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Operation Chastise or The Dambusters Raid . 80th Anniversary 16/17 May 1943.

Spare a thought this Tuesday evening for the 133 aircrew members of 
617 Squardron who began taking off from RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire at 21-28 destination 
The Ruhr Valley in Germany.

Three waves of bombers 19 AVRO Lancasters that had been modified to carry Barnes Wallis Bouncing bomb would leave this airfield only 11 Lancasters would return. By the following morning 8 Lancasters would have been lost resulting 
in 53 aircrew killed and another 3 taken prisoner of war.

Most people would recognize this raid as The Dambusters Raid an attack on three dams , The Mohne, Eder and Sorpe dams.
Resulting in Mohne Dam being attacked and breached and The Eder Dam attacked and collapsed. The flooding which resulted killed about 1300 people on the ground.

Operation Chastise was lead by Wing Commander Guy Gibson who would later be killed in another operation flying over Holland.

Anyone been to The Ruhr Valley dams or any of the practice sites used in England would love to hear your comments.
Some of the stories of the aircrew are very upsetting if you read them.
 
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Comments

  • I know very well the Derwent Valley dams near Sheffield which were used for practise - I lived for 7 years just the other side of the Pennines, and often took visitors there.

    I was back there some time ago in a year which was a "special" anniversary of the raid, a week or 2 before the actual date when a memorial fly-by was planned.  On the memorial day itself the valley was packed with onlookers, but for my visit I had it almost to myself.  I was walking beside the reservoirs when I heard an unmistakable throbbing engine beat, and down the valley came the Lancaster of the Memorial Flight, doing a practise run for the big day.  Unforgettable!

    I have also visited the Mohne Dam, and its resemblance to the Derwent and Howden Dams was remarkable - just a difference in the shape of the towers (square at Derwent and pyramidal at Mohne).  But what was truly uncanny was that the surrounding geography was so similar.  Not just the hills.  The visitors' carpark and visitors' centre at Derwent and Mohne were similarly placed overlooking the foot of the 2 dams, and even the nearby footpaths took similar courses.

    The loss of life, both of aircrew and on the ground, is now considered by many to be out of proportion to the military advantage gained, although it was of course a great morale-booster to the civilian population of the UK.
  • Barnes Wallis (which is who I think you mean) lived in Lewisham 1892 to 1909 while a pupil at Haberdashers' Hatcham College:

    https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2662322

    Thanks for the anniversary reminder. Fascinating story and one of the many interesting examples of Allied ingenuity.

  • Beautiful part of the country in and around Derwent Water and indeed the ideal place to practice for the raid.

    I know how you feel when you hear the sound of those engines.What a sight that plane makes.

    I was lucky enough to see it pass overhead on 4th May this year.@N01R4M
  • Thanks for your input didn’t realize he had lived in Lewisham.@Arthur-Trudgill
  • Derwent Reservoir Derbyshire, where 617 squadron practiced for Dambusters raid i.e. Operation Chastise 
  • The film has been on a lot over the past week. I noticed that they've now overdubed any reference to his dog's name and it's now trigger (or something similar). 
  • Very brave young men and women who gave it all for their country. I salute you all and thank you for your service.
  • Didn't, Barnes Wallis test the bombs off Reculver?
  • edited May 14

  • Watched Dam Busters film today. Always lifts the spirit. Great ingenuity. 
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  • The Greatest Generation.

    My heartfelt gratitude to all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom of generations to come.
  • Off_it said:

    Thats some photo, taken during the war I would have thought? Lincoln by any chance?
  • SE_7EVEN said:
    Didn't, Barnes Wallis test the bombs off Reculver?
    Indeed he did. Believe because it was easy to recover and examine the bombshells at low tide.
  • Off_it said:

    Thats some photo, taken during the war I would have thought? Lincoln by any chance?
    Yes, that's Lincoln Cathedral.
  • Trigger warning 





































  • That middle photo over the Derwent Waters is the event I missed 65th Anniversary flight?
  • @Chizz
    Where was top photo takenChizz said:






  • This was a truly golden generation, (one which my Mum and Dad were members)
    We will NEVER see the likes of again 
  • If I can talk the wife around I will try to visit one of the crashsites tomorrow evening of one of The Lancasters that did not return.
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  • @Chizz
    Where was top photo takenChizz said:






    Surprisingly, it is in a lake in northwest Canada. 

