Sqn Ldr Tony Iveson DFC

Iveson MoD

Tony Iveson in the BBMF Lancaster, 2008. [Pic: MoD]

It’s sad to hear about the death of Tony Iveson, a friend of this blog, and someone who was assiduous in campaigning for greater recognition of the role played by Bomber Command during the Second World War, particularly the campaign for a permanent memorial. Although he was at RAF Scampton for the Dambusters 70th anniversary commemorations, he was taken ill shortly afterwards.
In fact his first wartime operations were in Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain. He later retrained as a bomber pilot and joined 617 Squadron a few months after the Dams Raid. He served with the squadron for over a year and took part in three attacks on the Tirpitz, including the final one in November 1944, where the battleship was sunk after three direct hits from the Barnes Wallis-designed Tallboy bombs, dropped by crews from both 617 and 9 Squadron. In January 1945 he flew a crippled Lancaster back to Shetland from Bergen, even though four members of his crew had baled out, convinced that he would crash.
Just over five years ago, Tony Iveson flew again in the BBMF Lancaster, and took the controls for a while. (I blogged about it at the time, reproducing the fine article which appeared in the Daily Telegraph.) He also appeared on the BBC’s Desert Island Discs (another connection to the Dambusters with its signature tune by Eric Coates) and you can listen again to this here.
Obituary in the Daily Telegraph.

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Tony Iveson on Desert Island Discs

The first Desert Island Discs castaway of 2011 was an old friend of this blog, Sqn Ldr Tony Iveson. Now aged 90, he has recently been involved in the campaign for a permanent memorial for the 55,000 Bomber Command aircrew who died on active service during the war. In fact his first wartime operations were in Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain. He later retrained as a bomber pilot and joined 617 Squadron a few months after the Dams Raid. He took part in three attacks on the Tirpitz, including the final one in November 1944, where the battleship was sunk after three direct hits from the Barnes Wallis-designed Tallboy bombs, dropped by crews from both 617 and 9 Squadron.
Just over a year ago, Tony Iveson flew again in a Lancaster, courtesy of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, and took the controls for a while. (I blogged about it at the time, reproducing the fine article which appeared in the Daily Telegraph.)
He discussed this experience on the radio, and told many other anecdotes about his fascinating and full life. You have until Sunday 9 January to listen again on the BBC Desert Island Discs web page, so take a look.