Dambusters 75th Anniversary

Dambusters plane
Dambuster, Douglas Webb of AJ-O in Operation Chastise, and his mother.
Douglas Webb in the back garden with his mother, Daisy.

This week marks the 75th anniversary of Operation Chastise, in which the RAF secured a crucial victory at the height of the Second World War by dropping Barnes Wallis’s “bouncing bomb” on the dams in Germany’s industrial heartland. A total of 133 aircrew left for the raid on board 19 Lancaster bombers. Fifty-three of them lost their lives in the eight planes that were shot down or crashed during the daring attack on the night of 16 May 1943. Douglas Webb was the front gunner of AJ-O, the last plane back. Doug was awarded the DFM for his role in the raid. Five of the crew were also given medals, making them the second most decorated Dams Raid crew after Guy Gibson’s.

Doug also flew on 617 Squadron’s last wartime operation, an attack on Hitler’s mountain lair. Len Sumpter, another Dams Raid participant, also flew on that mission, making them the only two men to fly on the squadron’s first and last wartime operations.

Doug is to be honoured with a blue plaque at 158 Richmond Road, London E11, the house where he was living when he enlisted in the RAF at the age of 18. The plaque will be unveiled on Thursday 17 May at 10.00 am. All welcome.

Read my earlier post for more about Doug.





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4 thoughts on “Dambusters 75th Anniversary

  1. I have seen the excellent black and white film many years ago.But Icant see its relevance in PAMELaA the beauty queen.

    1. Douglas was Pamela’s partner after George. His was also a photographer. After the War he had his own photography studio in Greek Street where he specialised in theatrical and film portraits as well as nudes. And that’s where he met Pamela Green. He also worked on the film Naked as Nature Intended. It’s his photos in the book.

  2. hi my name is jeff i was very lucky to acquire alot of original paperwork and photos of douglas during war time and after it also had his minature medals and blazer badge its a lovely lot .but more to my surprise was a letter written to him from david grain he wanted to know about his brothers war time ventures as douglas was on his crew with 49 sqd really touching i think douglas was a true hero a remarkable man of many talants

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