THE symbolism was striking as events took place to mark the 75th anniversary of Operation Chastise – the daring World War Two operation undertaken by the RAF’s Bomber Command to cripple Germany’s war machine.
Universally known as the Dambusters, and immortalised by an acclaimed film and its evocative musical accompaniment, the mission undertaken by crews from 617 Squadron remains the epitome of British bravery.
Yet, quite rightly, this was a day of celebration, commemoration and contemplation. A tribute to the courage of those aircrew who piloted the Lancaster bombers produced at the then Avro factory in Yeadon adjacent to the current Leeds Bradford Airport site, 53 pairs of flying gloves were also laid out at the Bomber Command memorial in silent tribute to those men who did not return home.
They paid the ultimate sacrifice to defend Britain’s freedom in an act of valour that will always resonate.