The sixteen Canadians who returned from the Dams Raid photographed together. Danny Walker is in the middle of the front row, third from the left. [Pic: Bomber Command Museum of Canada]
Flg Off D R Walker DFC
Lancaster serial number: ED929/G
Call sign: AJ-L
First wave. First aircraft to attack Eder Dam. Mine dropped accurately but no breach caused. Aircraft returned safely.
Daniel Revie Walker known to some as Danny and others as Revie during the war. He was born in Blairmore, Alberta, Canada on 20 November 1917 and worked for the Alberta forestry service before volunteering for the RCAF in 1940. After training as a navigator, his first active posting was to 106 Squadron as it re-equipped to fly Avro Lancasters, and crewed up with David Shannon. He finished a full tour of operations in December 1942, and was awarded the DFC in January 1943. Walker was a gregarious soul, and was particularly friendly with the wireless operator in Guy Gibson’s crew, Robert Hutchison.
At the end of March 1943, Walker was serving in 22 OTU. Shannon was contacted by Gibson and told he ‘was putting things together’ for a new squadron, and would he like to join him. Shannon then assembled an almost completely new crew, with Walker the only man from his time in 106 Squadron to join him.
After the Dams Raid, Shannon and Walker spent some time on leave together near Bradford. So many were the free drinks thrust on them by both friendly members of the public and grateful barmen that Shannon said later that they were in danger of getting alcohol poisoning. Walker received a Bar to his DFC for his work on the raid itself.
In September 1943, when serious operational duties were resumed, Walker became the squadron’s Navigation Officer, succeeding Jack Leggo who had been selected for pilot training. Walker flew some seventeen more operations with Shannon before being transferred out of 617 Squadron in April 1944.
Walker went back to Canada and stayed on in the RCAF. He commanded the navigation school in Winnipeg and served with Norad at Tacoma, Washington, before retiring in 1967. He then worked as a manpower commissioner. He died on 17 November 2001 in his native city of Blairmore, Alberta.
More about Walker online:
Daily Telegraph obituary
Survived war. Deceased.
Rank and decorations as of 16 May 1943.
Richard Morris, Guy Gibson, Penguin 1995
John Sweetman, The Dambusters Raid, Cassell 2002
Further information about Danny Walker and the other 132 men who flew on the Dams Raid can be found in my book The Complete Dambusters, published by History Press in 2018.