Pic: Marriott family
Sgt J Marriott DFM
Lancaster serial number: ED937/G
Call sign: AJ-Z
First wave. Second aircraft to attack Eder Dam. Mine overshot. Aircraft damaged, and shot down on return flight.
Jack Marriott was born on 19 January 1920 in the small village of New Smithy in the Derbyshire Peak District, and went to the local village school at Chinley. He was a factory worker in a local bleach works before the war. At its outbreak, he joined the RAF and worked as ground crew.
As soon as the opportunity arose for experienced mechanics to retrain as heavy bomber flight engineers Marriott volunteered and after training was posted to 50 Squadron at Skellingthorpe on 25 August 1942. There he quickly gained a good reputation and was seen as setting a very high standard. He had amassed twenty three operations in the crew of Flg Off Drew Wyness before joining Henry Maudslay’s crew on an operation to Hamburg on 4 March. They flew together on three further operations before they were posted to 617 Squadron on 25 March 1942.
When Marriott left 50 Squadron, his CO recommended him for a DFM citing his ‘efficiency and enthusiasm for operational flying and his determination in helping to hit the targets’ as meriting the award. Sadly, it was only confirmed in July 1943, after his death, but was reported in the local press.
Marriott is buried in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.
Rank and decorations as of 16 May 1943.
Richard Morris, Guy Gibson, Penguin 1995
John Sweetman, The Dambusters Raid, Cassell 2002
Further information about Jack Marriott 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.