Dambusters raid: Seventy years on

Dambusters anniversary commemoration

Dambusters anniversary commemoration - Credit: Archant

Seventy years on after members of 617 Squadron dropped bombs on vital German dams, their heroic efforts were commemorated at a special ceremony.

The Dambusters raid became one of the most memorable operations of the Second World War which saw men brave tin can-like planes and swooped them down as low as 60ft to drop the bombs.

Eight of the 19 Lancaster bombers on the mission were damaged or shot down, but their deeds caused 300million tonnes of water to pour into the western Ruhr valley striking a huge blow to the enemy’s industrial base.

On Thursday local school children, World War Two veterans, air cadets and serving members of the Armed Forces joined together at Valence House Museum to honour the raid’s anniversary.

Students from Robert Clack school read out their poems about the war, Valence Primary School choir sang songs from the era including ‘White Cliffs of Dover’ and ex-POW Ken Hay gave a moving speech on his experiences.

The council has made a new commitment to recognising the Armed Forces, and former service personnel can get a guaranteed interview for council vacancies, receive a discount for leisure services and are better served by the housing allocations policy.

Council leader Liam Smith said: “Like everyone else, I am deeply proud of our Armed Forces. Their commitment to our nation and to our way of life is unparalleled. Those who have served have secured our liberty and freedom and those brave men and women who are in the field of conflict or preserving the peace across the globe right now deserve our thanks.”