Dambusters - it almost didn’t happen…

Mick Dodsworth describes a little-known event that could have seriously disrupted preparations for the Dams Raid

As a former MOD clerk at RAF Manston with a lifelong interest in aviation, it followed that I would be fascinated by the Dams Raid, Operation Chastise, and its connections with Manston and nearby Reculver.

In the early 2000s I was introduced to John Williams, a very fine local researcher and historian. By coincidence, he had been in correspondence with a local man, Edward ‘Ted’ Sturgess, regarding the Chastise preparations. Ted was then in his 75th year but had lived near RAF Manston for most of his life and was 13 years old at the time of the Dams Raid. He had told John about “watching a Magister crash [mere yards from his house] and helping two unknown RAF airman from the scene.”

The

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