Two crash site tributes on anniversary of Dams Raid

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The AJ-E memorial near Haldern, Germany. (Pic: Volker Schürmann)

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The AJ-Z memorial near Emmerich am Rhein, Germany. (Pic: Curt Fredriksson)

The tributes shown above at the crash site memorials for AJ-E and AJ-Z were left by local people on the 78th anniversary of the Dams Raid, 17 May 2021. I am sure that all readers of this blog are very grateful to those who are responsible for installing and maintaining these memorials. (Many apologies to all concerned for not posting these pictures earlier.)

AJ-E was piloted by Flt Lt Norman Barlow DFC, an Australian who had previously completed a tour of operations in 61 Squadron. While flying at low level towards an attack on the Sorpe Dam, their aircraft hit electricity wires near Haldern and crashed at 2350. All on board were killed.

AJ-Z was piloted by Sqn Ldr Henry Maudslay DFC, commander of 617 Squadron’s B Flight, who had previously completed a tour of operations in 44 Squadron. His aircraft was brought down by flak, returning towards the coast after dropping its mine at the Eder Dam. All on board were killed.

The fourteen men from both crews are now buried in Reichswald Commonwealth War Cemetery, shown below in another photograph by Curt Fredriksson.

We should never forget that as well as the 53 men from Britain and the Commonwealth who died on the Dams Raid another 1,341 lost their lives as a result of the destruction caused by the bombing. 

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Pic: Curt Fredriksson

4 thoughts on “Two crash site tributes on anniversary of Dams Raid

  1. mfazzman June 11, 2021 / 10:03 pm

    What a very heartwarming article Charles, in that such wonderful gestures can come from after such an appalling conflict. We of course continue to do similarly here, when one considers Cannock Chase and myriad other churchyards up and down the country.
    Also, tonight, I was rather surprised to be watching an episode of Foyle’s war titled ‘Casualties of War’ whilst also reading your blog (multitasking?!), when suddenly a very well produced piece of graphic film was shown as part of the plot; a scene of a ‘dambusting Lanc’ dropping a test mine (‘bouncing bomb’) just off the coast/beach, echoing the actual trial drops pre-raid. The footage had obviously been computerised and coloured and looked very convincing considering it was of 2007 vintage. The Dambusters still make it into modern cinema after all these years…. God bless ’em all.
    Please keep up your fantastic work Charles.

  2. David King June 13, 2021 / 1:27 pm

    Hello everyone and a huge thank you for this very interesting Blog. I visited Reichswald Commonwealth War Cemetery back in 2005, Paying my respects to the heroes that I truly admired. It was part of a Dambuster trip visiting the Dams, Colditz Castle, Stalagluft 3, And various other Commonwealth War Grave sites through out France, Belgium, Germany and into Poland. All this came about from when as a youngster I read Guy Gibson’s Enemy Coast Ahead, And from that I went on to achieve a very fulfilling number of years. Visiting RAF Scampton and the museum on several occasions, Meeting some very kind and interesting people. This then lead to my visiting the gorgeous and historic Petwood Hotel, and RAF Coningsby and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. Both my wife Diane and my self visit these historic every year, and have done for number of years now. We are very much looking forward to visiting the International Bomber Command Center this year.

    Thank you to you all. Kindest regards Dave and Diane King.

  3. David King June 13, 2021 / 1:47 pm

    Hello Charles, So sorry for my delay in replying to your very interesting article. This brought back memories of my visit to the Reichswald Commonwealth War Cemetery in 2005.This was on a Dams visit following the route of 617 Squadron, A trip that will live with me for ever. To have read about the hero’s is good, But to stand at their grave in homage is quite another, It really brought home to me the true feeling of total respect for these brave and charismatic young men. When ever I feel down and despondent I put myself in their shoes and just get on with things. Thank goodness for people such as yourself Charles, You have made my day. Thank you.

    Kindest regards to you Charles.

    David King.

    • charlesfoster June 14, 2021 / 11:34 am

      Thank you, David. I hope to keep on adding to the material on the blog for a while yet. Best wishes — Charles

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