Dambusters walk raises tens of thousands

The 75th anniversary of the Dambusters’ Raid has been marked with a sponsored walk on the airfield at RAF Cosford.

The event saw teams of walkers representing the Lancaster bombers that took part in the 1943 raid, which remains one of Britain's most famous military air operations.

Organised by the University of Birmingham Air Squadron (UBAS), the walk took place exactly 75 years after the raid on the German dams on the evening of May 16 and 17.

The 19 teams of seven walkers represented the 19 Lancaster bombers, each crewed by seven men that took part in the raid.

The walkers set off at 9.28pm on Wednesday and finished at 6.15am yesterday

The start and finish were specifically chosen to represent the times when the first Lancaster took off and the last one landed at RAF Scampton in 1943.

Squadron Leader Johnny Johnson, the last surviving British Dambuster, sent a video message wishing every one well for their efforts on the night.

Alongside the Dambusters movie, this was projected on the side of one of the hangars.

The teams walking circuits of Cosford’s airfield were made up of military personnel and civilians, while RAF Air Cadets and students from UBAS also took part.

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Two families of previous Dambuster crews were also part of the event.

As well as remembering the aircrews who took part in the raid, the event was also staged to raise money for the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, which supports RAF personnel, veterans and RAF families.

Although the final total has not yet been counted up it is thought that the event raised around £40,000 for the charity.

During the original raid 133 men flew in 19 Lancasters to attack the Mohne, Eder and Sorpe dams.

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Eight Lancasters failed to return from the raid with the loss of 53 men killed and three held as prisoners of war.

On the night of the walk a flare was fired, a Last Post played and a minute’s silence observed at the exact time that each Lancaster was known to have been lost.

All of the teams taking part wore T-shirts displaying the names and faces of each of the crews.

Sadlers Brewery commissioned a special beer for the event and Dragon Coin played a major role in sponsoring the walk.




Date: 17 May 2018 | Source: Shropshire Star

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