Treasure from the deep

Pic: Lisa Clayton

Lisa Clayton, who lives in Herne Bay on the north coast of Kent, got a surprise when out for a walk at Reculver beach on Wednesday. She came across a complete endcap from one of the test ‘bouncing bombs’ dropped there during training for the Dams Raid in May 1943.
[Report and pictures: Kent Live]
Other parts of the concrete-filled bombs have turned up over the years since, but it is unusual to find such a large piece.
Reculver was used by the crews of 617 Squadron for low-level test drops of the bombs, including a full scale dress rehearsal on Friday 14 May 1943. Some of the test bombs were half-size but this would seem to be a full-size version. The photograph below shows a still from the film made of one of the test drops. Barnes Wallis, the inventor of the bomb, is the bareheaded man on the left of the group, with his arms outstretched.

Pic: IWM FLM 2343

It would be nice to think that the endcap will be recovered and put on display somewhere! Any suggestions?
[Hat tip: Susan Paxton]

 

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16 thoughts on “Treasure from the deep

  1. arthur rayner March 31, 2017 / 1:37 pm

    Brooklands might be the obvious place perhaps?

    • Tony Knight March 31, 2017 / 4:27 pm

      Brooklands already have a complete Upkeep

  2. Barry Smith March 31, 2017 / 1:38 pm

    Yes the best place would be at R A FEW Spitfire museum at Manston

  3. Martin Davies March 31, 2017 / 1:56 pm

    What an interesting article and what a find ! How did this massive and heavy object come to be on the grass near the path and after so long – was it washed ashore ?

  4. Jenny Elmes March 31, 2017 / 3:44 pm

    Surely the RAF museum at Manston, Kent would be the ideal place for it. They already have a model of M-Mother and a bit on the Dambusters raid.

  5. Tony Knight March 31, 2017 / 4:30 pm

    It’s just the end of the cylinder, that has rusted away from the rest of the body such that it was then light and buoyant enough to wash ashore.

  6. Len Brown March 31, 2017 / 5:00 pm

    The new Lincoln bomber command memorial would seem appropriate, best wishes Len Brown

  7. Michael gallacher March 31, 2017 / 9:03 pm

    East Kirkby aviation centre the home of Lancaster just Jane or raf scampton museum, home of 617

  8. Graham Taylor April 3, 2017 / 8:59 am

    The Petwood Hotel Woodhall Spa,alongside the test bouncing bomb in the garden very fitting

  9. The Mohne April 8, 2017 / 7:39 pm

    Who has actually taken ownership of this piece of Upkeep ?

  10. The Mohne April 8, 2017 / 7:40 pm

    Its also interesting to note that Gibson and Bob Hay are also in the photo .

  11. Lance April 11, 2017 / 6:20 pm

    The Upkeep endplate was found during foreshore works by the environment agency (regrading the shingle) and they moved it up to the prom from where they uncovered it, it wasn’t washed up at all. Apparently it was found about 30 years ago and reburied. It has now been recovered and will be going on display in the local museum after conservation. It’s covered in concreted shingle and sand, but little of the internals are left, a couple of very bent tie rods and possibly some of the inert filling.

  12. John Spencer April 14, 2017 / 2:51 pm

    Without doubt all places mentioned so far, would be appropriate. Having spent an evening with Johnny Johnson recently. My thoughts are in giving this Dambuster legend the Honour in deciding.

  13. jjdambuster April 14, 2017 / 2:54 pm

    Without doubt all places mentioned so far, would be appropriate. Having spent an evening with Johnny Johnson recently. My thoughts are in giving this Dambuster legend the Honour in deciding.

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