 and 617 Squadrons. "Born 1 st August, 1917 at Greenock. Joined RAFVR at Edinburgh 12/7/39. Trained at 11 EFTS, Perth gained wings at 2 FTS Brize Norton, completed training at 20 OTU Lossiemouth Dec 1940, Joined 40 Squadron, 22/1141 as Sgt Pilot on Wellingtons at Wyton and Allconbury. Completed 1st tour 3/7/41 and "screened" at 27 OTU Lichfield, participating in the three "Thousand Force" raids on Cologne, Essen and Bremen in 1942. Commenced 2nd tour with 103 Squadron, at Elsham Wolds as Warrant Officer Pilot on Lancasters, 27th March 1943 completing end June. Awarded DFC 517/43. Took crews and Lancaster to Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio via Gander to do experimental work for USAAF ( dropping two Bren Gun Carrier type vehicles by parachute from various heights to target zone. Returned to England and commenced third tour as P/ 0 with 617 Squadron October 1943 at Coningsby and Woodhall. Spa until July 1944. As Flying Officer was awarded DSO (Immediate award). Released from Service asF/Ltin 1946." Nicky Ross passed away on 18th April 2008.
Rumbles, Grant
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Rumbles, Grant

He was Navigator on Lancaster ED921 AJ-W of No.617 Sqn for the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. The aircraft was heavily damaged by flak near the Dutch coast on the outward journey and was forced to abort the mission, but returned to base safely.
Shannon, David John
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   Died : 0 / 0 / 1993
Shannon, David John

Born 27th May 1922 in Australia, Dave Shannon joined the RAAF in 1941, and trained as a pilot. He flew an extended tour of 36 operations with 106 Squadron RAF before being chosen for 617 Squadron. Pilot of Lancaster AJ-L in Gibsons group, he was called off as he began his run on the Mohne Dam after the breach became apparent; but flew on and was the first pilot to attack the Eder Dam. Awarded a DSO for the Dams operation, he later served as Deputy to Leonard Cheshire, flying Mosquitos on what was by then his third tour. He later served with 511 and 246 Squadrons, and returned to Australia after the war. David Shannon died in 1993.
Simmonds, Harold Thomas
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   Died : 15 / 9 / 1943
Simmonds, Harold Thomas

He was Rear Gunner on Lancaster ED906 AJ-J of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. As part of the first wave, the aircraft successfully dropped its Upkeep mine and breached the Mohne dam. The aircraft returned safely. He was subsequently killed in action on 15th September 1943.
Simpson, Thomas Drayton
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Simpson, Thomas Drayton

Flew as Rear Gunner on Lancaster ED909 AJ-P of No.617 Sqn on 16th May 1943 for the Dambusters raid. Their aircraft dropped their mine which exploded off to the side of the Mohne dam. The aircraft returned safely.
Sinclair, Bob
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Sinclair, Bob

Navigator, 617 Squadron Tornado during the Gulf War.
Smith, Edward Clarence
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   Died : 21 / 12 / 1943
Smith, Edward Clarence

He was Flight Engineer on Lancaster ED936 AJ-H of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th May 1943. The aircraft clipped the surface of the North Sea while flying low en route to the target, ripping the Upkeep mine from the aircraft and scooping up some seawater. Amazing, the aircraft did not crash, and despite the rear gunner almost being washed away by the rush of seawater as the aircraft climbed, managed to return to base. He was later killed in action on 21st December 1943.
Smith, Ron
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Smith, Ron

Air Gunner, 617 Squadron.
Spafford, F M
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   Died : 16 / 9 / 1943
Spafford, F M

Bomb Aimer on Lancaster ED932 AJ-G of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid.
Stone, Anthony Joseph
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   Died : 15 / 9 / 1943
Stone, Anthony Joseph

He was Wireless Operator on Lancaster ED906 AJ-J of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. As part of the first wave, the aircraft successfully dropped its Upkeep mine and breached the Mohne dam. The aircraft returned safely. He was subsequently killed in action on 15th September 1943.
Strange, Harry John
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Strange, Harry John

He was Front Gunner on Lancaster ED910 AJ-C on the Dambusters Raid. The aircraft was hit by flak and crashed near Hamm, killing all but the rear gunner, whose turret was sheared off and separated from the fiery wreck of the Lancaster. He had swapped places with the surviving rear gunner prior to take off.
Sumpter, Leonard Joseph
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Sumpter, Leonard Joseph

He was Bomb Aimer on Lancaster ED929 AJ-L of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His aircraft took several attempts, but successfully dropped its mine on the Eder dam although no breach was caused. The aircraft returned safely to base.
Sutherland, Frederick E
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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.
Taerum, H T
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   Died : 16 / 9 / 1943
Taerum, H T

Navigator on Lancaster ED932 AJ-G of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid.
Tait, J B
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   Died : 31 / 5 / 2007
Tait, J B

One of Bomber Commands most outstanding leaders, James Willie Tait was one of only two RAF officers who had the distinction of being awarded three Bars to his DSO, as well as a DFC and Bar. On the night before D-Day Tait was the 5 Group Master Bomber directing from the air the massed attack by Lancasters on the German defences in the Cherbourg peninsula. By then Tait had already flown more than 100 bomber sorties with 51, 35, 10 and 78 Squadrons. A Cranwell-trained regular officer, he was very much in the Cheshire mould: quiet, bordering on the introspective. He was to go on to command the legendary 617 Dambusters Squadron and lead it on one of its most famous raids which finally destroyed the German battleship Tirpitz. In July 1944 when Leonard Cheshire was replaced by Wing Commander J B Willie Tait, 617 Squadron discovered that it had acquired a Commanding Officer very much in the Cheshire mould. Quiet, bordering on introspection, Tait, who was a Cranwell-trained regular officer, had already flown over 100 bombing operations with 51, 35, 10 and 78 Squadrons before joining 617. Tait had also received a DSO and bar and the DFC. He was 26. In the best traditions of 617 Squadron, Tait wasted no time in adapting to the Mustang and Mosquito for low level marking. He appointed two new Flight Commanders including Squadron Leader Tony Iveson DFC. Although involved in many of 617 Squadrons spectacular operations, Taits name is always associated with the destruction of the Tirpitz. An earlier attack on the ship by the squadron on 15th September 1944 had caused severe damage but Tirpitz was still afloat. On 29th October the Squadron was frustrated on the second attack by cloud over the target. The final attack was launched in daylight on 12th November 1944. Leading a mixed force of 617 and 9 Squadron Lancasters, Tait achieved complete surprise and had the satisfaction of seeing the Tirpitz destroyed at last. He had led all three attacks. On 28th December 1944 Tait received a third bar to his DSO, becoming one of only two RAF men to achieve this distinction. It coincided with his leaving 617 Squadron. Tait served in the post-war RAF, retiring as a Group Captain in 1966. He died 31st May 2007.



