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617 Squadron


Official Squadron badge of No. 617 Squadron RAF 





Squadron Badge










21 March 1943 – 15 December 1955
1 May 1958 – 31 December 1981
1 January 1983 – 28 March 2014
18 April 2018 – present

United Kingdom
Royal Air Force

Après moi le déluge



On a roundel, a dam in fesse, fractured by three flashes of lightning in pile and issuant from the breach water proper. The broken dam is indicative of the successful attack on the dams in May 1943. Approved by King George VI in March 1944.

MZ (1939) (never used)
AJ (1943–1946)
KC (1943–1952) (used alongside AJ)
YZ (1945) (only used on aircraft used to carry 'Grand Slam' bombs)
AJ-A to AJ-Z (1983–2014)

Panavia Tornado

Avro Lancaster
de Havilland Mosquito
Avro Lincoln
English Electric Canberra
Avro Vulcan

Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II


Aircraft flown

No. 617 Squadron RAF ( The Dam Busters )

617 Squadron, "The Dambusters", with 34 Lancasters and two Mosquitoes, the latter being used for low-level target marking.

617 Squadron operated from the airfield until the end of hostilities, pioneering the use of ultra-heavy bombs - the 12,000lb Tallboy and 22,000lb Grand Slam - both of which were used on special targets in operations from the airfield.

The squadron was formed under great secrecy at RAF Scampton during the Second World War on 21 March 1943 on Avro Lancaster heavy bombers.[6] It included Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force and Royal New Zealand Air Force personnel and was formed for the specific task of attacking three major dams that contributed water and power to the Ruhr industrial region in Germany: the Möhne, Eder and Sorpe. The plan was given the codename Operation Chastise and carried out on 17 May 1943. The squadron had to develop the tactics to deploy Barnes Wallis's "Bouncing bomb", and undertook some of its training over the dams of the Upper Derwent Valley in Derbyshire, as the towers on the dam walls were similar to those to be found on some of the target dams in Germany.

F/Lt John Fraser


No. 617 Squadron Avro Lancaster B.I EE146 at RAF Woodhall Spa with her crew (including OC Wg. Cdr. J. B. Tait) the day after the successful attack against Tirpitz.

Dam Busters Memorial at Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire

Official Historian:

Mr RM Owen

617 Squadron Aircrew Association

617 Squadron re-union

On Saturday 14th May 2011 members of the 617 Squadron Aircrew Association visited Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre. Some of the special guests take time for a photo during their tour of the centre. L-R :- Association President Air Commodore John Langston CBE, Charles Avey, Doris Fraser her Husband was F/Lt John Fraser , Pat Hamilton and Wing Commander John Bell MBE DFC.

Photo by Oscarpix Imaging

L- R:- Sqn Ldr. Benny Goodmann and F/Lt, Navigator Maurice Webster.

Photo by Thorpe Camp Preservation Group

L- R:- F/O Basil Fish,    A/G Charles Avey                                                    Alec Bates  Wireless Operator/Air Gunner

Photos by Thorpe Camp Preservation Group

Reunion in 2012 members of the 617 Squadron Aircrew

Association visited Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre. 

L-R :- Gp Cpt David Robertson, George Johnson and

Association President Air Commodore John Langston CBE

Photos by Oscarpix Imaging

Colin ColeWireless Operator

Photo by Thorpe Camp Preservation Group


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