We shouldnt forget that every man who flew in Bomber Command was a volunteer and statisticaly during 1943 it was impossible to survive a tour of 30 ops
617 Squadron Dams Raid
The loss rate for bomber command was 3% per operation, so for every 100 men only 3 would be lost sounds like good odds. But if you have to do 30 operations that’s 3% time 30 so you have 90% chance of not making it. Many pilots did 3 or 4 tours of duty.
errr. probability doesnt really work like that....
"The successes of Bomber Command were purchased at terrible cost. Of the volunteers who flew, almost sixty percent (over 55 000) were killed. Over 10,000 Canadians died serving in Bomber Command. It is a loss rate comparable only to the worst slaughter of the First World War trenches. Of those who were flying at the beginning of the war, only ten percent survived. Even those who began their service after D-Day (June 6, 1944) suffered almost fifty percent losses."
I have read loads of books including “Enemy Coast Ahead” and it’s hard to believe the books are of real people. After the dam raids Guy Gibson was taken of operations and used to boost moral among the aircrew of bomber command. He ended up in tears in front of bomber commands Harris begging to go back on operations.
My ex girlfriends grandfather was in 617 and was apparently due to fly on that mission, but couldn't due to health reasons.
'His' plane never made it back and he would never speak about it.
I did not mean to imply any lack of respect for any other squadron - of any command - or for any of the other forces... Sorry if anyone got that impression from my post!
It was just that it was that particular anniversary.
The flypast at Derwent last year was well worth attending. It was not widely publicised to keep the numbers down (from speaking to a ranger out there) but the hillsides were still lined with people and the dam wall area looked busy.
three or four passes from the Lancaster, one directly over our heads on Winstone Lee Tor at about 80 ft up!, and several passes from a pair of Tornados, Spit and Hurricane, a Dakota etc. Well worth going.
Was at Derwent for the one of the anniversary flypasts. Awesome sight. Luckily as an apprentice tinbasher at Rolls-Royce Hucknall, I got to do some work for the BBMF at Coningsby, and spent many a happy day polishing the RR Spitfire at East Midlands airport. Happy days, but will never forget 'the few', and all the other flyers.
Indeed, lest we forget.
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