Christmas greetings 1942 style, from Dambuster Cyril Anderson

Card image © Dominic Howard
I don’t know if any Christmas cards signed by other Dams Raid participants survive from the latter part of the war, but this pre-Dams Raid ones does. It was sent by Sgt Cyril Anderson to his wife Rose in December 1942, when Cyril was still training as a pilot. He was then based at RAF Finningley.
In February 1943, Cyril went on to join 49 Squadron and had flown 7 operations before being transferred to 617 Squadron on 25 March, along with his crew. On the raid, his aircraft AJ-Y was part of the third wave, the mobile reserve, and was eventually dispatched to the Sorpe Dam. He encountered heavy flak en route and had a problem with a malfunctioning rear gun. So at 0310, with dawn approaching and the valleys filling with mist, he turned back still short of the target. He landed at Scampton at 0530, with his mine still on board.
Guy Gibson was not pleased with the fact that he had returned without dropping the mine and, taking no notice of the other extenuating circumstances, sent Cyril and his crew back to 49 Squadron. They completed another 15 operations before being shot down by a German fighter and killed on a raid on Mannheim on 23/24 September 1943.
One interesting feature on Cyril’s card is its atmospheric photograph. There are other cards featured in this posting on the Lancaster Archive.
On a personal note, I’d like to wish all readers of this blog a very happy Christmas and a good New Year. I know from my WordPress stats that there are now several thousand of you, and I hope you will continue to find the blog interesting and informative. Charles Foster

6 thoughts on “Christmas greetings 1942 style, from Dambuster Cyril Anderson

  1. sartenada December 23, 2009 / 12:09 pm

    It seems to be a different card.

    Merry Christmas!

  2. dambusters December 23, 2009 / 12:18 pm

    Not sure what you mean by this? This is the 1942 card from Cyril. The Lancaster Forum archive posting I mentioned has several examples, including this one.

  3. Paul Morley January 1, 2010 / 3:50 pm

    Happy New Year Charles from another Dambuster nephew. Best wishes from the family of Frank Garbas, front gunner of Bill Astell’s AJ-B. He is still to this day missed in Hamilton, Canada.

    Paul Morley

  4. Paul Morley January 1, 2010 / 3:53 pm

    Hi Charles:
    My book is slowly coming together. Hope to be in UK in the spring.

    • D M Taylor October 6, 2012 / 4:12 pm

      Hello Paul. Have been trying to get in touch but you seem to have changed your email address. Regards, David Taylor.

  5. Barry Whiteley November 3, 2012 / 8:24 pm

    Hi Charles

    I am very proud to be the grandson of Reg, the brother of Cyril Anderson. Unfortunately I never met Cyril but I remember his wife Rose who was a wonderful lady. Cyril was always a hero to the family and remembered as a terrific man.

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