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The Dambusters: last one home by Gary Eason + Flight Artworks

Photographic Prints

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Flt Sgt W. C. ‘Bill’ Townsend flying AJ-O (“O for Orange”) across North Holland “right on the deck” as the sun rises on the morning of 17 May 1943. Theirs was the last aircraft home to RAF Scampton after 617 Squadron’s Operation Chastise – the Dambusters raid on the Ruhr dams.

The specially modified Type 464 (Provisioning) Lancaster had been intended to drop its Upkeep depth charge on the Ennepe Dam and the crew believed they had, though in the dark, mist-filled valleys it appears they might have hit the wrong target – without effect in either case.

High above in a Messerschmitt Bf 110 night fighter of 12. Staffel/NJG 1, scrambled in response to the raiders, Feldwebel George Kraft and Fedlwebel Erich Handke cannot see them down on the deck.

This Lancaster, ED886/G, was subsequently lost while on an arms drop to the French resistance in December 1943.

This Flight Artworks picture is a composite of multiple images. Aircraft very extensively reworked from an original by Ronnie Macdonald (used with permission).

Tags

lancaster, lancaster bomber, avro lancaster, dambusters, 617 squadron, aj o, australian pilot, bever dam, ennepe dam, flight artworks, flt sgt w, bill townsend, gary eason photography, holland, netherlands, north holland, o for orange, operation chastise, raf, ruhr dams, second world war, upkeep, world war ii, aeroplane, aircraft, airplane, aviation, bomber, dawn, dykes, egress, enemy coast, flak, low level flying, sunrise, weapon, windmills

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

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