Tony Iveson on Desert Island Discs

The first Desert Island Discs castaway of 2011 was an old friend of this blog, Sqn Ldr Tony Iveson. Now aged 90, he has recently been involved in the campaign for a permanent memorial for the 55,000 Bomber Command aircrew who died on active service during the war. In fact his first wartime operations were in Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain. He later retrained as a bomber pilot and joined 617 Squadron a few months after the Dams Raid. He took part in three attacks on the Tirpitz, including the final one in November 1944, where the battleship was sunk after three direct hits from the Barnes Wallis-designed Tallboy bombs, dropped by crews from both 617 and 9 Squadron.
Just over a year ago, Tony Iveson flew again in a Lancaster, courtesy of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, and took the controls for a while. (I blogged about it at the time, reproducing the fine article which appeared in the Daily Telegraph.)
He discussed this experience on the radio, and told many other anecdotes about his fascinating and full life. You have until Sunday 9 January to listen again on the BBC Desert Island Discs web page, so take a look.

3 thoughts on “Tony Iveson on Desert Island Discs

  1. JerryH January 3, 2011 / 6:35 pm

    I managed to catch it when it went out on Sunday and I could not believe how wonderful he sounded for a man of his age. Long may he continue to enjoy his retirement

  2. Christopher R Rhoades January 7, 2011 / 5:54 pm

    I was fortunate to hear Tony Iveson today, Friday 7th Jan on DID.
    What a marvellous man! Without men and women of this calibre fighting in ALL sectors of the British Forces during WW2 we would not be enjoying our civil liberties today. I am not surprised that he and his colleagues in Bomber Command were upset by Churchill’s omission of their heroic efforts on all our behalf during that speech. Shame on the man.
    What do the misguided critics of focussed bombing thought should happen to the Nazis and their population who fervently followed Hitler et al: a pat on the head? These people really need to get a grip on reality and thank their lucky stars for the men and women of Bomber Command.

  3. Claudia Royston January 16, 2011 / 8:59 am

    My great uncle, Norman Wheeler, was an RAF pilot during the battle of Britain. I was born and grew up in the US, but we spent a lot of time in the UK as a child and I lived there for 7 years as an adult. I was with him at the 50 year celebration in Hyde Park in 1995.

    I am wondering if he was in the same squadron as Tony Iveson and if they new each other. Does anyone know how I can get touch with Mr. Iveson?

    Many thanks,
    Claudia Royston

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