Dambusters 75th Anniversary Commemoration
During 2018, our museum commemorated the 75th Anniversary of the legendary Dambusters Raid with a special event on August 24/25. The Dams Raid was the most daring and tactically demanding air operation of World War II. Over forty family members representing the fifteen of the Canadians who flew on the raid were in attendance at the commemoration. It featured the launch of Ted Barris’s new book, ‘The Dambusters -Canadian Airmen and the Secret Raid Against Nazi Germany’, in which he tells the story of the Dambusters through the eyes of the Canadian airmen who played prominent roles. Ted’s dynamic presentation was followed by a run-up of the Lancaster as a tribute to the Dambusters.
For this year only, the museum’s Lancaster carried the markings of F/Lt. John Hopgood‘s Dams Raid Lancaster (AJ-M). It was shot down over the Mohne Dam with only two survivors. Of the three Canadian’s aboard, John Fraser, AJ-M’s bomb aimer, survived but Calgarian Charles Brennan, the flight engineer, and Albertan Ken Earnshaw, the navigator, were killed. Members of all three families were present including Doris Fraser (John Fraser’s widow) and his daughter, Shere Fraser, who presented a donation in memory of John. Shere’s donation enabled the museum to construct a full-size, steel replica of the Upkeep (bouncing bomb) that was placed on our aircraft. Music by the 4 Wing Band from Cold Lake (including the Dambusters March) enhanced all aspects of the event.