Dambuster of the Day No. 133: Arthur Buck

BuckArthur Buck photographed in 1943. Pic: Dominic Howard

Sgt A W Buck
Rear gunner

Lancaster serial number: ED924/G

Call sign: AJ-Y

Third wave. Did not reach Sorpe Dam because of navigation problems, flak damage and weather conditions. Returned with mine intact.

Arthur William Buck was born in Bromley-by-Bow, London on 30 November 1914, the younger of the two children of George and Ann Buck. At the time of his birth, his father was employed as a carman. He later became a bus driver.

Buck worked as a commercial traveller before the war. He joined the RAF in 1940 but did not begin air gunnery training until 1942. In January 1943 he was posted to 1654 Conversion Unit, where the whole crew which would eventually fly on the Dams Raid with Cyril Anderson came together.

The crew were posted to 49 Squadron in February 1943, and did their first operation together as a crew on 12 March. After their second trip, they were posted to 617 Squadron but in fact stayed on 49 Squadron to do three more operations, including two to Berlin.

After their trip on the Dams Raid, the Anderson crew returned to 49 Squadron and resumed their operational career with an attack on Krefeld on 21 June.

Altogether, they flew on 14 more operations in 49 Squadron, but on 23 September they failed to return from a successful attack on Mannheim. As they headed home, their aircraft was shot down by a night fighter near Offenbach.

The bodies of five of the crew were recovered from the wreckage and were buried by the local Catholic priest Fr Jacob Storck on 26 September.

The bodies of Gilbert Green and one other unidentified member of the crew were not found until after the others, and the pair were buried in Offenbach Cemetery on 28 September, two days after the other five.

Arthur Buck married his wife Minnie Rosetta England in Beckenham in 1941. Along with his comrades, after the war he was reburied in Rheinberg War Cemetery.

Thanks to Dom Howard for help with this article.

More about Buck online:
All the Anderson crew are commemorated on Dominic Howard’s excellent website. Each of the crew has their own page with biographical details. See Anderson’s page for a complete list of operations undertaken by the whole crew.
Entry at Commonwealth War Graves Commission

KIA 23.09.1943

Rank and decorations as of 16 May 1943.
Richard Morris, Guy Gibson, Penguin 1995
John Sweetman, The Dambusters Raid, Cassell 2002

The information above has been taken from the books and online sources listed above, and other online material. Apologies for any errors or omissions. Please add any corrections or links to further information in the comments section below.

Further information about Arthur Buck and the other 132 men who flew on the Dams Raid can be found in my book The Complete Dambusters, published by History Press in 2018.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year


Pic: James Barker, freedigitalphotos.net

Although things are a little quiet right now, it’s been a great year for the Dambusters Blog – many thousands of new readers, and a record number of posts. The main event of course was the 70th anniversary of the Dams Raid, and the interest that this generated was almost overwhelming.
So – greetings of the season to all readers! And many thanks to all of you, especially those who have taken the trouble to add your comments or contact me by email.
I promise that things will get busier in the New Year, and that the Dambuster of the Day articles will finally reach a conclusion. The last one will be No. 133, Sgt Arthur Buck. (By one of those odd coincidences, I actually met a great nephew of Arthur Buck at Scampton on the day of the anniversary, but omitted to get his details from him. So if you are him, or know him, then please get in touch!)