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Cyclists' tribute to Dambusters mission

This May a group of cyclists will echo the journey taken by 19 Lancasters 75 years ago when they set off the Dambusters raid.

April Fools Club members

The group will embark on their 313-mile trip on the exact date the 133 airmen left RAF Scampton to bomb three dams in Germany's industrial heartland. The mission, now immortalised in Michael Anderson's famous film starring Richard Todd, disrupted the Nazi's war effort but at great cost, on both sides.

The cyclists will form teams of seven to replicate the number of men needed to crew a Lancaster and will take just four days to complete the challenge, supporting the RAF Benevolent Fund as they do so, cycling from Newark to the Mohne Dam in Germany.

The ride has been organised by the April Fools Club, a group of former and serving RAF personnel and businessmen who have an interest in the RAF and aviation. The ride forms part of the club's pledge to raise £400,000 for the Fund to mark the 75th anniversary of the Dambusters. Fundraising kicked off last year with a dinner at the Plaisterer's Hall netting £100,000 for the charity. Read more about the dinner on our website.

Graeme Shankland, from the April Fools Club, said: "The proceeds from the ride and from the other events will be directed to extending and improving the facilities at Princess Marina House in Rustington, West Sussex, which provides respite care for former and serving RAF personnel.

"The April Fools Club continues the RAF's proud tradition of looking after its own, supporting the incredible work of the RAF Benevolent Fund in being there for all of the RAF Family, in their hour of need."

There are still spaces available on this incredible fundraising ride, if you would like to take part. Visit the Dambusters 75 website to find out more about how you can get involved.

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