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Last Dambuster TV programme

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    Last Dambuster TV programme

    After a premature thread just after the dig, here are some photos of the excavation of ED825G. It was McCarthy's aircraft on the raid and his bomb aimer George Johnson attended the dig and talked us through the attack in front of a model of the dam. The only large piece uncovered was the ventral Vickers K mount, a very fortunate discovery. A wheel from the mid upper taboo rail also came out, proving the aircraft was refitted with a turret. It was a fascinating weekend and I hope the TV programme does it justice.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by ian_; 4th June 2010, 21:09.

    The only large piece uncovered was the ventral Vickers K mount
    I take it that's the piece lying in the grass in the second photo?

    Any idea as to what sources identified the piece, e.g. are there any contemporary drawings or photos to i.d. it with?
    The garage that keeps on giving.


      Any idea when it will be aired?



        Tuesday June 17th, Ch 5, at 8pm.

        There might be some merit in merging what are now three threads on same topic?
        Editor: 'Britain at War' Magazine

        A 'Key Publishing' product - Britain's Best Selling Military History Monthly


          The attached photo of the mount isn't exactly conclusive but there are a couple of drawings extant of the ventral mount, which the wreckage compared with well. ED825 was photographed extensively at Boscombe Down before the raid and the Vickers K is visible in a couple of the shots. Other bits shown are the face of a crew position oxygen gauge, an escape compass and a section of flak damaged skinning. The Lanc was lost dropping supplies to the resistance and there were many cooked off 9mm rounds and grenade remains. There were also a number of fired .303 rounds, so ED825 did not go down without a fight.

          The programme is on Tuesday 17th June, 8pm, Channel 5.
          Last edited by ian_; 16th June 2011, 18:59.


            Lots more info on Simon Parry's Red kite site. Link here:


              Thanks for the extra info regarding the gun mounting.

              The photo appears in one of Harry Holmes' books on the Lancaster, but he doesn't identify it as the type intended for the Upkeep aircraft, so I've always wondered about it.

              As you say, there are certainly some similarities.

              I'm spending part of next week at The National Archives and will hopefully return with oodles of info on Lancaster modifications. Who knows what will turn up in some of the more obscure stuff I hope to get access to?
              The garage that keeps on giving.


                You're right Air Ministry, From Harry Holmes 'Definitive Record'. It would be interesting if you could find any more 464 provisioning photos. The published record is pretty scant. As an aside, a work colleage's father was a ventral gunner on Lancs late in the war. His log book mentions manning a .5 Browning.



                  Just a reminder, folks!
                  Midlands Air Crash Research

                  "Lest We Forget"


                    I thought it was an excellent programme..well made, seriously presented and thoughtful. George Johnson is a star. I usually approach these TV reconstructions with trepidation, but this one was very good indeed...a credit to all involved.


                      Absolutely marvelous..

                      Thank you Mr Johnson for sharing with the nation your views of then and now.

                      I think a big thank you to all involved is deserved as it came across very well.

                      Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy.


                        I thought it was good.

                        Was it just coincidence that Stephen Fry was narrator???

                        Roger Smith.
                        A Blenheim, Beaufighter and Beaufort - together in one Museum. Who'd have thought that possible in 1967?


                          It really was an excellent programme. The pace was not too hurried and Mr johnson was given plenty of time to be heard. Apparently Stephen Fry has a great interest in the Dambusters and jumped at the chance to narrate. It's a pity the whole series doesn't cover similar ground.


                            Well, I've just watched "The Last Dambuster" and I was pleasantly surprised.
                            Quite well made, I thought.

                            I was particularly interested with Mr Johnson's take on the events 65 years ago, and rather moved when he visited the crash sites of his comrades' aircraft.

                            Well done, Channel 5, and a huge "Thank you" to Mr Johnson.
                            Midlands Air Crash Research

                            "Lest We Forget"


                              I think they did quite well in not over doing it. It was certainly better than the last few such programmes I have seen.
                              Peak District Air Accident Research


                              Aircraft Wrecks: The Walker's Guide


                                Agree with all that is said above.

                                I watched the first few moments cranky CGI and feared the worst, but the programme just got better and better after that.

                                Mr Johnson and all the Germans came over well, very well.

                                "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.


                                  One point arising from the programme. The claim was made that the ventral Vickers "K" gun was only fitted to this one particular Lancaster. I thought this gun was fitted to every "Upkeep" Lanc? The 1976 Tamiya kit of the Dambusters Lanc features this gun.

                                  On a related issue - any news on the "Dambusters" remake ? I notice on IMDB that the film is now due to come out in 2010 not 2008. Has the filming been put back two years?




                                    As to any updates regarding the remake, the security in preventing leaks in regards to the real raid, is nothing compared to the lack of updates regarding filming of the remake!

                                    Last I could find was this:





                                      Originally posted by colin.barron View Post
                                      One point arising from the programme. The claim was made that the ventral Vickers "K" gun was only fitted to this one particular Lancaster.

                                      I was also a bit sceptical about this statement!!But i am sure somebody on here will be able to give us a definitive 'definite maybe' answer about it
                                      Other than that I enjoyed the programme,quite well made.

                                      cheers baz


                                        An excellent programme, and very moving at the end after he had met the locals. He was a fantastic character, a little frail but mentally very agile. He was obviously becoming more uncomfortable throughout the programme with the consequences of what they had achieved with regard to the deaths, not only amongst the local population but of the aircrew taking part. He didn't show his emotions on the surface, but they were obviously bubbling away underneath.

                                        It was interesting to see that his mission involved flying along the crest of the dam, the Upkeep being used in a conventional way, I couldn't see the point of that, couldn't it have bounced off the ground in any direction. I assume that had the other Lancasters arrived, that the same technique would have been used, it left me very puzzled, but what do I know.

                                        Another question, when were the dams finally repaired, presumably as soon as possible, I don't understand why 617 didn't go back later in the war and finish the job with Tallboys or Grand Slams, out of pride if not for any other reason. It would have been a little safer to have used these earthquake inducing bombs dropped from a great height, obviously they were in short supply and needed for more pressing missions such as La Coupole and the Tirpitz, but I'm sure it would have affected the German morale no end.