VIDEO & PICTURES: Lancaster bomber soars over Derbyshire with last Dambuster on board

A Lancaster bomber flew over Derbyshire this morning to mark the 75th anniversary of the famous Dambusters raids.

Thursday, 17th May 2018, 4:03 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th May 2018, 4:06 pm
Lancaster bomber. Stock picture.

Squadron Leader George 'Johnny' Johnson MBE - the last surviving member of the Dambusters raids - was on board the Second World War bomber as it soared over the Derwent dam in the Peak District.

The flypast was planned to take place yesterday but was cancelled because of weather conditions.

A Typhoon jet fighter flyover took place instead - but many missed it as onlookers were told that the flight was not going to happen.

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Squadron Leader Andy Millikin, the officer commanding the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, said: "We are thrilled that we were able to finally mark this amazing anniversary in such a poignant way."

He added: "It was always our intent to pay tribute to Johnny as the last British Dambuster by carrying out this sortie on May 16 and we were bitterly disappointed that the weather stopped us yesterday.

"We seized the opportunity to complete this mission today with Johnny on board, flying a shortened sortie.

"Sadly, the quick turn of events did not give the necessary time to organise the essential safety measures to handle the large volumes of traffic that would have been present had we announced the flight, but we felt it was important to fly Johnny on this historic day."

Clare Barclay took this picture of the Lancaster bomber flying over Baslow at 8.41am. She said: "I knew it was something special when I heard it coming. It was amazing and has made my day."

Mr Johnson, 96, took part in the legendary bombing raids on the Mohne, Eder and Sorpe dams in Germany during the Second World War.

On May 16 and 17, 1943, a total of 133 Allied aircrew left for the raids aboard 19 Lancaster bombers which carried Barnes Wallis's specially-adapted bouncing bombs. They were tested on the Ladybower and Derwent reservoirs.

Clare Barclay took this picture of the Lancaster bomber flying over Baslow at 8.41am.