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Dambusters

  • Johnny Johnson
    "The Germans had a perfect copy of the bomb"

    Johnny Johnson, a bomb aimer on the Dambusters raid of 16 and 17 May 1943, tells us about the one complete bouncing bomb that got into the hands of the Germans.

  • Johnny Johnson
    "Your parachute, Sir!"

    In an exclusive interview with Dambusters veteran Johnny Johnson, he tells us the story of an accidentally deployed parachute and a misplaced compass card which caused Flight Commander Joe McCarthy to almost lose his nerve over.

  • Bomber Command Memorial
    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.

  • Barnes Wallis
    "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.

  • Lancaster bomber
    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.

  • Upkeep diagram
    Heroes with hammers

    There was a period of just two months between approval being given in March 1943 and the actual Dambusters raid on May 16/17, 1943.

  • Bouncing bomb under a Lancaster
    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.

  • Aerial view of a dam
    When the two base pins were in line you dropped your bomb

    Johnny Johnson, Dambusters veteran, explains what his bomb-drop training for the raid entailed.

  • Barnes Wallis
    He wanted to get his hands dirty

    Mary Stopes-Roe, daughter of bouncing bomb inventor, Barnes Wallis, tells the story of Wallis’s eagerness to become an engineer at a young age.

  • Daily Mirror headline
    Torrent rages along Ruhr

    On May 18, 1943, the Daily Mirror reported that "hundreds of square miles of devastation have spread through the Ruhr, Germany's most vital and most densely-populated industrial area".

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