Citation for the second bar to the Distinguished Service Order, gazetted 22nd September 1944.

Since he was awarded a Bar to the Distinguished Service Order this officer has completed many sorties against targets in enemy-occupied territory and Germany. On several occasions Wing Commander Tait has remained in the immediate vicinity of the target area, often in the face of heavy opposition, for a considerable time. His excellent leadership, gallantry and untiring devotion to duty have contributed materially to the successes achieved by the squadron he commands.
London Gazette, 1944.



Citation for the third bar to the Distinguished Servide Order, gazetted 9th January 1945.

This officer has displayed conspicuous bravery and extreme devotion to duty in the face of the enemy, constantly exemplified over a long period of operational flying. He has completed a very large number of sorties, many of them against most dangerous and difficult targets and the successes obtained are a magnificent tribute to his brilliant leadership and unsurpassed skill. On 3 occasions, Wing Commander Tait has led attacks on the German battleship Tirpitz. The last occasion was on 12th November, 1944. The vessel was lying at Tromso. Visibility was good as Wing Commander Tait led his squadron in to the attack. In spite of continuous fire from 3 ships and from land batteries, the attack was pressed home. The first bomb, dropped by Wing Commander Tait, hit the Tirpitz. Another hit was obtained almost immediately and another 12,000 lb bomb fell close alongsdie. The battleship caught fire and smoke poured from her. Finally, she capsized. By his outstanding skill and leadership, Wing Commander Tait played a prominent part in the success of the operation. This officer has completed 98 sorties and throughout has set an example of a high order.
London Gazette, 1945.

Taylor, Alistair James
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   Died : 16 / 5 / 1943
Taylor, Alistair James

Killed on 16th May 1943. He was Flight Engineer on Lancaster ED934 AJ-K of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters Raid. The aircraft was shot down by flak off the island of Texel prior to reaching the Dutch coast on the outward journey to the dams. The aircraft was the first to be shot down on the raid.
Tees, Frank
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Tees, Frank

He was Rear Gunner on Lancaster ED910 AJ-C on the Dambusters Raid. The aircraft was hit by flak and crashed near Hamm, killing all but the rear gunner, whose turret was sheared off and separated from the fiery wreck of the Lancaster. Frank had apparently swapped places before take off with the front gunner Harry Strange who was killed in the crash. He was taken prisoner shortly after the crash.
Thomson, Greig
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Thomson, Greig

Piloted Tornado aircraft of 617 Sqn during the Gulf war.
Thrasher, John William
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   Died : 21 / 12 / 1943
Thrasher, John William

He was Bomb Aimer on Lancaster ED936 AJ-H of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th May 1943. The aircraft clipped the surface of the North Sea while flying low en route to the target, ripping the Upkeep mine from the aircraft and scooping up some seawater. Amazing, the aircraft did not crash, and despite the rear gunner almost being washed away by the rush of seawater as the aircraft climbed, managed to return to base. He was later killed in action on 21st December 1943.
Tilley, F L
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Tilley, F L

After training as a Flight Engineer he volunteered for 617 Sqn taking part in all the raids against the Tirpitz, but at the end of 1944 was forced to crash land in East Germany after being badly shot up and injured on a mission.
Townsend, William Clifford
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   Died : 0 / 4 / 1991
Townsend, William Clifford

Pilot and Captain of Lancaster AJ-O, he attacked the Ennepe Dam. Transferring to the RAF from the Army in 1941, Bill Townsend served a tour as a pilot with 49 Squadron, before joining 617 Squadron, at the time a Flight Sergeant. As part of 617 Squadron Bill Townsend flew Lancaster ED886 codenamed AJ–O for Orange in the famous dambuster raid of May 1944. Flight Sergeant Townsend flew his bomber and crew in the third wave of the famous raid. After the first two dams (Mohne and Eder) were breached, O for Orange was tasked to attack the Ennepe dam. With no anti-aircraft firing at them, they had time to do three trial runs before they released their bomb, but it failed to damage the dam. Forced to fly back at tree top level by enemy action, his Lancaster was the last to return. It limped home short of one engine. He was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal for his courageous actions in the raid. Bill Townsend was later promoted to Flight Lieutenant. He had been a pupil at Monmouth and after the war studied at Lincoln College, Oxford. He became a business man and a civil servant after his studies. FLt/Lt Townsend passed away in April 1991 , there with a flypast by 617 Tornadoes at his cremation on the 15th April 1991.
Trevor-Roper, R D
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   Died : 31 / 3 / 1944
Trevor-Roper, R D

Rear Gunner on Lancaster ED932 AJ-G of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid.
Tytherleigh, William John
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Tytherleigh, William John

Killed on 17th May 1943 when his Lancaster ED937 AJ-Z of No.617 Sqn was shot down by flak over Emmerich on the return journey from the Dambusters raid. He was Front Gunner of the aircraft that attacked the Eder dam, its bomb bouncing over the structure and exploding beyond, probably damaging the Lancaster.
Urquhart, Robert Alexander
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Urquhart, Robert Alexander

Killed on 17th May 1943 when his Lancaster ED937 AJ-Z of No.617 Sqn was shot down by flak over Emmerich on the return journey from the Dambusters raid. He was Navigator of the aircraft that attacked the Eder dam, its bomb bouncing over the structure and exploding beyond, probably damaging the Lancaster.
Vagnolini, Murray
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Vagnolini, Murray

Completing his first tour as a Wireless Operator with 61 Sqn, he flew with 617 Sqn dropping the 12,000 lb 'Tallboy' and 22,000 lb 'Grand Slam' bombs. The war ended halfway through his second operational tour.
Valentine, Murray
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Valentine, Murray

Completing his first tour as a Wireless Operator with 61 Sqn, he flew with 617 Sqn dropping the 12,000 lb Tallboy and 22,000 lb Grand Slam bombs. The war ended halfway through his second operational tour.
Walker, Daniel Revie
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   Died : 0 / 0 / 2001
Walker, Daniel Revie

