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.
The week before the unveiling of the Byers memorial — if it goes ahead!
Re: Allsebrook crew memorial to be unveiled in June. Do you have the names of everyone in this photo? I’m trying to find out more information about a pilot by the name of George Lancey, (Canadian).
I am sure Charles will be able to tell you about the names in the photo but George has two links in the Blog — just click on his name. Appears he flew with Charles’s uncle, David Maltby.
John — I do have all the names of the men in this photograph. It contains 57 of the 80 men who returned from the Dams Raid. The annotated picture can be found on p.302 of my book, The Complete Dambusters.
However, George Lancey is not in this picture. He joined 617 Squadron much later in the war, in 1944. I used to be in touch with his son, then living in Canada, but it seems that he has now died and I have no address or contact details for any of his children. All we can do is hope that his family sees this post and others on this site and makes contact.
My cousin was also killed onthe Dortmund Ems Canal sorty.He was Bomb aimer with 617 SQN His name was Frederick Michael Spafford. he is interred with his crew in the Reichswald Cemetary.I live in Australia also.He was also a Dambuster.i am more proud of him than i can ever say.
Hello Pat. I can fully appreciate your pride in your cousin Frederick. In 2005 I visited the Reichwald Cemetery on a Dam Buster tour. I had to do this to show my respect to these brave young men. Fred’s resting place along with his crew and other members of air crews sadly shot. Fred is in good company, the company of friends and hero’s. God Bless them all.
Patricia SpaffordThamk you so much David King
Good to see that other group marked out but they have stamped over my Father’s face
Robert Claude Hay. Chief Bomb Aimer on the Dam Buster Raid.
Dear Denise – Sorry about that, but I wanted to highlight the Allsebrook crew and, with such a small space, this was the inevitable consequence for the other men standing nearby! Best wishes – Charles
Thanks Charles I understand having a little joke with you.
Just a way of letting everybody know he is there.
We never want them to be forgotten
I have found a photo of Willie Tate on Wikipedia with crew on returning from the Tirpitz bombing.. I would like to identify my uncle (a friend of Willie Tate) who is second from the right as (Dr. ) Bruce Rutherford Bayne, Navigator. I tried to do this on Wikipedia but failed. My brother has Bruce’s log books etc. from raids. He won the DFC and I think the DSO.
Thank you for this information. I will try and identify the rest of the men in this picture, and write a post for the blog about them.
Best wishes — Charles Foster