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THE DAMBUSTERS TOPIC


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The Dambuster,s Topic page is for like minded members to share Art, Artefacts , Memorabilla and anything Dambuster related were you can share and explore this famous RAF raid ,

On the night of 16-17 May 1943, Wing Commander Guy Gibson led 617 Squadron of the Royal Air Force on an audacious bombing raid to destroy three dams in the Ruhr valley, the industrial heartland of Germany. The mission was codenamed Operation 'Chastise'.

The dams were fiercely protected. Torpedo nets in the water stopped underwater attacks and anti-aircraft guns defended them against enemy bombers.

But 617 Squadron had a secret weapon: the 'bouncing bomb'.

 
PHOTOGRAPHS

THE TARGETS

The Möhne dam in Germany's Ruhr valley secured the water supply for much of the surrounding area. Water from its reservoir was also used to generate electricity. It was thought that destruction of this dam and others in the region would cause massive disruption to German war production. Plans for an attack on the dams had first been considered in 1937, but it took until 1942 to develop a weapon capable of destroying the dams - and the aircraft to deliver it.

The Targets: The Moehne Dam before the war (from an easterly direction).
 

 

 

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                                                                            THE IMPOSSIBLE MISSION 

 

On this Page of our Dambusters topic we look at the Art that has been inspired by that famous mission and we are looking for your favourite, all time artist pieces that captures the Heroism of what would become the most recognised Squadron in the RAF 617,

i have attached my piece that is THE IMPOSSIBLE MISSION by Robert Taylor as attached below ,

“Dinghy” Young releases his hydrostatically-triggered, cylindrical bouncing bomb at precisely 60ft and 230mph as he approaches the Mőhne Dam. It was a direct hit. The dam has but moments to live.

Robert Taylor has once again chosen to depict one of the most audacious air raids of WWII, the historic attack on the hydroelectric dams in the heart of the Ruhr Valley. This release from the world's foremost aviation artist captures the very essence of the Dams raids and is simply outstanding.

THE IMPOSSIBLE MISSION is now considered an all-time classic Robert Taylor edition.

The edition is personally signed by artist Robert Taylor, and individually hand numbered; together with veterans who took part in the historic Dambusters Raid.

The impossible mission
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                                                                                  DINGHY YOUNG SIGNATURE 

                                                                                A DAMBUSTER AND TRUE HERO 

 

Within this page we look at Dingy young and the connection with Robert Taylors print The Impossible Mission were Young is captured making his run to score a direct hit against the Dam, within our Dambuster Topic we are asking for you the members to add as much info on this as we can muster up, i would like to Add something very special to this page which is a photo from a logbook in which Young has signed from his time as S/Ldr in 104 SQDN 

 

Squadron Leader Melvin Young acquired the nickname 'Dinghy' after ditching in the sea twice and surviving both times in an inflatable dinghy.

It also seemed appropriate because he had helped Oxford to win the Boat Race in 1938. However, on the night of 16/17 May as part of the 617 Squadron Dambusters raid Operation Chastise, his luck on water finally vanished as his Lancaster ditched in the North Sea, killing all on board.

Melvin 'Dinghy' Young. Image from 'Dambusters Failed to Return' published by Fighting High.Born in 1915 to a British father and an American mother, Young had a privileged upbringing and went to school in both Britain and America.

He went to read law at Trinity College, Oxford, graduating in 1937 and rowing for the university in 1938. He was also a member of the Oxford University Air Squadron, where he first learnt to fly (at RAF Abingdon).

His flight training school instructor remarked that he was an "above average pilot" with "above average officer qualities. A likeable personality and a very satisfactory pupil".

Young married his American wife Priscilla in the US in August 1942 and afterwards worked for a time as an instructor in Albany, Georgia.

In March 1943, he had not yet flown a Lancaster in his life, yet on his return to Britain he and his new crew were allocated to the new 617 Squadron, headed up by Wing Commander Guy Gibson.

In the following couple of months before the raid, Young did get plenty of hours under his belt, but very few at night. Nonetheless, on the night of the raid, Young got his first run at the Möhne Dam exactly right, dropping his Upkeep mine at the correct speed and height.

It bounced across the surface of the water, made contact with the dam, sank and exploded. After a further successful hit (from David Maltby’s AJ-J Lancaster), the dam crumbled and a massive torrent of water poured through to loud cheers from the watching planes.

Young turned and headed for home but at 0258 he was shot down as he crossed the Dutch coast. Later in May his body and those of his crew were washed up. They are buried in Bergen, North Holland. Young was 27 years old.

 

Dingy Young

 

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                                                                                               GUY GIBSON 

 

On a visit to Gibsons crash site. 

 

His family lived in Porthleven Cornwall. He later joined the RAF in 1936. Following the Dams raid Gibson left the squadron he did however remain in the RAF. After returning from a trip to America with Winston Churchill he found time to write a book entitled “Enemy coast ahead” but this was no replacement for flying, his continual harassment of the Ministry to get back in the air eventually paid off.

On the 19th September 1944 he flew out of Woodhall Spa on a bombing mission flying a Mosquito from 627 squadron, having completed the bombing raid Gibson went on to check anti aircraft positions, sadly the mosquito crashed Killing both Gibson and his navigator Squadron Leader J.B Warwick.

 

Guy Penrose Gibson, VC.jpg

gibson

 

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                                                                                      Hopgood and the Dams of 617

 

A visit to see the Dams,

dam

 

Gibson selected Hopgood as his deputy for the attack against the Mohne Dam  . While awaiting take off Hopgood spoke with Dave Shannon, telling him that he had had a premonition that he would not survive the mission. Gibson responded to the premonition with, "Hoppy, tonight's the night; tomorrow we will get drunk".

Hopgood took off in the first group alongside Gibson and Mick Martin.  It was on the journey to the Mönhe that Hopgood's aircraft AJ-M (M Mother) was hit by flak while passing the airfield at Dulmen. Hopgood along with gunners George Gregory and Tony Burcher were injured but they continued the attack. There is a possibility that Gregory was killed by flak at this point.

The damaged aircraft reached the dam where they attacked at 00:32, ten minutes after Gibson. However, they were struck again by anti-aircraft fire and their bomb was released too late. It bounced over the dam and exploded on a power station on the other side. The aircraft was fatally damaged at this point and Hopgood remained at the controls, gaining height to allow his crew to bail out. Rear gunner, Pilot Office Tony Burcher, remembered hearing Hopgood say; "Get out you damn fool. If only I could get another 300 ft. I can't get any more height". John Fraser, John Minchin and Tony Burcher jumped, but the already injured Minchin did not survive. However, Fraser and Burcher survived and were made prisoners of war. AJ-M crashed in a field near Ostönnen, 6 kilometres (3.72 miles) from the dam. The bodies of Hopgood, Brennan, Navigator Kenneth (Ken) Earnshaw from Bridlington and Gregory were found inside.

Hopgood's body rests in the care of the at Rheinberg War Cemetery 

 

 

John Vere Hopgood in uniform.jpg 

hopgood

       

 

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                                                                      Guy Gibson and Hopgood Signatures 

 

I have attached an original pencil drawing by Nicolas Trudgian which has been framed with several matted signatures off which is a rare combining example  from a logbook showing that of both Gibson and Hopgood together,

 

nt
sigs

Add your pictures below ,,

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  This nice simple side view of Gibson's Lancaster which has been multi signed by 617 

 

617
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