To mark the 60th Anniversary of the Dams Raid carried out by No 617 Squadron on 16/17 May 1943 equipped with specially modified Lancasters fitted with Barnes Wallis` remarkable bouncing bomb we are releasing what will be the most popular cover we have so far issued, with stunning artwork and superb signatures.
The top part of the artwork shows Lancaster AJ-A flown by Squadron Leader H Young about to prepare to make his attack, while the lower half of the artwork shows Wing Commander Guy Gibson and his crew boarding Lancaster AJ-G. The raid was a great success and a great moral boast for the Allied war effort and immortalised in the film `the Dam Busters` released in the mid-1950s.
Each cover bears a British Forces Post Office special handstamp, dated the 16/17 May 2003, which shows the Lancaster AJ-G which Wing Commander Guy Gibson flew, and commemorates the 60th Anniversary of the Dams Raid. Furthermore the covers have been double flown in a Tornado of No 617 Squadron and also in VC 10, XV102, named `Guy Gibson VC` of No 10 Squadron.
Hand signed by ten 617 Squadron aircrew, many of whom took part in Operation Iraqi Freedom
200 Signed, Numbered and Certified
Signed ten members of No 617 Squadron many of whom took part in operation `Iraqi Freedom`, the second Gulf War. The squadron were based at Ali Al Salem, North Kuwait and were the first RAF squadron to use the Storm Shadow `Bunker-Busting` airborne long range cruise missles.
We have listed the members of the squadron who were in the Gulf and those names we have knwon to have signed our covers. (There is a complete list of No 617 Squadron aircrew who served in the Gulf and a colour picture of their 60th Anniversary GR4 Tornado out in the Gulf inside the cover)
Sqn Ldr J G Cochrane RAF (N)
Sqn Ldr D J Knowles BA RAF (P)
Flt Lt R A Bethell RAF (P)
Flt Lt R J Chevli MA BSc RAF (P)
Flt Lt A I A Reid BA RAF (N)
Flt Lt T J Warren RAF (N)
Flt Lt R D Clark RAF (N)
Flt Lt R A Conner RAF (N)
Flt Lt A J Williams BSc RAF (N)
The following 617 Squadron air crew have signed the covers, who were not listed as having served in the Gulf but were with the squadron at the time of signing:
Flt Lt R S McLaren MA RAF (P)
Flt Lt I D Hendy BSc RAF (N)
(P) denotes Pilot while (N) denotes Navigator