It’s coming on Christmas

Trees_snow Unsplash

Pic: Unsplash

It’s coming on Christmas
They’re cutting down trees
They’re putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
[Joni Mitchell, The River]

Songs of joy and peace to all readers of this blog this Christmas-tide. And best wishes for the New Year.

“Stand by to pull me out of the seat if I get hit!”

dam busters poster

If you live in the UK and can receive Channel 5, you may like to know that it is showing The Dam Busters again this afternoon. TV screenings of the film usually lead to a spike of new visitors to this blog, so I’d like to welcome you if you have turned up here for the first time as a result of watching it.
The purpose of this blog is to keep people up to date with Dambusters news – information about who took part in the raid, news of commemorative events (the 70th anniversary took place in May 2013) and other bits and pieces, such as the very slow progress on the remake of the original film. This is in the hands of Peter Jackson, of Hobbit fame, and will apparently be proceeding when this series of three films have been concluded. (See this series of posts for an update.)
You might like to know that we are about halfway through a series of profiles of each of the 133 aircrew who took part in the raid. (The full list can be found here and you can see photographs of each of them in this pictureboard, assembled by the BBC with help from this blog.)
If you want to subscribe to the blog, there’s a button further down the page. Or you can get a link to updates by following us on Twitter, @DambustersBlog – if that’s your thing.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

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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!)

All the hits and more

Well, all I can say is Wow!
I got 22,000 views on this blog yesterday, which is more in one day than I got in the first year of writing it, back in 2008.
So if you are a new reader, welcome, and I will just take a few seconds of your time to tell you a little about what you will find here.
I set up the blog in order to provide a focus for news and information about the exploits of the RAF’s 617 Squadron from its formation in March 1943 through to the end of that year – in other words the period around the Dams Raid itself and the few months that followed.
The motive was because having written a book about my uncle David Maltby, the pilot of AJ-J on the raid, and who was sadly killed four months later, I could find no space to provide updated information which might have been of interest to readers.
A blog seemed the obvious answer and, five years later, it’s still here.
So, what you will  find below is an eclectic mix of links to news stories, bits of information and other nuggets which appeal to me.

There is a complete list of everyone who took part in the Dams Raid. This is an accurate list of the 133 aircrew who took part, so please don’t write to me asking if so-and-so took part in the raid without checking it first.

There is a Dambuster of the Day feature, which will eventually build up into a series of profiles of all the Dambusters. There is a slight hiatus in this at the moment because of the many excitements of the 70th anniversary, but the series will resume next week and will be completed by the end of August 2013.

There is as much information as I can glean about the forthcoming remake of the 1955 film. (The main news is that there is no news. We are told that the project will come to fruition sometime, but we don’t know when.) Check this category to get the latest update.

Do get in touch if you want to know more, or leave a comment below. Due to pressure of time I don’t always answer comments, but I do read every one, and really welcome your feedback.
You can follow the blog on Twitter, or sign up to get an email every time a new post is published. I won’t spam you, I promise.