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On the 16th May, 1943 19 Lancaster bombers took to the skies to embark on one of the key missions of World War II. The RAF's 617 Squadron, known as The Dambusters, took off from RAF Scampton - Wing Commander Guy Gibson leading his Squadron of 133 airmen out under complete radio silence.
Size: 69ft (21m) x 102ft (31m)
Range and speed: 2,530 miles (4,072km) / 287mph (462km/h)
Bombload: 22,000lb (10,000kg)
16th May 2013 - RAF Scampton remembers the brave men of 617 Squadron
133 left, only 77 returned.
To retrace their journey, click here
Into empty sky, empty evening sky
nineteen Lancasters, climbing.
Droning over the ‘drome,
on the horizon,
sliding into empty sky, empty evening sky.
Sixty feet high,
nine-thousand pounds, revolving
skimming water like stones on a pond.
Survivors limping home.
Empty sky, empty morning sky,
Fifty-six empty chairs.
You can see photographs of the 133 men who took part in 1943 if you click here
The brave men of RAF's 617 Squadron are soon to be deployed to Afghanistan
© Karen Ette 2013