He was Navigator on Lancaster ED929 AJ-L of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His aircraft took several attempts, but successfully dropped its mine on the Eder dam although no breach was caused. The aircraft returned safely to base.
Ward, A
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Ward, A

Injured on 20th January 1944 when his Lancaster ED918 AJ-F of No.617 Sqn crashed on a training flight.
Ward, E Gray
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Ward, E Gray

After joining the RAF in November 1940, Gray Ward trained as a pilot. His first operational squadron was 50 Squadron flying Lancasters, before he joined 57 Squadron as a Flight Commander. In late 1944 he was selected to join 617 Squadron, and took part in the 22,000lb "Grand Slam" raids on the Bielefeld and Arnsberg viaducts.
Warner, James Herbert
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   Died : 16 / 5 / 1943
Warner, James Herbert

Killed on 16th May 1943. He was Navigator on Lancaster ED934 AJ-K of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters Raid. The aircraft was shot down by flak off the island of Texel prior to reaching the Dutch coast on the outward journey to the dams. The aircraft was the first to be shot down on the raid.
Watts, Fred
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   Died : 6 / 8 / 2007
Watts, Fred

Fred Watts joined the RAF in 1940, and qualifying as a pilot was posted to 630 Squadron in 1943 flying 15 operations on Lancasters out of East Kirby. He joined 617 Squadron in April 1944 and took part in many of the precision operations that the Squadron was renowned for, including raids on V1 sites, V2 rocket bases, and all three attacks on the Tirpitz. He left 617 Squadron in March 1945 to join 83 Pathfinder Squadron for Far East deployment with Tiger Force but VJ-day brought disbandment of the Force before it could be despatched. He stayed on in the RAF after the end of the war, retiring in 1964. He died 6th August 2007.
Webb, Douglas Edward
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   Died : 0 / 0 / 2002
Webb, Douglas Edward

Mr Webb flew 27 missions as a gunner on Lancaster bombers before being selected in March 1943 for the 617 Squadron, which attacked the Mohne, Sorpe, and Eder dams - flooding the German war industry. He was Front Gunner on Lancaster ED886 AJ-O on the Dambusters Raid. The aircraft flew below tree top level en route to their target - the Ennepe dam - where they successfully hit the target, but the dam held firm. The aircraft was the last of the Dambusters to return to base. He passed away in 2002.
Weeks, Harvey Alexander
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Weeks, Harvey Alexander

He was Rear Gunner on Lancaster ED921 AJ-W of No.617 Sqn for the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. The aircraft was heavily damaged by flak near the Dutch coast on the outward journey and was forced to abort the mission, but returned to base safely.
Weller, Leonard George
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Weller, Leonard George

He was Wireless Operator of Lancaster ED865 AJ-S of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters Raid. His Lancaster was part of the third wave and was shot down over Gilze-Rijen airfield in Holland. None of the crew survived the crash.
Wharmby, Paul
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Wharmby, Paul

Piloted Tornado aircraft of 617 Sqn during the Gulf war.
Whillis, Samuel Leslie
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   Died : 16 / 5 / 1943
Whillis, Samuel Leslie

He was Flight Engineer of Lancaster ED927 AJ-E of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters Raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His Lancaster was part of the second wave but never reached the target. The aircraft reportedly hit power lines and crashed near Haldern. None of the crew survived.
Whittaker, Arthur Neville
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   Died : 16 / 5 / 1943
Whittaker, Arthur Neville

Killed on 16th May 1943. He was Bomb Aimer on Lancaster ED934 AJ-K of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters Raid. The aircraft was shot down by flak off the island of Texel prior to reaching the Dutch coast on the outward journey to the dams. The aircraft was the first to be shot down on the raid.
Whittaker, Ivan
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Whittaker, Ivan

Flew as Flight Engineer on Lancaster ED909 AJ-P of No.617 Sqn on 16th May 1943 for the Dambusters raid. Their aircraft dropped their mine which exploded off to the side of the Mohne dam. The aircraft returned safely.
Wile, Floyd Alkwin
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Wile, Floyd Alkwin

He was Navigator on Lancaster ED864 AJ-B on the Dambusters Raid. He and the rest of the crew were killed when the aircraft struck a pylon or power cables en route to the target.
Wilkinson, John
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   Died : 16 / 5 / 1943
Wilkinson, John

Killed on 16th May 1943. He was Wireless Operator on Lancaster ED934 AJ-K of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters Raid. The aircraft was shot down by flak off the island of Texel prior to reaching the Dutch coast on the outward journey to the dams. The aircraft was the first to be shot down on the raid.
Wilkinson, Raymond
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Wilkinson, Raymond

He was Rear Gunner on Lancaster ED886 AJ-O on the Dambusters Raid. The aircraft flew below tree top level en route to their target - the Ennepe dam - where they successfully hit the target, but the dam held firm. The aircraft was the last of the Dambusters to return to base.
Williams, Charles Rowland
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   Died : 16 / 5 / 1943
Williams, Charles Rowland

He was Wireless Operator of Lancaster ED927 AJ-E of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters Raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. His Lancaster was part of the second wave but never reached the target. The aircraft reportedly hit power lines and crashed near Haldern. None of the crew survived.
Wilson, Dave
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Wilson, Dave

Navigator, 617 Squadron Tornado during the Gulf War.
Yeo, Gordon Arthur
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   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Yeo, Gordon Arthur

He was Front Gunner on Lancaster ED887 AJ-A of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. As part of the first wave, the aircraft successfully dropped its Upkeep mine and began the breach in the Mohne dam. Over the Dutch coast on the return leg, the aircraft was shot down with no survivors.
Young, Henry Melvin
Click the name above to see a profile of Young, Henry Melvin

   Died : 17 / 5 / 1943
Young, Henry Melvin

He was Pilot on Lancaster ED887 AJ-A of No.617 Sqn on the Dambusters raid of 16th - 17th May 1943. As part of the first wave, the aircraft successfully dropped its Upkeep mine and began the breach in the Mohne dam. Over the Dutch coast on the return leg, the aircraft was shot down with no survivors.



