Remembering the Dambusters

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July 2023

On 16th May, the IBCC marked the 80th anniversary of the iconic Operation Chastise, or the Dambusters Raid as it is better known.

As A key element, a new art installation was erected at the IBCC which features the figures of the 53 men who lost their lives in the raid. They have been produced by a collaboration between Standing with Giants artist Dan Barton and military artist Simon Smith.

The central focus is that of the crew of ED887 AJ-A, who successfully breached the Möhne Dam. It was piloted by Sqn Ldr Henry Melvin ‘Dinghy’ Young. The crew were hit only 200 yards from safety when the last land-based gun battery, at Wijk-aan-Zee, scored a hit. These figures and those of Wg Cdr Guy Gibson VC, DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar and Bouncing Bomb inventor Barnes Wallis, have been created from their photographs.

All those lost in Bomber Command, including the Dambusters, are commemorated individually on the walls surrounding the memorial.

The installation, which is free to visit, will be in place until mid-August.

ED887 AJ-A
AJ-A was the fourth aircraft to drop its Upkeep mine at the Möhne Dam and had caused a small breach. A few minutes later AJ-J dropped another mine, causing the final breach and the dam’s collapse.

Young had flown on to the Eder Dam in order to take over command if anything should happen to Guy Gibson on the attack there, but in the event had nothing to do. He then set course to return home and reached the Dutch coast just before three in the morning.

Then, out over the sea, he hit disaster when the gun battery at Wijk-aan-Zee fired at the rapidly disappearing Lancaster. At that stage, the aircraft was well past the last gun battery and only a few hundred yards from safety.

Over the next few weeks, the sea yielded up the victims. Part of the wreckage was washed ashore and the first bodies – those of Melvin Young and David Horsfall – were washed up on 29th May. They were buried in the General Cemetery at Bergen two days later and were joined by the bodies of the other five which were washed up over the next thirteen days.

The crew members were: Squadron Leader Henry Melvin ‘Dingy’ Young; Flight Sergeant Charles Walpole Roberts; Sergeant David Taylor Horsfall; Sergeant Wilfred Ibbotson; Flying Officer Vincent Sanford MacCausland; Sergeant Lawrence William Nichols; and Sergeant Gordon Arthur Yeo.

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Calling all UK young artists!Doddington Young Sculptor Exhibition Doddington Hall and Gardens, Lincolnshire invites submissions from UK-based sculptors and 3D artists, aged under 30, for an exciting new open exhibition to be held this summer. Doddington is looking for pieces to be exhibited in the historic working Kitchen Garden, which complement the Garden and its surroundings. The Doddington Young Sculptor Exhibition will run alongside the main bi-annual Sculpture at Doddington exhibition and is an opportunity to exhibit alongside some of the finest contemporary sculptors selected from across the country and further afield. Prizes: 1st prize – £750, 2nd prize – £250Submission deadline: Sunday April 21st 2024Further details about eligibility, terms and conditions can be found at: apply, please email your submission as a PDF document to ... See MoreSee Less