My good friend Dom Howard has come up with another gem. A full set of Warner Brothers promotional material for the American release of “The Dam Busters” in 1955. See the whole collection at his Photobucket site.
This is the second post running featuring the son of a member of the RAF who took part in the filming of “The Dam Busters” in 1954. This time it is Jan Kmiecik, whose father was Flt Sgt Joe Kmiecik, a Second World war veteran who was by then a pilot in 83 Squadron. Jan has kindly sent me these two photos.
The first shows ground level filming of one of the two Lancasters which was modified for the film to resemble the “real” Dambuster aircraft more closely, with its mid upper gun turret and bomb bay doors removed. It has also had its squadron code changed to AJ-M, the code of the aircraft flown on the actual raid by Flt Lt John Hopgood.
The second picture shows the three Lancasters used in the film flying together probably for the last time. This was taken at a Battle of Britain Day tribute in Cumbria. The caption on the reverse says that this was taken at Silloth, but in Jonathan Falconer’s Filming the Dam Busters, this is mentioned as taking place at nearby Anthorn. (
If anyone can confirm which airfield this is, please let me know. Cumbria resident Dom Howard reckons that it is Silloth– see this link .)
Note in the picture that only two of the aircraft have been modified to the “Dambuster” configuration. The central one must be NX782, which was left as standard and used in an early sequence where Gibson is completing his final flight as CO of 106 Squadron.
Note also how low the three Lancasters are flying, and how close they are to the members of the public wandering across the runway. Modern air displays have much stricter health and safety rules!