On July 6th we are showing the original feature: THE DAMBUSTERS. This is the story of the famous RAF raid on the dams of the Ruhr valley in 1943. The RAF actually formed a special squadron to perform this raid. The film suggests that the crews were hand picked for their experience and skills but in fact, 5 of the 20 flight engineers were making their first sorties on this raid! The youngest member of the squadron was 18 on the night of the raid meaning that he had to have lied about his age in ’41 at 16yrs old. This raid highlighted the amazing work going on between the men on the line and the Boffins (scientists). One of the main characters in the movie is Barnes Wallis, the man who designed the bomb, but he wasn’t the only scientist who helped facilitate this raid.

The movie shows the solution for the altitude problem was conceived by squadron leader Guy Gibson. In fact, it was solved by Ben Lockspier who was working on how to find U-Boats using two spotlights mounted on a Lockheed Hudson. His trials failed but the use of the spots to gauge the altitude of the Lancs proved to be both ingenious and simple.

Out of the 84 crew, 29 were Canadian. Out of the 29, 13 were killed, one became a POW and the remaining 15 went on to serve on the squadron which became a specialized attack squadron. I feel it important to give these men the recognition they deserve. so the following is a list of the Canadian crew who took part in this famous raid.

 

Sgt Hugh Munroe

P/O Torger “Harlo” Taerum

F/L Robert “Hutch” Hutchinson

P/O George Dearing

F/O Ken Earnshaw

Sgt Charlie Brennan

P/O John Fraser

F/O Vincent MacCausland

F/O Robert Urquhart

W/O2 Alden Cottam

Sgt Fred “Doc” Sutherland

Sgt Henry “Harry” O’Brien

P/O Floyd Wile

W/O2 Abram “Albert” Garshowitz

F/Sgt Frank Garbes

F/L Joe McCarthy

Sgt Bill Radcliffe

F/sgt Don Maclean

F/o Dave Rodger

F/L Norman Barlow

F/O Harry Glinz

P/O Vernon Byers

Sgt Jimmy McDowell

Sgt Chester Gowrie

W/O John Thrasher

Sgt Percy Pigeon

F/Sgt Harvey Week

F/Sgt Ken Brown

F/Sgt Stefan Onacia

S/Sgt Grant McDonald

P/O Lewis Burpee

W/O Gordon Brady

JImmy Arthur

 

The movie is one of my favourite war movies; every time its on the TV, which is not nearly enough, I watch it. it is a story that inspires, something this raid did the very next morning when the story was told in the media.

Please come and watch the movie here with us. The show will begin at 13:00 on July 06.

See you then!!