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 was born in Blairmore, Alberta, Canada on November 20 1917. He worked for the Alberta forestry service before volunteering for the RCAF in 194o. After training as a navigator, his first active posting was to 106 Squadron as it re-equipped to fly Avro Lancasters. He quickly crewed up with David Shannon and they flew together on a full tour of operations which finished in December 1942. He was awarded the DFC in January 1943.
At the end of March 1943, Walker was serving in a training unit. Shannon was contacted by Gibson and told he ‘was putting things together’ for a new squadron, and would he like to join him. Shannon agreed, and conferred with his old 106 Squadron crew. However, Walker was the only one who accepted the offer to fly with 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 alcoholic poisoning. Walker received a Bar to his DFC for his work on the raid itself.
By the time serious operational duties were resumed, in September 1943, Walker had become the squadron’s Navigation Officer, succeeding Jack Leggo who was undergoing pilot training. Walker flew some 17 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 after the war. 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, helping people to find jobs. He died in 2001.
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