Commissioned in 1936, "Willie" Tait led an inspired career in Bomber Command throughout the war but is best remembered for his attacks on the Tirpitz. Having already commanded three bomber squadrons, including 78 Sqn - the sister squadron of 76 Sqn commanded by Leonard Cheshire, in March 1944, he joined 5 Group as a master bomber. The evening before D-Day, he personally led a force of over 200 Lancasters eliminating targets on the Cherbourg peninsular prior to the Normandy landings. In July, he succeeded Cheshire, who was now Commanding Officer at 617 Sqn. Tait then led 617 in the last 3 raids against the Tirpitz, including the final raid of 12th November 1944. It was Tait's own "Tallboy" bomb that was the first of the two to hit the Tirpitz itself. By the end of the war, he had flown over 100 operational sorties.