Second Counts – The Dambusters
Guy Gibson and his
crew have just released their Upkeep 'bouncing bomb' mine
against their primary target The Mohne dam.
Pilot Signed Print
Second Counts – The Dambusters by
Commander Guy Gibson and crew have just released their Upkeep
mine against their primary target The Mohne dam. Wg. Cdr.
Gibson went on to receive the Victoria Cross after leading
19 Lancaster's on this historic mission to the Ruhr dams.
Operation Chastise gave the nation a great boost in confidence
during 1943 and honoured the brave men of 617 Squadron who
carried out this dangerous mission.
The Primary Edition is signed and numbered by
Squadron Leader George L. Johnson DFM
(Bomb Aimer on AJ-T, American Joe McCarthy’s
Johnson went initially to the USA for pilot
training. Frustrated at not qualifying and a
burning desire to get airborne Johnny applied
for the shortest possible training course; air
gunner. having completed this course successfully
Johnny was posted to 97 Squadron as ‘spare’
gunner – mid or upper, whichever was needed.
At this time Bomb Aimers were being sought for
the Lancasters and as this position warranted
extra pay, Johnny applied and passed the training
course. He was then chosen by Joe McCarthy to
join his crew before they were all transferred
to 617 Squadron. Flying in AJ-T, with American
pilot Joe McCarthy and crew they attacked the
Sorpe Dam from 30 feet, for which Johnny was
awarded the DFM. Johnny went on to fly 40 missions
with Joe McCarthy at the controls.
Artist Proofs are also signed by former Dambusters:
Flying Officer Raymond E. Grayston
(Flight Engineer of AJ-N, Les Knights Lancaster)
Grayston joined the RAF in June 1939, as an
engine fitter. In 1942 he volunteered for
aircrew, as a flight engineer. He was subsequently
posted to 50 Sqn at Skellingthorpe in Lincolnshire.
The crew had completed 30 ops. by January
1943. Les Knight was then requested to continue
flying with his crew on Special Operations.
This involved moving to Scampton, to form
617 Sqn. On the night of 16-17 May, Les Knight
and his crew took part in the raid on the
dams and were responsible for breaching the
The crew continued on operations until
September 1943, when trying to carry out a
raid on the Dortmund Ems canal in fog, the
plane was damaged and crashed. After ensuring
his crew successfully baled out, Les Knight
remained on the aircraft and was never seen
again. Ray spent the remainder of the war
as a prisoner in Stalag Luft 3.
Print size: 28 x 20ins approx
- see below
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