April 18, 2024

Lancaster – Dambusters Raid anniversary

To commemorate the Dambusters Raid by 617 Sqn.

By Joseph Verney Local News Reporter 

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) will commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Dambusters Raid with the Lancaster flying a special route over all Bomber Command bases in Lincolnshire.

Operation Chastise was an attack on the German dams, taking place during the night of May 16-17, 1943, where 617 Squadron of the Royal Air Force carried out the raid which involved 133 aircrew and 19 Lancaster Bomber aircraft.

The BBMF is based at RAF Coningsby and continues to maintain a number of historic war time aircraft in airworthy condition in order to commemorate those who have fallen in the service of this country.

On the evening of May 16, 2023, the BBMF Lancaster will be flying a special route over Lincolnshire as follows:

  • Spitalgate – 6:58pm
  • Fulbeck – 7:02pm
  • Swinderby – 7:04pm
  • RAF Waddington – 7:07pm
  • International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC), Lincoln – 7:08pm
  • Skellingthorpe  – 7:12pm
  • Scampton – 7:15pm
  • Dunholme – 7:16pm
  • Wickenby – 7:18pm
  • Faldingworth – 7:19pm
  • Ingham – 7:21pm
  • Hemswell Cliff – 7:22pm
  • Blyton, Lincolnshire – 7:24pm
  • Elsham Wolds – 7.30pm
  • Kirmington – 7.31pm
  • North Killingholme, Lincolnshire – 7.32pm
  • Grimsby – 7.37pm
  • Binbrook – 7.39pm
  • Ludford – 7.41pm
  • Kelstern – 7.42pm
  • Strubby – 7.47pm
  • Spilsby – 7.51pm
  • East Kirkby – 7.53pm
  • Bardney – 7.58pm
  • Fiskerton – 8pm
  • Metheringham – 8.03pm
  • Woodall Spa – 8.05pm
  • RAF Coningsby – 8.07pm

The plans to commemorate the anniversary will be subject to weather and serviceability caveats due to the nature of operating historic aircraft. The timings published by the Royal Air Force may be subject to change.

Squadron Leader Mark Sugden, Officer Commanding the BBMF, said: “The Dambusters raid was one of the most audacious raids in the history of the Royal Air Force, and we at the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight are proud to commemorate the bravery, dedication and sacrifice of all those involved.”

Flight Lieutenant Giles Croft, BBMF Operations Officer, said: “We are working hard to produce an achievable plan that allows us to showcase the Lancaster, commemorate the unsung heroes of Bomber Command and also incorporate the tasking we already had for the evening of May 16.

“At this stage, the Lancaster sortie for that evening includes 34 flypast locations which is far more than we would normally plan in a single sortie.

“We will try to “make up the time” by reducing most events to a single overflight so that we can meet our fixed time over the RAF Museum in Hendon but still manage a tour of the Lincolnshire Bomber Command Airfields prior to landing before sunset.

“I personally can’t wait to see our Lancaster over her home turf, against the same backdrop she would have had in the 1940s; I just hope that backdrop is clear even