Fraser family donate stolen logbook damages to Bomber Command Museum

At the 75th Dams Raid anniversary event in Nanton last week (see post below), Mrs Doris Fraser and her daughter Shere made a substantial donation to the hosts, the Bomber Command Museum of Canada. The donation was part of the money confiscated from the assets of Alex Bateman, who was convicted in 2017 of the theft of Flt Sgt John Fraser’s logbook.

Commenting afterwards, Shere Fraser wrote: ‘We wanted to use the money for good, turning what was once tears to smiles. I felt victory last year returning Ken Earnshaw’s photo album to his family, and this weekend it brought us tremendous happiness to use the damages money to honour the courage and memory of 617 Squadron.’

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Record number of Canadian Dambuster families gathered in Alberta

Dambuster families gather in Nanton, Alberta. Back row, left to right:  Larry Heather (Earnshaw family), Dianne Young (Fraser family), Peter Brosinsky (Earnshaw family),  Charlene Brosinsky (Earnshaw family), Shere Fraser (Fraser family), Kerry O’Brien-Larsen (O’Brien family), Jim Heather (Earnshaw family), Doris Fraser (Fraser family), Tamara Sutherland (Sutherland Family), Hartley Garshowitz (Garshowitz family), Joan Norris, Tom and Cathy Sutherland (Sutherland family), Marilyn McDowell (McDowell family), Bryce Ramlo, Erin Ramlo and Karen Ramlo (McDonald family)
Front row, left to right: crouching/sitting:  Joe McCarthy (McCarthy family), Emily, Kathy and Rob Taerum (Taerum family), Ted Barris, author. [Pic: Hartley Garshowitz]

A record number of Canadian Dambuster families gathered at the Bomber Command Museum of Canada in Nanton, Alberta last weekend. They came from all parts of Canada and Washington State, USA, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Dams Raid in which their relatives took part. Many of them died on the raid.

Most later gathered under the wing of the museum’s Lancaster aircraft, which has been specially reconfigured and painted in 617 Squadron’s colours as a further tribute. Not all the families are present in the photograph above, so for completeness they are listed below.

Charles Brennan, flight engineer in AJ-M. Granddaughter, Andrea Davids from Calgary, and her son Mark.

 

Harlo Taerum, navigator in AJ-G. Nephew, Rob Taerum, Rob’s wife Kathy, and their daughter Emily Taerum from Calgary.

 

Lewis Burpee, pilot of AJ-S. Son, Lewis Burpee from Ottawa.

 

 

Don MacLean, navigator in AJ-T. Son, Jim MacLean from Toronto.

 

 

Ken Earnshaw, navigator in AJ-M. Nephews and nieces, Jim Heather of Vulcan, Alberta; Margaret Danielson from Edmonton with her daughter Clarissa Danielson Hall and son-in-law Scott Hall; Larry Heather from Calgary; Charlene Brosinsky and Peter Brosinsky from Bashaw, Alberta.

Abram Garshowitz, wireless operator in AJ-B. Nephew, Hartley Garshowitz from Hamilton, Ontario.

 

Floyd Wile, navigator in AJ-B. Nephew, Don Lightbody and his wife Carolee Lightbody from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

 

Percy Pigeon, wireless operator in AJ-W. Son Greg and Greg’s wife Louise from Williams Lake, British Columbia.

 

Grant McDonald, rear gunner in AJ-F. Nephew, Bryce Ramlo, his wife Karen and their daughter Erin Ramlo from Mayne Island and Vancouver, British Columbia.

 

John Fraser, bomb aimer in AJ-M. Widow, Doris Fraser from Langley, BC, daughter Shere Fraser from Blaine, Washington, and niece Dianne Young from Calgary.

 

James McDowell, rear gunner in AJ-K. Daughter, Marilyn McDowell from Burlington, Ontario.

 

Revie Walker, navigator in AJ-L. Son, John Walker, John’s wife Amy and their daughter Kenzie from Calgary.

 

Gordon Brady, rear gunner in AJ-S. Niece, Sheila Robbins and her husband Graham from Beaumont, Alberta.

 

Joe McCarthy, pilot of AJ-T. Son, Joe McCarthy jr. from Blaine, Washington.

 

 

Harry O’Brien, rear-gunner in AJ-N. Daughter, Kerry O’Brien-Larsen from St. Albert, Alberta.

 

Fred Sutherland, front gunner in AJ-N. Son, Tom Sutherland, his wife Cathy, from Fort McMurray, Alberta, and their daughter Tamara Sutherland from Edmonton, Alberta; daughter, Joan Norris and her husband Hugh of Calgary. Fred Sutherland still lives in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, but chose not to attend this event himself.

Dams Raid 75th anniversary: Canada remembers

Pic: Jim Heather

Great picture of the Lancaster at the Bomber Command Museum of Canada in Nanton, Alberta, which organised an event to salute the Canadian Dambusters this weekend. The Lancaster’s code letters have been changed to AJ-M, to match that carried by John Hopgood’s aircraft on the Dams Raid and it carries a full size replica of the Upkeep mine which was dropped by Hopgood at the Mohne Dam.

The picture was taken by Jim Heather, the nephew of Ken Earnshaw, Hopgood’s navigator. He also appears in this CBC news report.

Other relatives of Dams Raid participants also attended the event, and it saw the launch of a new book, The Dambusters: Canadian Airmen and the Secret Raid Against
Nazi Germany
, by Ted Barris, about the men who took part. More details on the BCMA website here.

Canadian Dambusters poster to be launched on anniversary

Canadian Dambusters 2013-02-24 Low Res

Our Friends in the North, aka the folks at the Bomber Command Museum of Canada, have produced the poster above commemorating the 30 Canadians who took part in the Dams Raid. If you are able to get to Nanton, Alberta, on Saturday 11 May you will be able to see a display honouring all 30 plus various other attractions. Most exciting of all may well be the sight of restored Lancaster FM159, which will have all its engines fired up and running in honour of the Dambusters. A sight worth seeing (and hearing)!

poster_2013dambuster70