|BCSP50||75th Anniversary of Operation Chastise - The Dambusters Raid||£10.95||Limited Availability|
|BCSP50A||75th Anniversary of Operation Chastise - Celebrating the100th Ann of the Birth of Guy Gibson||£12.50||Sold Out|
|BCSP50V||75th Ann Operation Chastise, The Dambusters Raid, doubled with RAF Goggles stamp from 2018 Great War||£12.95||Sold Out|
|BCSP50T||75th Anniversary of Operaton Chastise-Doubled for the 100th Anniversary Guy Gibson Birth||£13.50||Sold Out|
|BCSP50J||75th Anniversary Operation Chastise-The Dambusters Raid with full set of Jersey stamps and postmark||£18.50||Sold Out|
|BCSP50S2||75th Anniversary of Operaton Chastise-The Dambusters Raid signed Jo Lancaster||£19.50||Sold Out|
|BCSP50S||75th Anniversary of Operaton Chastise-The Dambusters Raid triple signed||£22.50||Sold Out|
Issue Date: 17/05/2018
Issue Name: Celebrating Guy Gibson and 617 Squadron
Producer: Buckingham Covers
Wing Commander Guy Gibon was the first Commanding Officer at the Royal Air Force's No.617 Squadron, formed on the 21st March, 1943. This lovely cover celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Dambusters raid, and Guy Gibson, and features a 1st class Union Jack flag stamp along with a Lancaster image label. It has an RAF Scampton, Lincoln postmark (17th May, 2018).
This cover is available triple signed by our choice of Bomber Command Veterans with a limited edition of just 50. The cover shown features autographs of:
Jo Lancaster DFC has also signed the cover on his own, although he liked the cover so much he signed it twice! With a limited edition of just 21!
The cover is also available double postmarked with a special RAF Scampton, Lincoln postmark on the 12th August 2018 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of 617 Squadron Leader Guy Gibson.
Wing Commander Guy Penrose Gibson, VC, DSO and Bar, DFC and Bar was born on 12 August 1918 and had distinguished himself as an excellent bomber and outstanding night fighter pilot during the early years of the war. He was the first Commanding Officer of the Royal Air Force's No. 617 Squadron, formed on 21st March 1943 at Scampton near Lincoln. Arthur 'Bomber' Harris of Bomber Command gave him the unprecedented privilege of selecting crews from other bomber command squadrons to fly the Lancasters on a special highly secret operation. The operation was known only as Operation Chastise and it was Dr Barnes Wallis' design and engineering that were to make it all possible. He designed the unique ‘bouncing bomb’ and modified nineteen Lancaster bombers for the task of breaching the three enormous dams of the Ruhr region, the Möhne, Eder and Sorpe.
On the 16 May 1943 at about 21.30hrs, after weeks of training for low level flying around the dams and reservoirs of Derbyshire, nineteen Lancasters of 617 Squadron were dispatched from Scampton, loaded with Barnes Wallis’ bouncing bombs . The first attack was the Möhne, nine aircraft led by Gibson breached the dam and then five flew on to the Eder dam, where the first two bombs failed to breach but the third succeeded.
During these two raids Wing Commander Guy Gibson repeatedly flew over the two dams to draw enemy fire away from the attacking aircraft. Other aircraft attacked the Sorpe and a fourth dam, the Ennepe, but they did not succeed in breaching them. Of the nineteen Lancasters that took off with the 133 men who flew in them, eight did not return. Five were either shot down or crashed en route to their targets, two were destroyed while delivering their attacks and another shot down on the way home. Two more were so badly damaged they had to abandon their missions.
For his gallantry in the raid, Wing Commander Gibson was awarded the Victoria Cross and in June 1943 became the most highly decorated serviceman in the country. Sadly he lost his life on 19 September 1944 after an attack on Bremen, having completed over 170 operations at the age of 26. 32 other squadron members were also decorated for their part in Operation Chastise. In one operation, 617 Squadron became probably the most famous RAF squadron of all time, and has been known from that time onwards as The Dam Busters, their efforts and bravery have lived on for seventy-five years and shall continue for many years to come.
‘Apres Moi - le deluge’ After me, the flood. 617 Squadron motto.
John Oliver (Jo) Lancaster DFC had a remarkable career in aviation spanning half a century. Starting out in 1935 as an engineering apprentice with Armstrong Whitworth, Jo went on to fly an extraordinary 54 operations against the enemy during the Second World War, piloting Vickers Wellingtons and Avro Lancasters with RAF Bomber Command’s 40 and 12 Squadrons. Jo also took part in the ‘Thousand Bomber Raids’ in 1942 while an instructor at an operational training unit. By retirement in 1984 Jo had accumulated 11,000 flying hours on some 150 different aircraft types.
During World War Two he flew a total of 44 ‘ops’ with Nos 76, 608 and 104 Squadrons, 30 in Halifax bombers over targets in industrial Germany and 14 in Mosquitos bombing Berlin. He took part in the Peenemunde Raid in August 1942 when a late change of plan switched his squadron from the fourth to the first wave. The fourth wave lost 46 aircraft! After the war George continued to fly for the RAF until 1947.
Harold Stanley ‘Hal’ Gardner had a great interest in flying and decided he wanted to become a pilot so joined the Air Training Corp, he was accepted for the PNB (pilot navigation bombing) scheme and joined up in June 1942. Hal served as a Navigator with 106 and 189 Squadron on Lancasters. Hal took part in two 1,000 bomber daylight raids in March 1945. The Dortmund raid on 12 March 1945 involved 1,108 aircraft and was the highest number of aircraft to a single target of the entire war.
Wing Commander John Bell, MBE DFC Legion d’Honneur was a Lancaster Bomb aimer on Bob Knight’s crew with 619 and then 617 Squadrons. John flew a total of 50 ‘ops’, including 29 with 617 Sqn, many in the Lancaster named ‘Thumper Mk III’ (the BBMF Lancaster’s previous ‘identity’), dropping several of the huge ‘Tallboy’ bombs in the process. John subsequently became an accounts officer and then a photographic interpreter during the Korean War.