Bomber flypast to mark Dambusters

A Lancaster bomber is to perform a flypast at Derwent Reservoir as part of events to mark the 70th anniversary of the war-time Dambusters air raid.

The dam, in the Hope Valley in Derbyshire, was used by the brave airmen for practice runs.

The RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and 617 Squadron will recreate history by flying over the twin towers of the reservoir.

The aircraft will continue on to Chatsworth House to carry out a flypast for members of the public gathered for the historic moment.

The flypast is one of several events taking place to mark the anniversary of the daring Dams Raid of May 16-17 1943 during the Second World War.

In Staffordshire, the Royal British Legion will create a Field of Messages at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas. More than 10,500 cardboard crests carrying written messages from supporters will be on display at the memorial throughout the day.

Later, a sunset ceremony will take place at RAF Scampton, near Lincoln, where the crews set off from on their mission 70 years ago.

Veterans and invited guests will gather for the event, which is set to include a further flypast by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and 617 squadron.

The raid, carried out by 133 airmen in 19 Lancaster bombers from the specifically formed 617 squadron, was an attempt to cripple a major part of the Nazi war economy by carrying out attacks on three dams in the industrial heartland of Germany.

Fifty-six of the men did not return from the mission, which required them to fly the Lancaster bombers at just 60ft above the ground - incredibly low when compared to the 250ft aircraft must fly at nowadays - in the dark across northern Europe.

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