Squadrons :
No.617 Sqn RAF
Pilots or Aircrew :
Joseph Charles McCarthy
William Radcliffe
Donald Arthur MacLean
Leonard Eaton
Ronald Batson
David Rodger
George Leonard Johnson
Historical Notes :
xx-05-1943 - Joined No.617 Sqn with code AJ-T, with code AJ-E from June 1943.
16-05-1943 - Took part in the Dambuster raid and was the only aircraft of the second wave to reach the dams, attacking the Sorpe dam but failing to breach it. Returned safely. Crew : Flight Lieutenant Joseph Charles McCarthy (Pilot), Sergeant William Radcliffe (Flight Engineer), Flying Officer Donald Arthur MacLean (Navigator), Flight Sergeant Leonard Eaton (Wireless Operator), Sergeant George Leonard Johnson (Bomb Aimer), Sergeant Ronald Batson (Front Gunner), Flying Officer David Rodger (Rear Gunner).
10-12-1943 - Shot down and crashed in France.
Squadrons :
No.617 Sqn RAF
Pilots or Aircrew :
William Astell
John Kinnear
Floyd Alkwin Wile
Abram Garshowitz
Donald Hopkinson
Francis Antony Garbas
Richard Bolitho
Historical Notes :
16-05-1943 - Took part in the Dambusters Raid. Destroyed after hitting pylon / power cables en route to the target. All crew were killed. Crew : Flight Lieutenant William Astell (Pilot), Sergeant John Kinnear (Flight Engineer), Pilot Officer Floyd Alkwin Wile (Navigator), Warrant Officer Abram Garshowitz (Wireless Operator), Flying Officer Donald Hopkinson (Bomb Aimer), Flight Sergeant Francis Antony Garbas (Front Gunner), Sergeant Richard Bolitho (Rear Gunner).
Squadrons :
No.617 Sqn RAF
Pilots or Aircrew :
Lewis Johnstone Burpee
Guy Pegler
Thomas Jaye
Leonard George Weller
James Lamb Arthur
William Charles Arthur Long
Joseph Gordon Brady
Historical Notes :
19-04-1943 - Joined No.617 Sqn with code AJ-S.
16-05-1943 - Took part in the Dambusters Raid. Part of the third wae, but did not reach target. Shot down over Gilze-Rijen airfield in Holland. None of the crew survived. Crew : Pilot Officer Lewis Johnstone Burpee (Pilot), Sergeant Guy Pegler (Flight Engineer), Sergeant Thomas Jaye (Navigator), Pilot Officer Leonard George Weller (Wireless Operator), Flight Sergeant James Lamb Arthur (Bomb Aimer), Sergeant William Charles Arthur Long (Front Gunner), Warrant Officer Joseph Gordon Brady (Rear Gunner).
Squadrons :
No.617 Sqn RAF
Pilots or Aircrew :
William Clifford Townsend
Dennis John Dean Powell
Cecil Lancelot Howard
George Alexander Chalmers
Charles Ernest Franklin
Douglas Edward Webb
Raymond Wilkinson
Historical Notes :
23-04-1943 - Joined No.617 Sqn with code AJ-O.
16-05-1943 - Took part in the Dambusters Raid, dropping a mine on the Ennepe dam, but it failed to destroy it. The aircraft returned to base safely. Crew : Flight Sergeant William Clifford Townsend (Pilot), Sergeant Dennis John Dean Powell (Flight Engineer), Pilot Officer Cecil Lancelot Howard (Navigator), Flight Sergeant George Alexander Chalmers (Wireless Operator), Sergeant Charles Ernest Franklin (Bomb Aimer), Sergeant Douglas Edward Webb (Front Gunner), Sergeant Raymond Wilkinson (Rear Gunner).
10-12-1943 - Failed to return from a special operations mission, crashed near Terramesnil.
Squadrons :
No.617 Sqn RAF
Pilots or Aircrew :
Henry Melvin Young
David Taylor Horsfall
Charles Walpole Roberts
Lawrence William Nichols
Vincent Sandford MacCausland
Gordon Arthur Yeo
Wilfred Ibbotson
Historical Notes :
17-04-1943 - Joined No.617 Sqn with code AJ-A.
16-05-1943 - Took part in the Dambusters raid as part of the first wave. Successfully dropped Upkeep mine and began the breach in the Mohne Dam. Shot down over the Dutch coast returning from the raid, with no survivors. Crew : Squadron Leader Henry Melvin Young (Pilot), Sergeant David Taylor Horsfall (Flight Engineer), Flight Sergeant Charles Walpole Roberts (Navigator), Sergeant Lawrence William Nichols (Wireless Operator), Flying Officer Vincent Sandford MacCausland (Bomb Aimer), Sergeant Gordon Arthur Yeo (Front Gunner), Sergeant Wilfred Ibbotson (Rear Gunner).
Squadrons :
No.617 Sqn RAF
No.61 Sqn RAF
Pilots or Aircrew :
David John Maltby
William Hatton
Vivian Nicholson
Anthony Joseph Stone
John Fort
Victor Hill
Harold Thomas Simmonds
Historical Notes :
23-04-1943 - Joined No.617 Sqn with code AJ-J.
16-05-1943 - Took part in the Dambusters raid as part of the first wave. Successfully breached the Mohne dam and returned home safely. Crew : Flight Lieutenant David John Maltby (Pilot), Sergeant William Hatton (Flight Engineer), Sergeant Vivian Nicholson (Navigator), Sergeant Anthony Joseph Stone (Wireless Operator), Pilot Officer John Fort (Bomb Aimer), Sergeant Victor Hill (Front Gunner), Sergeant Harold Thomas Simmonds (Rear Gunner).
xx-08-1946 - Joined No.61 Sqn with code YF-A.
29-07-1947 - Scrapped.
Squadrons :
No.617 Sqn RAF
No.61 Sqn RAF
Pilots or Aircrew :
Harold Brownlow Morgan Mick Martin
Ivan Whittaker
Jack Frederick Leggo
Leonard Chambers
Robert Claude Hay
Bertie Towner Foxlee
Thomas Drayton Simpson
Historical Notes :
30-04-1943 - Joined No.617 Sqn with code AJ-P.
16-05-1943 - Took part in the Dambusters raid. Successfully dropped mine which veered left after dropping and exploded at side of Mohne dam. The aircraft returned home safely. Crew : Flight Lieutenant Harold Bronlow Morgan Martin (Pilot), Pilot Officer Ivan Whittaker (Flight Engineer), Flight Lieutenant Jack Frederick Leggo (Navigator), Flying Officer Leonard Chambers (Wireless Operator), Flight Lieutenant Robert Claude Hay (Bomb Aimer), Pilot Officer Bertie Towner Foxlee (Front Gunner), Flight Sergeant Thomas Drayton Simpson (Rear Gunner).
xx-08-1946 - Joined No.61 Sqn with code YF-B.
29-07-1947 - Scrapped.
Squadrons :
No.617 Sqn RAF
Pilots or Aircrew :
Warner H T Ottley
Ronald Marsden
Jack Kenneth Barrett
Jack Guterman
Thomas Barr Johnston
Harry John Strange
Frank Tees
Historical Notes :
28-04-1943 - Joined No.617 Sqn with code AJ-C.
16-05-1943 - Took part in the Dambusters Raid. The aircraft was damaged by flak and crashed near Hamm. All the crew bar the rear gunner were killed, after he had two remarkable escapes - first, he had swapped positions with the front gunner prior to take off, and second he had been separated from the fireball of the crashed Lancaster when his turret sheared off in the initial crash. Crew : Pilot Officer Warner H T Ottley (Pilot), Sergeant Ronald Marsden (Flight Engineer), Flying Officer Jack Kenneth Barrett (Navigator), Sergeant Jack Guterman (Wireless Operator), Flight Sergeant Thomas Barr Johnston (Bomb Aimer), Sergeant Harry John Strange (Front Gunner), Sergeant Frank Tees (Rear Gunner).
Squadrons :
No.617 Sqn RAF
Pilots or Aircrew :
Leslie Gordon Knight
Raymond Ernest Grayston
Harold Sidney Hobday
Robert George Thomas Kellow
Edward Cuthbert Johnson
Frederick E Sutherland
Harry O'Brien
Historical Notes :
03-05-1943 - Joined No.617 Sqn with code AJ-N.
16-05-1943 - 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).
26-09-1946 - Scrapped.
Squadrons :
No.617 Sqn RAF
Pilots or Aircrew :
Kenneth William Brown
Harry Basil Feneron
Dudley Percy Heal
Harry J Hewstone
Stefan Oancia
Daniel Allatson
Grant S MacDonald
T V O'Shaughnessy
A D Holding
G A Kendrick
A Ward
Historical Notes :
30-04-1943 - Joined No.617 Sqn with code AJ-F.
16-05-1943 - Took part in the Dambusters Raid. Part of the third wave, the aircraft dropped its mine on the Sorpe dam, but the dam held firm. The gunners had shot up a train en route to the target. The aircraft returned to base safely. Crew : Flight Sergeant Kenneth William Brown (Pilot), Sergeant Harry Basil Feneron (Flight Engineer), Sergeant Dudley Percy Heal (Navigator), Sergeant Harry J Hewstone (Wireless Operator), Sergeant Stefan Oancia (Bomb Aimer), Sergeant Daniel Allatson (Front Gunner), Flight Sergeant Grant S MacDonald (Rear Gunner).
