Operation Chastise 80th Anniversary

Tuesday marked 80 years since the Dam Busters Raid — the audacious World War II bombing raid, codenamed Operation Chastise that set out to destroy three dams in the Ruhr valley. As readers of this blog know, Douglas Webb was the front gunner in the last plane back (AJ-O). The raid was one of the war’s most innovative and courageous operations.

Eight of the nineteen Lancaster aircraft which carried out the raid were destroyed, resulting in the loss of 53 crew members. Three more men were captured and remained prisoners of war until 1945.

The raid was immortalised on the silver screen in the classic movie The Dam Busters in 1955.

Below is a scan of Douglas Webb‘s invite to the 25th anniversary of the Dam Busters reunion screening at Warner Theatre, London, in 1968, along with a complete crew list of the plane Doug was on, AJ-O.


Flt Sgt W C Townsend DFM
Awarded CGM
Born 12 January 1921, Gloucestershire
Died 9 April 1991, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire

Sgt D J D Powell
Flight engineer
Born 21 January 1922, BirminghamKIA 16 September 1943 

Plt Off C L Howard
Awarded DFC
Born 12 January 1913, Freemantle, Western Australia
Died 26 December 1989, Perth, Western Australia 

Flt Sgt G A Chalmers
Wireless operator
Awarded DFM
Born 12 February 1921, Peterhead, Aberdeenshire
Died 6 August 2002, Harrogate, Yorkshire 

Sgt C E Franklin DFM
Bomb aimer
Awarded Bar to DFM
Born 12 November 1915, London
Died 25 January 1975, Birmingham 

Sgt D E Webb
Front gunner
Awarded DFM
Born 12 September 1922, London
Died 8 December 1996, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight

Sgt R Wilkinson
Rear gunner
Awarded DFM
Born 1 September 1922, South Shields, Tyne and Wear
Died 27 July 1980, Noble Park, Victoria, Australia 

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.