My name is Charles Foster. I’m a writer, editor and designer and I live in Dublin, Ireland.
I’ve set this blog up as a service to anyone who would like to find out more, or share material, about the RAF’s 617 Squadron between its formation in March 1943 and the end of that year. I occasionally stray into events which occurred later in the Second World War, but I don’t claim any expert knowledge of this period.
The reason for my interest is personal: my late mother was Jean Foster, née Maltby, and was the younger sister of Dams Raid pilot Sqn Ldr David Maltby. David and his whole crew were killed returning from an aborted operation in September 1943.
This led me first to write a book about David Maltby and his crew, Breaking the Dams, which was published by Pen and Sword in 2008. I have now written a new book, The Complete Dambusters, published by History Press in 2018, which contains a biography and a photograph of all the 133 men who flew on the Dams Raid. More details on the companion blog, completedambusters.com.
You can contact me by email here.
All the posts give you the facility to comment, and these are welcome, providing that they are not defamatory, racist or sexist. I reserve the right to edit comments.
However, if you have the urge to write about one particular topic – the name of the dog in the famous 1955 film The Dam Busters or in its possible remake – then I won’t publish your comment. The reason why is because, frankly, this is a tedious debate that has already happened many times over. It might have been acceptable in the 1950s to use certain words, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t hurtful or wrong, even then. The world has moved on: the original name of the dog is offensive and simply cannot be used now or in the remake of the film, however historically accurate it might be. You might be able to justify using a racist word in other places on the internet, but I won’t allow it on this blog.
I’ve written more about this in a post from June 2011. Otherwise, comment away!