20-01-1944 - Crashed on a training flight. Flight Lieutenant T V O'Shuaghnessy killed, Flying Officer A D Holding killed, Flying Officer G A Kendrick injured, Flying Officer A Ward injured.
Squadrons :
No.617 Sqn RAF
Pilots or Aircrew :
John Leslie Munro
Frank Ernest Appleby
Grant Rumbles
Percy Edgar Pigeon
James Henry Clay
William Howarth
Harvey Alexander Weeks
Historical Notes :
30-04-1943 - Joined No.617 Sqn with code AJ-W.
16-05-1943 - Took part in the Dambusters raid as part of the second wave. The aircraft was damaged by flak after crossing the Dutch coast on the outward journey, suffered electrical failure and was forced to turn back, returning safely. Crew : Flight Lieutenant John Leslie Munro (Pilot), Sergeant Frank Ernest Appleby (Flight Engineer), Flying Officer Grant Rumbles (Navigator), Flying Officer Percy Edgar Pigeon (Wireless Operator), Sergeant James Henry Clay (Bomb Aimer), Sergeant William Howarth (Front Gunner), Flight Sergeant Harvey Alexander Weeks (Rear Gunner).
26-09-1946 - Scrapped.
Squadrons :
No.617 Sqn RAF
Pilots or Aircrew :
Cyril Thorpe Anderson
Robert Campbell Patterson
John Percival Nugent
William Douglas Bickle
John Gilbert Green
Eric Ewan
Arthur William Buck
Historical Notes :
30-04-1943 - Joined No.617 Sqn with code AJ-Y.
16-05-1943 - Took part in the Dambusters raid. Attempts to find targets thwarted by navigation and weather issues. Returned safely with mine still in place. Crew : Flight Sergeant Cyril Thorpe Anderson (Pilot), Sergeant Robert Campbell Patterson (Flight Engineer), Sergeant John Percival Nugent (Navigator), Sergeant William Douglas Bickle (Wireless Operator), Sergeant John Gilbert Green (Bomb Aimer), Sergeant Eric Ewan (Front Gunner), Sergeant Arthur William Buck (Rear Gunner).
26-09-1946 - Scrapped.
Squadrons :
No.617 Sqn RAF
Pilots or Aircrew :
John Vere Hopgood
Charles Brennan
Ken Earnshaw
John W Minchin
James W Fraser
George Henry Ford Goodwin Gregory
Anthony Fisher Burcher
Historical Notes :
17-05-1943 - Took part in the Dambusters raid. Dropped bomb late and it went over the Mohne dam, exploding beyond it. The aircraft was hit by flak and crashed not far from the target. Flight Lieutenant J V Hopgood DFC* killed, Sergeant C Brennan killed, Flying Officer K Earnshaw killed, Sergeant J W Minchin killed, Flight Sergeant J W Fraser taken prisoner, Pilot Officer G H F G Gregory DFM killed, Pilot Officer A F Burcher DFM taken prisoner.
Squadrons :
No.617 Sqn RAF
Pilots or Aircrew :
Robert Norman George Barlow
Samuel Leslie Whillis
Phillip Sidney Burgess
Charles Rowland Williams
Alan Gillespie
Harvey Stirling Glinz
Jack Robert George Liddell
Historical Notes :
03-05-1943 - Joined No.617 Sqn with code AJ-E.
16-05-1943 - Took part in the Dambusters Raid as part of the second wave. Reportedly hit power cables and crashed with no survivors. Crew : Flight Lieutenant Robert Norman George Barlow (Pilot), Pilot Officer Samuel Leslie Whillis (Flight Engineer), Flying Officer Phillip Sidney Burgess (Navigator), Flying Officer Charles Rowland Williams (Wireless Operator), Pilot Officer Alan Gillespie (Bomb Aimer), Flying Officer Harvey Stirling Glinz (Front Gunner), Sergeant Jack Robert George Liddell (Rear Gunner).
Squadrons :
No.617 Sqn RAF
Pilots or Aircrew :
David John Shannon
Robert Jack Henderson
Daniel Revie Walker
Brian Goodale
Leonard Joseph Sumpter
Brian Jagger
Jack Buckley
Historical Notes :
30-04-1943 - Joined No.617 Sqn with code AJ-L.
16-05-1943 - Took part in the Dambusters raid as part of the first wave. After several attempts, successfully dropped mine on Eder dam, but failed to cause a breach. Returned to base safely. Crew : Flight Lieutenant David John Shannon (Pilot), Sergeant Robert Jack Henderson (Flight Engineer), Flying Officer Daniel Revie Walker (Navigator), Flying Officer Brian Goodale (Wireless Operator), Flight Sergeant Leonard Joseph Sumpter (Bomb Aimer), Sergeant Brian Jagger (Front Gunner), Flying Officer Jack Buckley (Rear Gunner).
07-10-1946 - Scrapped.
Squadrons :
No.617 Sqn RAF
No.61 Sqn RAF
Pilots or Aircrew :
Guy Penrose Gibson
J Pulford
H T Taerum
R E G Hutchison
F M Spafford
G A Deering
R D Trevor-Roper
Historical Notes :
30-04-1943 - Joined No.617 Sqn with code AJ-G.
17-05-1943 - Took part in the Dambusters Raid. Captained by Wing Commander Guy Gibson, leader of the raid. Crewed by Sergeant J Pulford (Flight Engineer), Pilot Officer H T Taerum (Navigator), Flight Lieutenant R E G Hutchison DFC (Wireless Operator), Pilot Officer F M Spafford DFM (Bomb Aimer), Flight Sergeant G A Deering (Front Gunner), Flight Lieutenant R D Trevor-Roper DFM (Rear Gunner).
xx-08-1946 - Joined No.61 Sqn with code YF-C.
08-11-1946 - Damaged in take off accident and subsequently sent for scrapping.
Squadrons :
No.617 Sqn RAF
Pilots or Aircrew :
Vernon William Byers
Alistair James Taylor
James Herbert Warner
John Wilkinson
Arthur Neville Whittaker
Charles McAllister Jarvie
James McDowell
Historical Notes :
03-05-1943 - Joined No.617 Sqn with code AJ-K.
16-05-1943 - Took part in the Dambusters Raid. Shot down by flak off the island of Texel before reaching the Dutch coast. All crew were killed : Pilot Officer Vernon William Byers (Pilot), Sergeant Alistair James Taylor (Flight Engineer), Flying Officer James Herbert Warner (Navigator), Sergeant John Wilkinson (Wireless Operator), Pilot Officer Arthur Neville Whittaker (Bomb Aimer), Sergeant Charles McAllister Jarvie (Fornt Gunner), Flight Sergeant James McDowell (Rear Gunner).
Squadrons :
No.617 Sqn RAF
Pilots or Aircrew :
Geoffrey Rice
Richard MacFarlane
John William Thrasher
Edward Clarence Smith
Chester Bruce Gowrie
Thomas W Maynard
Stephen Burns
Historical Notes :
12-05-1943 - Joined No.617 Sqn
16-05-1943 - Took part in the Dambusters raid. Hit sea while flying at low level, lost Upkeep mine, scooped up seawater and very nearly crashed. As the aircraft climbed away from the water to return to base, the rear turret and gunner were almost swept away by the water. Aborted mission and returned to base. Crew : Pilot Officer Geoffrey Rice (Pilot), Sergeant Edward Clarence Smith (Flight Engineer), Flying Officer Richard MacFarlane (Navigator), Warrant Officer Chester Bruce Gowrie (Wireless Operator), Warrant Officer John William Thrasher (Bomb Aimer), Sergeant Thomas W Maynard (Front Gunner), Sergeant Stephen Burns (Rear Gunner).
29-07-1947 - Scrapped.
Squadrons :
No.617 Sqn RAF
Pilots or Aircrew :
Henry Eric Maudslay
John Marriott
Robert Alexander Urquhart
Allen Preston Cottam
Michael John David Fuller
William John Tytherleigh
Norman Rupert Burrows
Historical Notes :
14-05-1943 - Joined No.617 Sqn with code AJ-Z.
16-05-1943 - Took part in the Dambusters raid as part of the first wave. Released bomb at the Eder dam, but the bomb bounced over the dam and exploded on the other side, damaging the aircraft. Shot down by flak over Emmerich on the return journey from the dams, with no survivors. Crew : Squadron Leader Henry Eric Maudslay (Pilot), Sergeant John Marriott (Flight Engineer), Flying Officer Robert Alexander Urquhart (Navigator), Warrant Officer Allan Preston Cottam (Wireless Operator), Pilot Officer Michael John David Fuller (Bomb Aimer), Flying Officer William John Tytherleigh (Front Gunner), Sergeant Norman Rupert Burrows (Rear Gunner).



