Dambuster of the Day No. 131: Gilbert Green

Jimmy_Green_wartimePic: Dominic Howard

Sgt G J Green
Bomb aimer

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.

Gilbert John Green was born in Malling in Kent on 13 April 1922, the son of George and Gladys Green. His family moved to Southall in Middlesex, where he went to school and joined a local Air Cadet squadron. He was known to family and friends by the nickname Jimmy.

Green joined the RAF in 1941 and qualified as a bomb aimer in 1942. He was then posted to 25 Operational Training Unit, where he crewed up with Cyril Anderson and the core of the crew who would later fly on the Dams Raid. They moved on to 1654 Conversion Unit, where the whole crew was formed up.

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.

Green and one other unidentified member of the crew were thrown from the wreckage by the explosion. Fr Storck said afterwards that they may have tried to bail out, although this has not been verified. Their bodies were not found until after the others, and the pair were buried in Offenbach Cemetery on 28 September, two days after the other five.

After the war the bodies of all seven were exhumed and identified, and then reburied in Rheinberg War Cemetery.

Thanks to Dom Howard for help with this article.

More about Green 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 Gilbert Green 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.

Dambuster memorabilia of Flt Sgt ‘Jimmy’ Green

Pic: Dominic Howard

Flt Sgt Gilbert John (“Jimmy”) Green was the bomb aimer in Cyril Anderson’s crew aboard AJ-Y on the Dams Raid. See here for more about what happened to this crew after the raid.
A relative of Green’s has recently been given some memorabilia concerning him and has written about it on the WW2Talk Forum.
Cyril Anderson’s nephew, Dom Howard, has done a great job over the last few years researching the careers of the Anderson crew, and visiting their graves in Germany. He has posted more details and some pics on the thread on WW2Talk.