Dambuster of the Day No. 47: John Fuller

P O MJD Fuller 2

Pic: Fuller family

Plt Off M J D Fuller
Bomb aimer

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.

Michael John David Fuller, known as John to his family, was born on 28 April 1920 in Reigate, Surrey. After leaving school, he worked for the Post Office as a telephone engineer. He joined the RAF in May 1940, but didn’t begin operational training until February 1942. He then qualified as a bomb aimer.

After a short spell in 106 Squadron he was posted to 50 Squadron, and first flew with Henry Maudslay and his new crew on 13 February 1943. He flew on a handful of other operations before the whole crew were posted over to 617 Squadron. By this time, he had been commissioned.

The bomb aimer’s job on the attack on the Eder Dam must have been ferociously difficult. The pilot had only a few seconds to level out and in that time, the bomb aimer would have had to judge exactly when to release the mine. David Shannon and Henry Maudslay made several attempts each, and it was on his third run that Fuller released AJ-Z’s mine. Some reports say that something was seen hanging down below the aircraft, perhaps caused by hitting trees on the run in. Perhaps this hampered the mechanism because the mine was dropped too late, hit the parapet and exploded almost under the aircraft.

Although the crew limped as far as Emmerich, they met their end there at the hands of a flak battery, about 50 minutes after the attack on the Eder.

When they got to the AJ-Z crash site, the Germans could not identify the individual remains of Fuller, Tytherleigh and Urquhart, and they were buried together in a collective grave in Düsseldorf North Cemetery. After the war, the whole crew was reinterred in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.

More about Fuller online:
Commonwealth War Grave Commission entry

KIA 17.05.43

Rank and decorations as of 16 May 1943.
Richard Morris, Guy Gibson, Penguin 1995
John Sweetman, The Dambusters Raid, Cassell 2002

2 thoughts on “Dambuster of the Day No. 47: John Fuller

  1. Di and terry April 1, 2018 / 12:45 pm

    Can i just say that my wife father who was douglas micklewright of west wickham in the 40s was great mates with your relative john fuller and told me the story that him and john had a boys holiday together before there posting dad was in the royal fusiliers and your relative john had been chosen for a secret squadron and they never saw one another again.dad went of to italy and fought in the battle of monte cassino and was seriously wounded and was awarded the dcm.sadley we lost him 8 years ago and took his remains back to the commonwealth cemetery at cassino and spread his ashes with his buddies with the help of his old regiment.he was really upset when i found the list of casualties from the dams raid and john was on it.he lived in orpington for most of his life and then moved near us in herne bay.all of these men from that generation i hold in very high esteem and as far as i am concerned they are all heroes and should never be forgotten god bless them.
    Di and terry strange herne bay

  2. Steven Fuller June 26, 2019 / 10:52 pm

    Im also a descendant of this person my name Steven Fuller ive been looking into my family tree and this is one the proudest moments when i found out when john played an important part in history.

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