Royal Air Force Cosford marked the 75th Anniversary of the Dambusters’ Raid by holding a large sponsored walk on its airfield.
RUSTA are really proud of our instructor Charlie McGee for taking part and for the great photographs he captured of the event.
The walk took place exactly 75 years after the raid on the German dams on the evening of 16/17 May. The 19 teams of 7 walkers represented the 19 Lancaster bombers each crewed by 7 men that took part in the raid. The walkers set off at 9.28 pm and finished at 06.15 am the following morning to represent the times when the first Lancaster took off and the last one landed at RAF Scampton in 1943.
The teams walking circuits of Cosford’s airfield were made up of military personnel and civilians. Royal Air Force Air Cadets and students from UBAS also took part. Of particular note was the attendance of 2 families of previous Dambuster crews.
As well as remembering the aircrews who took part in the raid the event was also staged to raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund, who are great supporters of Royal Air Force personnel, veterans and RAF families. Although final counting has not taken place it is thought that the event raised approximately £40,000 for the charity.
During the original raid 133 men flew in 19 Lancasters to attack the Mohne, Eder and Sorpe dams. Eight Lancasters failed to return from the raid with the loss of 53 men killed and 3 held as prisoners of war. On the night of the walk a flare was fired, a Last Post played and a minute’s silence observed at the exact time that each Lancaster was known to have been lost. All of the teams taking part wore t-shirts displaying the names and faces of each of the crews.
Sadler’s Ales Brewery commissioned a special beer for the event and Dragon Coin played a major role in sponsoring the walk.
Although thoroughly exhausted after nearly 9 hours of walking everyone enjoyed the crisp Shropshire evening in the knowledge that they had raised a lot of money for a very worthy cause.