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Dambusters

  • The First Wave

    The 19 Lancasters of 617 Squadron that set off on the night of the Dambusters raid on 16 and 17 May 1943 flew in three waves. What was called the first wave actually took off second, but it comprised the main part of the raid, with nine aircraft, including that of the Commanding Officer, Wing Commander Guy Gibson.

  • Hopgood's Courageous Run

    Artist Simon Atack's painting 'Hopgood’s Courageous Run' depicts the Lancaster piloted by Flight Lieutenant John 'Hoppy' Hopgood as he made his attack on the Möhne Dam on 16 and 17 May 1943 as part of the daring Dambusters raid.

  • Bill Astell: Failed to Return

    Flight Lieutenant William Astell was the pilot of Lancaster AJ-B for Baker that was heading for the Möhne Dam on the night of May 16, 1943, when the plane hit an electrical pylon and crashed, killing all on board.

  • "He made it absolutely perfect in the end, that's the sort of man he was"

    Johnny Johnson, the last remaining bomb aimer from the Dambuster raid gives his thoughts on the man behind the invention of the bouncing bomb, Barnes Wallis.

  • Researching the Dambusters raid

    John Sweetman is the author of the recently published book, The Dambusters Experience. Learn about his research into the history of Operation Chastise.

  • Any fool can invent something

    Mary Stopes Roe, the daughter of the inventor of the bouncing bomb, Barnes Wallis, tells of her father’s views on how an invention is meaningless without the people prepared to put it into action.

  • Vernon Byers: failed to return

    Canadian Pilot Officer Vernon Byers was the pilot of Lancaster ‘K for King’ on the night of May 16, 1943 as 617 Squadron launched its assault on the Ruhr dams.

  • The bouncing bomb just looked like a big glorified dustbin

    Dambusters veteran, Johnny Johnson, describes his first encounter with both the mission-modified aircraft and the bouncing bomb itself.

  • RAF Scampton: home of the Dambusters

    RAF Scampton, just a few miles north of Lincoln, was already the home of 57 Squadron and then became the home of 617 Squadron as they geared up for the Dambusters raid.

  • Without the Lancaster there would have been no raid

    Mary, daughter, Barnes Wallis, explains why she thinks Roy Chadwick is the unsung hero of the Dambusters operation.

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