75 Years In Memoriam

Today marks the anniversary of the notorious RAF dambusters raid on Germany in 1943, and the death of one of our local hero's (and close friend of my Grandfather's) John Wilkinson, the wireless operator in Vernon Byers’s aircraft the AJ-K Avro Lancaster. This was the third aircraft to take off on the night of 16 May, and the first to be lost. Off course, it crossed the Dutch coast at Texel Island, a well known flak position, and was shot down before reaching its target. The aircraft pictured that I photographed in 2009 are now some of the only examples left in the world that resemble those used by these men during the liberation of Europe, and what became known as the pioneering feat of Operation Chastise, a courageous effort by many that stunted the industrial growth of Nazi Germany and paved the way for eventual victory. I vividly remember his photo sitting ontop of my grandparents TV throughout my childhood, and in his home town just down the road from me they recently held a commemorative afternoon in honor of his memory.