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Dambusters

  • Barnes Wallis and the Christ's Hospital bursary fund

    Mary, the daughter of Barnes Wallis, the inventor of the bouncing bomb, tells the story of how her father created a bursary for the children of RAF personnel killed in service.

  • 617 Squadron takes shape

    Wing Commander Guy Gibson faced the immense logistical task of forming a new squadron and getting them trained and operational in just a couple of months before the Dambusters raid.

  • King George VI visits 617 Squadron

    This archive footage records the visit of King George VI and his wife Queen Elizabeth to 617 Squadron at RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire.

  • That's a hell of a thing to ask

    Dambusters bomb-aimer, Johnny Johnson, explains the difficulties of dropping bombs at low heights and how they led to the introduction of spotlights on the aircraft.

  • My bomb-aimer's gonna get married!

    Dambusters veteran, Johnny Johnson, explains how the raid very nearly postponed his wedding – permanently!

  • Guy Gibson gets his orders

    Air Vice-Marshal Ralph Cochrane became Commander of 5 Group in Bomber Command in February 1943 and one of his first tasks was to organize the Dambusters raid.

  • Roy Chadwick and the Lancaster bomber

    Most people who know anything about the RAF in the Second World War say that "Roy Chadwick's role is greatly under-rated". He's not the household name that Barnes Wallis or Guy Gibson became, yet his contribution to the war effort in general was immense.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Flying at 100ft: "It was tremendously exhilarating"

    Johnny Johnson, bomb aimer in 617 Squadron on the Dambusters raid, describes his experience during the raid's dangerous low flying training in a recent and exclusive interview with the RAF Benevolent Fund.

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