Dambusters 75th Anniversary
Visit RAF Coningsby & Lincolsnshire Aviation Museum
On May 17th we visited RAF Coningsby & Lincolshire Aviation Museum which was the former Bomber Base known as RAF East Kirby. The planned flight over the Derwent Reservoir on the 16th was unfortunately cancelled due to adverse weather conditions but the following day Lancaster Bomber PA474 of the BBMF would take to the skies with Dambuster Veteran Bomb Aimer Johnny Johnson.
|3 Lancasters used in the 1950s film|
Please click on the link to view a short film about our visit and the take off of PA474
At former RAF East kirby we visited "Just Jane" Lancaster NX611 which is preserved by the Panton Brothers in memory of their brother who died on Lancasters in WW2. The aircraft has been restored to near flying capability and on certain days she fires up and taxis with paying passengers who are eager to experience what it feels like when 4 merlin engines roar in to action. We were fortunate to be able to film Just Jane as she beat up the field (Also on the film linked above).
Johnny Johnson at Memorial
Johnny Johnson was escorted into Lancaster PA474 then flown over the Derwent Dam to once again relive part of his integrel training which took place in the Peak District & Wales as they honed their skills for the pending mission in May 1943.
The breaching of the dams caused steel production to halt and it also consumed vital resources of man power to repair them again. The manpower which was better served elsewhere meant important work was stopped. The Dams Raid has had many controversal attacks and claims of its efficiency , however in the fog of 6 year war I think it unfair to scrutinize or doubt its worth as a mission, our eyes and views of the 21st century have no place in the views shared at the time in 1943.
The Mohne Dam
The only thing that can be learned from such war is that is the worst kind of method to make a point or gain control as there are no winners.
"Of the nineteen Lancasters that took off with combined crews of 133 men 8 aircraft were lost and 53 men died and 3 became prisoners of war"