    Cambridge Professor Hugh Hunt put together a research team to recreate the Barnes Wallis work, starting with using a cricket ball bowling machine on a swimming pool and culminating in this "small"-scale recreation.  It was the subject of a C4 documentary called Dambusters: Building the Bomb.  I am not sure if it's still available, other than clips on YouTube.  Here's the one that shows the test... 

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJGY6ao-V9E&list=PLyh6iNE5khd7kDfIaopSB0Vs9F3i7qUPG&index=10 
  • SE_7EVEN said:
    Didn't, Barnes Wallis test the bombs off Reculver?
    There is a statue of Barnes Wallis in Herne Bay, just along the coast from Reculver. 
  • Sad postscript to the raids, is that Guy Gibson was later killed in action - there are a number of theories of why he crashed over Holland, and one of them is that it was a friendly fire incident i.e. shot down by his own side - the truth however will never be known
  • A Lancaster flew over Bomber Command Centre in Grantham on Saturday in commemoration. 

  • SE_7EVEN said:
    Didn't, Barnes Wallis test the bombs off Reculver?
    Was always told that as a kid when our family visited Reculver.
    On the below link is a video of the Reculver testing at 53 seconds in but no shot of the towers.

    https://www.manstonhistory.org.uk/dambuster-bouncing-bomb-tests-at-reculver-and-manston/

  • A Lancaster flew over Bomber Command Centre in Grantham on Saturday in commemoration. 

    Just the type of photo I wanted to see. This would be the same Lancaster that everyone sees in Europe as only two can fly . This one is based in Lincoinshire the other in Canada.
  • Before moving to Portugal, I used to live up the road from Woodford aerodrome in Cheshire where over 4 thousand Lancasters were assembled. If anyone interested in the history is ever in the area, the Avro Heritage Museum is well worth a visit.

    https://www.avroheritagemuseum.co.uk/woodford#:~:text=Woodford Aerodrome was Avro's main,assembly of 4,101 Lancaster bombers.


  • Sad postscript to the raids, is that Guy Gibson was later killed in action - there are a number of theories of why he crashed over Holland, and one of them is that it was a friendly fire incident i.e. shot down by his own side - the truth however will never be known
    One flight that was lost was Pilot Office Warner Ottley flight which crash in Hamm in Germany . Six of the Seven crew on board lost their life. The only surviving crew member was Sgt Frederick Tees age 20 the rear gunner that night on the flight. He was taken prisoner and suffered burns to his body due to the crash. He spent the rest of the war as a POW.
    Sgt Frederick Tees should have been the nose gunner that night but had exchanged places with Sgt Harry Strange that night.

    Both Frederick,s  mother and father died during the war. His mother lossed her life when a plane crashed on her work place in Sussex.

    After the war Frederick ran a Gentlemens barber shop in Letchworth Hertfordshire, that was his profession and his fathers .

    Frederick  Tees passed away on 1st March 1982,having taken his own life.

    His story brought me to tears reading it.

    RIP.
  • Spotted this in Harmondsworth,near Heathrow
  • A Lancaster flew over Bomber Command Centre in Grantham on Saturday in commemoration. 

    Just the type of photo I wanted to see. This would be the same Lancaster that everyone sees in Europe as only two can fly . This one is based in Lincoinshire the other in Canada.
    Am still gutted I missed seeing both the flying Lancs together when the Canadian one came over a few years ago. Was at Goodwood a few years ago and they were scheduled to display. I waited until around 5 and assumed they’d not been able to fly as they’d been scheduled for earlier in the afternoon. They came over about 20 minutes after I left.

    There is another Lanc in the UK that has been under restoration to flight but has been a very long process 
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