LADYBOWER: Lancaster bomber swoops to commemorate Dambusters

HUNDREDS lined Derwent Reservoir to remember the heroic Dambusters of World War Two as a Lancaster bomber flyover commemorated the 70th anniversary of the famous RAF raid.

The Lancaster flew just metres above Derwent Reservoir’s Ladybower Dam, about 1.15pm, today, May 16, in clear and bright conditions as it was joined by Tornadoes from the famous 617 Squadron and a Spitfire.

Dambusters flyover to mark the 70th anniversary

Dambusters flyover to mark the 70th anniversary

People across Derbyshire turned their eyes skyward as the planes also flew above Chatsworth shortly afterwards. The flyover was captured on video by our photographer.

The 617 Squadron was originally formed as part of Operation Chastise which was a Second World War raid on Germany’s Ruhr dams using Barnes Wallis’ revolutionary bouncing bomb dropped by modified Lancaster bombers.

Crews trained for the operation at British reservoirs including the Derwent Dam and targeted German dams on May 16, 1943, because they had helped provide vital water and electricity for the Nazis’ war machine.

Two of the German dams were successfully destroyed by the bouncing bombs which were specially designed to repeatedly skim the water’s surface before smashing into the dam walls.