No 617 Dambusters Sqn by Alex Bateman

By Alex Bateman

Most renowned for the dambusting raid within the darkest days of the second one global struggle, the No 617 Sqn have been a drastically skilled team, but little has been written in regards to the devices later operations. shaped in 1943, the squadron pioneered numerous experimental guns in the course of the entirety of the conflict, utilizing either Mosquitoes and Mustangs as well as usual and non-standard Lancasters. It used to be additionally the 1st, and in basic terms, squadron to take advantage of definite apparatus and guns (22,000 lb Tallboy bomb, for instance) in wrestle. protecting the total background of the No 617 Squadron, this learn attracts on formerly unpublished info to provide an explanation for the boys, airplane, guns and operations of this squadron. color plates of the planes and uniforms deliver this background to existence, together with a never-before obvious squadron badge which was once rejected and not made it onto the uniforms.

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Despire rhe proresrs Cochrane would nor be swayed. At rhe same rime rhe rhree flighr commanders, Les Munro, David Shannon and Joe M Canhy, were also ro be resred. They were rhe lasr of the original pilors rill flying wirh rhe squadron, and had each been on conrinuous operarions for more rhan rwo years. Various messages of congratularions f1lrered in over rhe nexr few days, and a parry was arranged for rhe leavers ar rhe Perwood Hotel, which had been procured by rhe RAF for use as an Officers' Mess for Woodhall Spa.

Wallis instead focused his attention on Upkeep. However, with the introduction of the Lancaster, the prospect of developing such a bomb for frontline use lay tantalisingly close. After satisfactory tests of a 4000-lb trial version of the bomb, a 12,000-lb (six-tonne) example was manufactured with the name of TaLLboy. Some 21 ft long, it was comprised of a cast steel body containing three fuse pistols and an aluminium tail section. As it fell, the weapon attained a nose-down attitude and started to spin (caused by offset fins on the tail), reaching a maximum rotational velocity of 300 rpm before drilling into the earth, where it would explode.

Mers and four Mosquiros ro a main force of 260 aircraft. The Mo quit would be operating at the very limit of their range, as supplementary drop tanks were not available. In an efforr to maximise their endurance, the osquiros initially flew down to Mansron, on the north Kent coast, in order ro refuel, before setting off again some two hours after the rest of the squadron. Once over the target area, Cheshire dived from 12,000 ft ro 3000 fr through a hail of flak and searchlight, dropping rwo red spot fires right on the vast marshalling yard.

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