Most famous for the dambusting raid in the darkest days of the Second World War, the No 617 Sqn were a vastly experienced crew. It was the first, and only, squadron to use certain equipment and weapons in combat. This study covers the history of the No 617 Squadron. It explains the men, aircraft, weapons and operations of this squadron.
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Most famous for the dambusting raid in the darkest days of the Second World War, the No 617 Sqn were a vastly experienced crew, yet little has been written about the unit's later operations. Formed in 1943 and trained to learn new and unused bombing techniques, the squadron pioneered various experimental weapons throughout the entirety of the war, using both Mosquitoes and Mustangs in addition to standard and non-standard Lancasters. It was also the first and only squadron to use certain equipment and weapons (22,000 lb Tallboy bomb, for example) in combat. Covering the complete history of the No 617 Squadron, including before, during, and after the Dambusters Raid, this study draws on previously unpublished information to explain the men, aircraft, weapons and operations of this experimental squadron. Color plates of the planes and uniforms bring this history to life, including a never-before seen squadron badge which was rejected and never made it onto the uniforms of the squadron.
No. 617 Squadron RAF Bomber Command is world-famous for its daring raids on the Mohne, Eder and Sorpe Dams, the Dortmund-Ems Canal and the attacks on the German ship Tirpitz. This book contains rarely seen photographs of the squadrons aircraft, crews and other behind-the-scenes operations. Each image is accompanied by a lengthy caption that convey the location and history surrounding the subject in question.
They were the Dambusters the pilots and crew of the RAFs elite 617 Squadron. They flew the most difficult missions. They breached the Dams! They sank the Tirpitz! They were the only squadron to drop the immense Grand Slam bombs and with them they destroyed bridges, viaducts and even Hitlers impregnable U-boat pens.In this unique book, introduced by Dams raid survivor, George Johnny Johnson, authors Colin Higgs and Bruce Vigar present no less than nine exclusive interviews with men who flew and fought in 617 Squadron during the Second World War. These men took part in virtually every operation the Squadron flew and went on some of the most daring and dangerous missions of the war. The result is one of the most vivid and unforgettable accounts of the RAF at war ever written.
Previously published as After the Flood. Former RAF Tornado Navigator and Gulf War veteran John Nichol sets out on a personal journey to discover what happened to 617 Squadron after the flood.
In 1968 a decision was made to combine the RAF Commands that had become famous in World War Two. Thus Fighter,Bomber, Coastal, Air Support and Signals Commands were combined into the single Strike Command. This amalgamation was to see service throughout the remaining years of the Cold War and action in the Falklands and the Middle East in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Granby.This book looks at the origins of the World War Two Commands and their outline histories until 1968. The organizational change caused re-equipment, base changes and increasing economic constraints an all-too familiar story. The Royal Navy was now responsible for the UKs nuclear deterrent in the form of their Polaris submarines, so the RAFs V-Bomber Force were now relegated to tanker operations, with the exception of the lone Vulcan that was sent to the Falklands conflict. The Commands fleet of fast jets became more adaptable, with single types able to assume the roles of fighter, bomber,reconnaissance and maritime attack. The aircraft also become multinational in their design and manufacture as Britains postwar lead in aircraft design had been frittered away by years of thoughtless government and our aircraft manufacturing devolved into a single company. Apart from the brilliant Harrier which the US continues to develop and build, other aircraft flown by the Command were from European syndicates, the Tornado and Jaguar being examples. The US supplied the transports in the form of the faithful Hercules and Europe most of the helicopter fleet.This book looks at the operations that took place during Strike Commands existence, the aircraft they flew and the men who flew them. It is a tribute to the fast-dwindling strike power of the Royal Air Force.
617 Squadron of 5 Group RAF Bomber Command was without doubt the most famous RAF Squadron in World War II. It was formed to carry out the precision low-level attack on the Mohne, Eder and Sorpe Dams, using Barnes Wallace’s newly developed rotating mine, now commonly referred to as ‘The Bouncing Bomb’. The raid was a tremendous success, although at great cost to the squadron, and proved to be a great moral booster for the war-weary British public. Guy Gibson VC was tasked with organizing the formation and training of the new squadron and the ‘Dambusters’ have been national heroes ever since. Although several books have previously been written on this epic adventure, this is a new look at their first raid and then the long and envious history of 617 until the end of the war.
The inside story of today's Dambusters, 617 Squadron RAF, at war in Afghanistan. In May 1943, 617 Squadron RAF executed one of the most daring operations in military history as bombers mounted a raid against hydro-electric dams in Germany. 617 Squadron became a Second World War legend. Nearly 70 years later, in April 2011, a new generation of elite flyers, now flying supersonic Tornado GR4 bombers, was deployed to Afghanistan - their mission: to provide close air support to troops on the ground. Tim Bouquet was given unprecedented access to 617's pre-deployment training and blistering tour in Afghanistan. From dramatic air strikes to the life-and-death search for IEDs and low-flying shows of force designed to drive insurgents from civilian cover, he tracked every mission - and the skill, resilience, banter and exceptional airmanship that saw 617 through.
Brian Mercer is one of the most outstanding post-war RAF fighter pilots and in this eminently readable autobiography he recaptures life as it was in the days of transition from flying piston-powered aircraft to jet power. His flying and leadership skills resulted in a long association with what was then considered as the finest aerobatic display team in the world—Treble One Squardrons Black Arrows. Flying the elegant black Hawker Hunters in large formation displays was no easy task and the author explains in great detail how their legendary precision was achieved, revealing many exciting incidents en route. When Treble Ones Hunters were replaced with the supersonic Lightining fighter, it soon became clear that these superfast aircraft were not suited to close-up display flying. Brian was then asked to form a new RAF display team and continue with Hunters. This was to become the No. 92 Squadrons Blue Diamonds, who inherited the star role. Faced with the fact that future promotion within the RAF would move him from cockpit to desk, Brian elected to join then then fledgling airline, Cathay Pacific. His story continues with many exciting incidents flying from the companys home base at Kai Tak in Hong Kong.