Bristol University Air Squadron Officer Cadet Josh Rowles has chosen to mark this year’s Remembrance Day with a tribute to Flt Sgt Victor Hill, a Dams Raid participant from his local area. Hill was the front gunner in David Maltby’s crew in AJ-J on the Dams Raid, and would therefore have had a ringside view as their aircraft dropped the mine which finally breached the Möhne Dam. He had completed some 22 operations as a gunner in 9 Squadron before being transferred to 617 Squadron as a late substitute in the first week of May 1943.
Pic: Valerie Ashton
Josh Rowles contacted me a couple of months ago, hoping to get more information about Victor Hill for a local exhibition. I put him in touch with the Hill family. His daughter Valerie – who was just an infant when her father was killed – provided more photographs and family stories. Josh has now written his own tribute and this has been shared with the RAF Benevolent Fund in time for Remembrance Sunday. You can see this here.
Victor Hill’s parents both worked at Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire. As a young man, he was once snapped sitting against one of the castle’s walls, and Josh was able to find the exact location.
Josh is putting together more information about the Hill family’s life in Berkeley, and hopes to develop a tourist map of the area which will be useful when travel restrictions are lifted. Watch this space!