Bird's Eye View of Bute

The Dam Busters

(1) Dam Buster Bomb Pieces
(1) Dam Buster Bomb Pieces
(2) Dam Busters
(2) Dam Busters
(3) DB
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(4) DB
(4) DB
(5) DB
(5) DB
(6) DB
(6) DB
(7) DB
(7) DB
(8) DB
(8) DB
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(10) DB

 

The Dam Busters

Seventy years ago on the 16th and 17th of May, was the time that Barnes Wallis’s bouncing bombs breached the Mohne and Eder Dams in Germany.

 

During the early stages of testing these bombs at the experimental bombing range at Ashley Walk Godshill, a lot of these bombs broke up with the force that they hit the water, but in the final stages they had got the true bouncing bomb that stayed in one piece.

One of these whole bombs that bounced and then sunk was retrieved by The Royal Observer Corps. Out of this find came the idea of helping Service Charities and share a little piece of history with the public. To honour the 617 Squadron who carried out “Operation Chastise”, in their successful mission. The end section of the retrieved bomb was cut into 617 fragments and display-mounted by the Aircraft Engineering Technician Apprentices of No1 School of Technical Training, Royal Air Force Halton. Members of the Royal Observer Corps were giving the chance to purchase a piece and also receive a signed certificate to prove its authenticity.

As I was a member of the Royal Observer Corps for many years, I bought one and another Observer on Bute purchased as well. So out of 617 pieces two of them coming to Bute is a very good percentage. The piece is not very big (50mmx25mm), and on the front it tells you about mission and on the back it says Fragment 584 of 617 Date: 20 July1984.

The rest of the bomb I believe stands at the entrance to the R.A.F Station where the planes left from on their mission. The other connection with Bute, is that the role of Guy Gibson in the film that was made, was played by Richard Todd the actor, whom I met, when on one of his visits to Bute he chose to try his hand at water skiing on Loch Fad, a sport that was enjoyed by many for some time on the loch, and a ski jump was also built by the Bute Estate, giving the more advanced skiers the chance to hone their skills. The Ski centre was owned and run by Crawford Robertson and his son David who was a friend of mine, so I got plenty of skiing for nothing, and with that came the chance to meet and mix with quite a few V.I.Ps.
 

 

Norrie Mulholland.
First Printed in The Buteman 15-08-2003. updated 2013 



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