0130 on 17 May 1943: ‘Cooler 6’ begins attack. Flt Lt Dave Shannon (RAAF) flying Lancaster Type 464 ED929/G, AJ-L (nicknamed “L for Leather”), makes the first run at the undefended Eder Dam during 617 Squadron’s Operation Chastise, watched by mission leader Wing Cdr Guy Gibson in AJ-G. The valley approach makes it extremely difficult to attain the tight release parameters and bomb aimer Flt Sgt Len Sumpter does not yet release the Upkeep revolving depth charge (“bouncing bomb”).

Also available in black and white.

Dam image reconstructed (with permission) from a photo by Stephen Thomas.


bouncing bomb, l for leather, 17 may 1943, 617 squadron, aeroplane, aircraft, airplane, aj l, aviation, avro lancaster, barnes wallis, bomber command, cooler 6, dambusters, ed929 g, eder dam, edersee, flt lt david shannon, flt sgt len sumpter, germany, lancaster bomber, lancaster type 464, michelskopf, mine, moonlight, operation chastise, raf, reservoirs, revolving depth charge, royal air force, upkeep, waldeck castle, warbird, world war ii

I am available for commissions to cover educational and theatrical events in particular – including cast portraits and actors’ headshots.

View Full Profile


desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait