Warfare in News

Posted on Wednesday 28th August

Photographs of all the airmen who took part in the 1943 Dambuster bombing raid have now been published for the first time.

An online gallery has been put together by the BBC, with contributions from Dambusters enthusiasts such as author Charles Foster, as part of the 70th anniversary celebrations of the raid.

Of the 19 Lancaster bombers which took part in the raid on the dams of the Ruhr Valley, 8 were lost and 3 turned back. Fifty-three men were lost, and 3 were taken prisoner.

The chairman of the 617 Squadron Association, David Robertson, said:

'We believe this is the first time that there has been such a record of the crews who flew on Operation Chastise.

'It is a most fitting commemoration of the men whose skill, courage, determination and airmanship has gone down in the annals of air warfare as one of the most remarkable operations of World War II.'

There were large gaps in the official photographic archives as many of the men who flew with the RAF only lasted a matter of weeks. Now, for the first time, we can see the faces of each of the 133 crew members, thanks to BBC researchers and private photograph collections.

Charles Foster, author of Breaking the Dams has written updates of the project's progress over the last few months on his Dambusters Blog.

Further Reading

The Dam Buster Raid

Only £19.99

The Dam Buster Raid

(Hardback - 216 pages)
by Alan Cooper

Seventy years ago, 133 airmen of 617 Squadron, later known as the Dambusters, set out to destroy the Ruhr Dams in Germany. This one operation amongst many carried out by Bomber Command has become one of the most well known in the whole history of WWII. Indeed, a very successful film was made about it which became a classic, etching the dramatic events of the Dambuster raids in the minds of young and old alike.… Read more...

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