Known Individual Aircraft of No.617 Sqn RAF :

Type

Serial

Codes

First Flew

Squadron History

Aircrew History

History Notes

Engine

Factory

Lancaster

ED825

AJ-T

-

details

details

details

Lancaster

ED864

AJ-B

-

details

details

details

Lancaster

ED865

AJ-S

-

details

details

details

Lancaster

ED886

AJ-O

-

details

details

details

Lancaster

ED887

AJ-A

-

details

details

details

Lancaster

ED906

AJ-J
YF-A

-

details

details

details

Lancaster

ED909

AJ-P
YF-B

-

details

details

details

Lancaster

ED910

AJ-C

-

details

details

details

Lancaster

ED912

AJ-N

-

details

details

details

Lancaster

ED918

AJ-F

-

details

details

details

Lancaster

ED921

AJ-W

-

details

details

details

Lancaster

ED924

AJ-Y

-

details

details

details

Lancaster

ED925

AJ-M

-

details

details

details

Lancaster

ED927

AJ-E

-

details

details

details

Lancaster

ED929

AJ-L

-

details

details

details

Lancaster

ED932

AJ-G
YF-C

-

details

details

details

Lancaster

ED934

AJ-K

-

details

details

details

Lancaster

ED936

AJ-H

-

details

details

details

Lancaster

ED937

AJ-Z

-

details

details

details

Aircraft for : No.617 Sqn RAF
A list of all aircraft associated with No.617 Sqn RAF. A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.
AircraftInfo

Lancaster



Click the name above to see prints featuring Lancaster aircraft.

