Lancasters of 617 Squadron, led by Wing Commander Guy Gibson begin their low level cross channel dash towards the enemy coast on the way to the heart of the Ruhr. The aircraft were arranged in three waves. The first wave comprised three groups of three aircraft at 10 minute intervals and headed towards the Mohne, Sorpe and Eder dams. The second wave of five Lancasters headed direct to the Sorpe whilst the third wave of five, would act as backup. Eight Lancasters failed to return from the raids, a high cost indeed, but the courage and determination displayed by the crews were in the best tradition of the RAF.
Overall size: 18½" x 27¾"
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Signed by 617 Squadron Lancaster bomb aimer ‘Johnny’ Johnson DFM.
George L. Johnson
Initially George Johnson went to the USA for pilot training. Frustrated at not qualifying
and having a burning desire to get airborne, Johnny applied for the shortest possible training course; air gunner. having completed this course successfully Johnny was posted to
97 Squadron as ‘spare’ gunner – mid or upper, whichever was needed. At this time
Bomb Aimers were being sought for the Lancasters and as this position warranted extra
pay, Johnny applied and passed the training course. He was then chosen by
Joe McCarthy to join his crew before they were all transferred to 617 Squadron.
Flying in Lancaster AJ-T, they attacked the Sorpe Dam from 30 feet, for which Johnny was awarded the DFM. Johnny went on to fly 40 missions with Joe McCarthy at the controls.