Dambusters 70th Anniversary Commemoration
Our museum held a special event on May 11 to recognize the Dambusters 70th with a focus on the thirty Canadians who participated of which only fifteen returned. The Lancaster’s Merlins were run in honour of the Dambusters and the museum turned to its extensive collection of aviation art for a special display to tell the story. The museum holds sixteen pieces of Dams Raid art which were assembled in the north hangar in chronological order. A pamphlet was prepared which guided visitors through the collection and explained details of the raid and the art as well.
The museum had been invited to participate in commemorative events in the UK and following our museum’s special day museum director Dave Birrell and his wife Leslie travelled to Lincoln where he attended a very special “Sunset Ceremony” at RAF Scampton, the aerodrome where 617 Squadron was formed. The event, which was televised live on BBC television, was held seventy years from the date and time that W/C Guy Gibson took off to lead what was the most audacious air raid of the war. The following day, Leslie and Dave were privileged to attend the Commemorative Service at Lincoln Cathedral. As one would expect, the RAF and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight played a prominent role in both events.
Two interviews on the BBC gave Dave the opportunity to ensure that the story of Canada’s contribution to the raid was told.