Manufacturer : Avro
Production Began : 1942
Retired : 1963
Number Built : 7377

Lancaster

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.

Lincoln

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Manufacturer : Avro
Production Began : 1945
Retired : 1967
Number Built : 624

Lincoln

he first RAF Lincolns joined No. 57 Squadron at East Kirby in 1945. No. 75 (New Zealand) Squadron RAF began re-equipping with Lincolns at RAF Spilsby during August 1945. However, 75 (NZ) Sqn received just three aircraft before VJ Day. In the postwar Royal Air Force, the Lincoln equipped many bomber squadrons. Nearly 600 Lincolns were built to equip 29 RAF squadrons, mainly based in the United Kingdom. They were partially replaced by 88 Boeing Washingtons, on loan from the USAF, which had longer range and could reach targets inside the Iron Curtain. Small numbers remained in use with Nos 7, 83 and 97 Squadrons until the end of 1955, when they were replaced by the first of the V bombers. RAF Lincolns were used in combat during the 1950s, in Kenya against the Mau-Mau, operating from Eastleigh, and also served in Malaya during the Malayan Emergency, against insurgents aligned to the Malayan Communist Party. In Malaya, Lincolns operated from Changi and Tengah, More than 3,000 sorties were flown during their  7 1⁄2-year deployment, with half a million pounds of bombs dropped. This equated to 85% of the bomb tonnage dropped during the Malayan emergency. On 12 March 1953, a RAF Lincoln (RF531 "C") of Central Gunnery School was shot down 20 mi (32 km) NE of Lüneburg, Germany by several Soviet MiG-15s as it flew to Berlin on a radar reconnaissance flight, resulting in the deaths of the seven crew members. In November 1955, four Lincolns of No. 7 Squadron RAF were detached for duties in British territories in the Middle East. In Bahrain, they carried out border patrols of the then Trucial States. When 7 Sqn was disbanded in December 1955, the four detached crews and aircraft became No. 1426 Flight RAF, officially a photographic reconnaissance unit. It was later sent to Aden, carrying out patrols in the lead up to the Aden Emergency. As the RAF Lincolns became unserviceable due to wear and tear, they were replaced by jet aircraft. The Lincolns of Bomber Command were phased out from the mid-1950s and were completely replaced by jet bombers by 1963. The last Lincolns in RAF service were five operated by No. 151 Squadron, Signals Command, at RAF Watton, Norfolk, which were retired on 12 March 1963. From late 1946, Australian-built Lincolns were phased into No. 82 Wing RAAF at RAAF Amberley, replacing the Consolidated Liberators operated by 12, 21 and 23 Squadrons. In February 1948, these units were renumbered 1, 2 and 6 Squadrons respectively; a fourth RAAF Lincoln squadron, No. 10 was formed on 17 March 1949 at RAAF Townsville as a reconnaissance unit. RAAF Lincolns took part in operations in Malaya in the 1950s, operating alongside RAF examples. The RAAF based the B.Mk 30s of No.1 Squadron at Tengah, for the duration of operations in Malaya. The RAAF Lincolns were retired in 1961, with the MR.Mk 31s of No. 10 Squadron being the final variant to see service in Australia.

Mosquito



Click the name above to see prints featuring Mosquito aircraft.

Manufacturer : De Havilland
Production Began : 1940
Retired : 1955
Number Built : 7781

Mosquito

Used as a night fighter, fighter bomber, bomber and Photo-reconnaissance, with a crew of two, Maximum speed was 425 mph, at 30,300 feet, 380mph at 17,000ft. and a ceiling of 36,000feet, maximum range 3,500 miles. the Mosquito was armed with four 20mm Hospano cannon in belly and four .303 inch browning machine guns in nose. Coastal strike aircraft had eight 3-inch Rockets under the wings, and one 57mm shell gun in belly. The Mossie at it was known made its first flight on 25th November 1940, and the mosquito made its first operational flight for the Royal Air Force as a reconnaissance unit based at Benson. In early 1942, a modified version (mark II) operated as a night fighter with 157 and 23 squadron's. In April 1943 the first De Haviland Mosquito saw service in the Far east and in 1944 The Mosquito was used at Coastal Command in its strike wings. Bomber Commands offensive against Germany saw many Mosquitos, used as photo Reconnaissance aircraft, Fighter Escorts, and Path Finders. The Mosquito stayed in service with the Royal Air Force until 1955. and a total of 7781 mosquito's were built.




Last edited : 11:13, May 30, 2013
Last editor : kc
Latest No.617 Sqn RAF Artwork Releases !
 Lancasters of No.s IX and No.617 Squadrons en route from Russia to Kaa Fjord, Norway, to attack the battleship Tirpitz on 15th September 1944.

Target Tirpitz by Keith Aspinall.
 The Avro Lancaster B MkIII ED932(G), AJ-G, of Wing Commander Guy Gibson was the first aircraft to make an attempt at breaching the Möhne Dam on the night of 16/17th of May 1943 as Operation Chastise got underway.  Having already made one 'sighting' run over the target, Gibson turned and began his second run, the flak and 20mm fire from the shore and from the towers of the dam now throwing up a hail of fire. Undeterred, the Upkeep mine was released, skipping across the water as planned, but striking the dam wall off centre with no visible effect. Gibson made several passes over the Möhne, each time escorting the attacking aircraft in an attempt to draw the enemy fire.  With the Möhne finally breached, he led the remaining aircraft on to the Eder dam with similar success before returning safely to Manston.

