Skip navigation links

The Dambusters: 617 Squadron – 70th Anniversary

This official Royal Air Force commemorative publication to mark the 70th anniversary of Operation Chastise, the ‘Dambusters’ mission of May 1943, is a poignant reminder of the bravery and sacrifice of RAF personnel in the defence of freedom – not only on that operation, but throughout the Second World War.



The book tells the story of Barnes Wallis’s invention of the “bouncing bomb” used in the operation, the formation of 617 Squadron and the dramatic night of the mission itself. It also details 617 Squadron’s service during the immediate post-war years and more recent times, including deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. The publication includes forewords by Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, Chief of the Air Staff, and Wg Cdr DS Arthurton, Officer Commanding 617 Squadron.

The anniversary publication was produced for distribution at a number of key events during spring/summer 2013, including the sunset ceremony and reception at RAF Scampton, attended by veterans and RAF senior leadership, on 16 May; and the memorial service at Lincoln Cathedral on 17 May.