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Dambusters

  • Mary Stopes Roe
    Was the Dambusters raid a success?

    In an exclusive interview with Mary Stopes Roe, daughter of bouncing bomb inventor Barnes Wallis, we asked her for her thoughts on whether the Dambusters raid was a success.

  • WWII Lancaster aircraft
    "Powerful waves shone out silver in the moonlight"

    Although significant losses were sustained by 617 Squadron on the Dambusters raid of 16 and 17 May 1943, the damage that the Lancasters inflicted on their targets was also great. A number of German civilians gave their accounts of what unfolded in the minutes and hours after the raid.

  • Lancaster Bomber
    Melvin 'Dinghy' Young: failed to return

    Squadron Leader Melvin Young acquired the nickname 'Dinghy' after ditching in the sea twice and surviving both times in an inflatable dinghy.

  • Lancaster Bomber
    The Prisoners of War

    Fifty-six men from 617 Squadron who carried out the Dambusters raid on 16 and 17 May 1943 failed to return and all were presumed dead. Three, however, managed to make miraculous escapes and were subsequently taken prisoner.

  • 617 Squadron
    My very own piece of Dambuster's history

    This month marks 75 years since 133 airmen, led by Wing Commander Guy Gibson, took part in the Dambusters raid. Fifty-three of those brave men made the ultimate sacrifice. As part of the Fund's commemorations, we hear from Sergeant Alfie Garnett, who inherited his very own piece of Dambusters history.

  • Robert Urquhart
    Robert Urqhuart: failed to return

    Canadian Flying Officer Robert Urqhuart was the navigator for Squadron Leader Henry Maudslay's Lancaster on the night of Operation Chastise, the Dambusters raid of May 16/17, 1943.

  • A Lancaster
    The Third Wave

    The third and final wave of the five aircraft attack as part of the Dambusters raid set off after midnight. They were used as a reserve force that would be directed to targets where the earlier waves had failed to achieve their objective.

  • Johnny Johnson
    "There were so many empty chairs it just wasn't true"

    Of the 19 aircraft that took off on the night of 16 May 1943 for Operation Chastise, eight were shot down or crashed and tragically 53 of the 133 aircrew were killed. The returning crew were hailed as heroes but the losses were heavily felt.

  • Johnny Johnson
    "There was water everywhere – it went up to about 1,000 feet"

    Of the five aircraft sent to breach the Sorpe dam on 17 May 1943 during the Dambusters raid, only two reached their target. Despite bomb aimer Johnny Johnson's deadly accuracy, the bomb failed to breach the dam.

  • Johnny Johnson
    "Won't somebody get that bomb out of here?"

    Squadron Leader George 'Johnny' Johnson, MBE, DFM, served in the Royal Air Force for 22 years. During a distinguished career that took him all over the world, Johnny was selected to be part of the elite 617 Squadron or 'the Dambusters' as they famously became known.

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