First Strike by Ivan Berryman. (PC)
Having arrived at the Eder dam, following the successful breaching of the Mohne on the night of 16th/17th May 1943, Wing Commander Guy Gibson put Flight Lieutenant D J Shannon, flying ED929G, to the task of making the first attack, but he had great difficulty achieving the correct height and approach and had to make a number of abortive runs before finally releasing his Upkeep bomb. AJ-L is shown here making his penultimate pass over the Eder wall, his mine still attached. This dam was eventually breached by Pilot Officer Les Knight, flying ED912(G) whose perfectly placed mine caused a massive breach in the south end of the dam.

Not This Time by Ivan Berryman. (PC)
 Amid a hail of defensive fire, Flt Lt D J H Maltby holds Lancaster ED906/G AJ-J steady for his bomb aimer John Fort to perfectly choose his moment to release the Upkeep Bomb that would ultimately breach and destroy the Mohne Dam during the famous Dambuster raids on the Ruhr on the night of 16th / 17th May 1943.

The One That Broke The Dam by Ivan Berryman. (PC)

No.617 Sqn RAF Artwork



Moonlight Run (Dambusters) by Ivan Berryman.


The Night They Broke the Dams - Operation Chastise by Ivan Berryman.


The Dambusters by Ivan Berryman.


The One That Broke The Dam by Ivan Berryman.


O Safe Home by Ivan Berryman.


Moment of Truth by Ivan Berryman. (P)


The Hardest Task by Ivan Berryman. (P)


No Way Back by Ivan Berryman.


Determined to the Last by Ivan Berryman. (GS)


Attack on the Sorpe by Ivan Berryman.


A Wing and a Prayer by Ivan Berryman.


Tragedy at the Eder by Ivan Berryman.


A Lucky Escape by Ivan Berryman.


Tragedy Above Hamm by Ivan Berryman.


Not This Time by Ivan Berryman.


Unmissable Chance by Ivan Berryman.


617 Squadron Outbound to the Ruhr by Ivan Berryman.


Undetected by Ivan Berryman.


Bombing Up by Ivan Berryman.


The Horror and the Glory by Ivan Berryman.


First Strike by Ivan Berryman.

Goner 78A - The Dambusters Raid by Tim Fisher.

Target Y The Eder Dam Raid, The Ruhr Valley, 17th May 1942 by David Pentland.


Gibson VC by Graeme Lothian.


The Dambusters by Graeme Lothian.


The Dambusters by Simon Smith.

Gibson by Robert Tomlin.


Third Time Lucky by Ivan Berryman.


Operation Chastise - The Night They Broke the Dams by Ivan Berryman.

Operation Chastise - The Dambusters by Philip West.

Every Second Counts - The Dambusters by Philip West.


En-Route by Anthony Saunders.


Dambusters by Anthony Saunders.


Well on the Way to Make History - the Dambusters by David Pentland.


GONER 58A - Mohne Dam, Germany, 17th May 1943 by David Pentland.

Inbound to Target - The Dambusters by Robert Taylor.


Dambusters - The First Wave by Ivan Berryman.


Dambusters - Moment of Truth by Ivan Berryman.


The Dambusters by Gerald Coulson.


Bravest of the Brave by Ivan Berryman.


Attack on the Sorpe by Ivan Berryman.


Raining Fire by Ivan Berryman.


The Eder Breaks by Ivan Berryman.


Sinking the Tirpitz by Nicolas Trudgian.


Bomber Force by Nicolas Trudgian.


Primary Target by Philip West.


Homeward Bound by Nicolas Trudgian.

Welcome Home by Stephen Brown.

Eye of the Storm - The Dambusters by Philip West.

Target Bearing 270 by Robert Taylor.

Legends of the Air by Philip West.

Primary Target by Philip West - Original Sketch. (P)


Breaching the Eder by Simon Smith.


Dambusters Outward Bound by Simon Smith.


Summer Harvest by Gerald Coulson.

Dambusters - The Impossible Mission by Robert Taylor.


Dambusters - The Morning After by Gerald Coulson.

Night of Heroes - The Dambusters by Philip West.

Enemy Coast Ahead - The Dambusters by Philip West.


Breaching the Dams by Nicolas Trudgian.

Dambusters - Breaching the Eder Dam by Robert Taylor.


Enemy Coast Ahead by Simon Atack.

Low Pass Over the Möhne Dam by Anthony Saunders.


The Dambusters by Ivan Berryman.


Bomb Away! The Third Assault by Robert Taylor.


Into Attack by Gerald Coulson.


Operation Chastise by John Young.


Doors Closed by Mark Postlethwaite.


Final Briefing by Anthony Saunders.


The Breach by Anthony Saunders.

The Dambusters - Last Moments of the Möhne Dam by Robert Taylor.

On Course for the Möhne Dam by Richard Taylor.


Pathway to the Ruhr by Anthony Saunders.

The Dambusters - Three Good Bounces by Robert Taylor.

Dambusters, May 1943 by Peter Read.

The Legend Lives On by A Bramham.


Now They Know We Are Here! by P E Holland.


Tractor Girl by David Pentland.


Topping Up by David Pentland.


Dam Defenders by David Pentland.


Tribute to the 617 Sqn Dambusters Crew of Lancaster AJ-N by David Pentland.


Tribute to the 617 Sqn Dambusters Crew of Lancaster AJ-L by David Pentland.


Tribute to the 617 Sqn Dambusters Crew of Lancaster AJ-G by David Pentland.


Tribute to the 617 Sqn Dambusters Crew of Lancaster AJ-P by David Pentland.


Tribute to the 617 Sqn Dambusters Crew of Lancaster AJ-M by David Pentland.


Tribute to the 617 Sqn Dambusters Crew of Lancaster AJ-A by David Pentland.


The Secret Weapon by David Pentland.


A Lincolnshire Sunset 1944 by Gerald Coulson.

High Speed Intrusion by Gerald Coulson.


Spirit of 617 Squadron by Michael Turner.


Dambusters over the Mohne by Ivan Berryman.


Gibson Over the Mohne by Keith Aspinall.


Tallboy Raid by Keith Aspinall.


Tonight We Make History by Keith Aspinall.


Target Tirpitz by Keith Aspinall.


Operation Chastise - The Dambuster Raid by Barry Price.


The Sinking of the Tirpitz by Frank Wootton.


Operation Chastise by Tony Sargeant.

Dambusters by Robert Taylor.

Operation Chastise by Robert Taylor.


Dam Busters Setting Off by Simon Atack.

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