At 6pm on 16th May 1943, the final briefing began for the men of 617 squadron. Their mission under the command of Wing Commander Guy Gibson was to launch an attack on the Mohne, Eder and Sorpe dams in the Ruhr Valley in Germany. They began taking off from
RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire to carry out Operation codenamed Chastise. The attack would make history and lead to the Squadron being known as the Dambusters.
Of the 19 Lancasters that left Scampton, only 9 returned - but the success of the mission was a turning point in the war.
As a child I well remember the 16th and 17th May in our house as being a time when my Dad became very thoughtful as he wondered what might have been - he had wanted to join the RAF when the war began but was only 14 and apparently my grandfather wouldn't sign papers which would have allowed him to join up.
I have no idea how many times I have seen the Dambusters film but I would wager it's at least 617 times....