Speaking in a recent exclusive interview with the RAF Benevolent Fund, pilot Les Munro, who flew in the Dambusters raid of 16 and 17 May 1943, told us how the Lancaster he was flying was hit by flak as he reached the Dutch coast.
"I can always remember to this day seeing the breakers ahead of me and realising that I would have to gain a little height to clear the sand dunes, which I did. I had passed the crest of the dunes and was just starting to lose a bit of height on the other side when this line of tracer appeared on the port bow and one shell hit me."
Fortunately Les was still able to fly the plane. He says, "The shell hit midway between the engine and the rear gunner."
Had the shell hit anywhere else, the effect would have been a lot more serious. However one effect that the shell did cause was failure to the Lancaster's communication systems and the crew collectively decided to turn back to base.