Ralph Allsebrook and his crew were the first to join 617 Squadron after the Dams Raid. They were all present when the famous squadron photograph was taken at Scampton on 9 July 1943, and are shown highlighted above. [Pic: Sutherland family/Artwork: Dambusters Blog. © Copyright 2022.]
Chris Ward has been in touch to say that a memorial to Flt Lt Ralph Allsebrook DSO DFC and his crew is to be erected on the quayside of the Wet Triangle at Bergeshovede in Germany, very close to the site where they crashed after bombing the Dortmund-Ems canal on 16 September 1943. The memorial will be unveiled at 5pm on Friday 17 June 2022. The general public are invited to attend.
Allsebrook and his crew were the first new crew to join 617 Squadron after the Dams Raid, arriving at Scampton on 20 May 1943. Allsebrook was a close friend of Henry Maudslay, 617 Squadron’s B Flight Commander, who had died just three days before after bombing the Eder Dam. Allsebrook had himself clocked up 50 operations in 49 Squadron, mostly flying with the same crew who all transferred with him. On the night of the Dortmund-Ems operation, four months later, they were in Lancaster EE130, and carried an extra gunner.
The crew list read Flt Lt RAP Allsebrook DSO DFC (pilot), Flt Sgt P Moore (flight engineer), Plt Off NA Botting (navigator), Flg Off JM Grant DFC (wireless operator), Flt Sgt RBS Lulham (bomb aimer), Sgt IG Jones (mid-upper gunner), Flt Sgt S Hitchen (rear gunner) plus Flt Sgt WE Walker (extra air gunner).
Further details can be obtained from Chris, who you can contact by email here.
Benny Goodman’s medal group. [Pic: Dix Noonan Webb]
Good news in this article from the Antiques Trade Gazette.
The Goodman family and the RAF Museum have agreed that Sqn Ldr Lawrence “Benny” Goodman’s medals, logbook, flying jacket and other artefacts are to be purchased by the RAF Museum, and will go on display there in due course.
Tom Derbyshire of the Antiques Trade Gazette reports:
Squadron Leader Goodman’s son, Robert, said: “I’m very pleased that my father’s medals and artefacts will be purchased by the RAF Museum with the proceeds of the sale benefiting the Royal Air Force No 617 Squadron Association. I’m sure that he would have been thrilled that his legacy will be kept alive for the nation and shared with the world at the RAF Museum while giving back to No 617 Squadron, with which he fought so valiantly during the Second World War.”
Dr Peter Johnston, head of collections and research, the RAF Museum, said: “The museum is delighted to have acquired this wonderful piece of history which enables us to tell a unique part of the RAF story.
“‘Benny’ Goodman had a fantastic relationship with the museum and was featured in the Jewish ‘Hidden Heroes’ project that was launched in 2018. We are planning that his medals and log book will go on display in the Bomber Command Hall as part of its redevelopment in 2023.”
Good news for everyone concerned!
Thanks to Ray Hepner for the tip.
Sqn Ldr Lawrence “Benny” Goodman was the last British wartime 617 Squadron pilot when he died last July at the ripe old age of 100. He was honoured yesterday with a memorial service at the RAF church, St Clement Danes in Strand, London. There is a report on the services TV station, Forces.net, which you can find here, with contributions from various attendees and his son, Robert Goodman. The good news conveyed by Robert in the film is that Benny’s medals and logbook will shortly go on display at the RAF Museum in Hendon.
Wg Cdr Andrew Walters, chair of the 617 Squadron Association, conducting a reading during the service