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.”


Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all KeyAero content
  • Exclusive in-depth articles and analysis, videos, quizzes added daily
  • A fully searchable archive – boasting hundreds of thousands of pieces of quality aviation content
  • Access to read all our leading aviation magazines online - meaning you can enjoy the likes of FlyPast, Aeroplane Monthly, AirForces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation News, Airports of the World, PC Pilot and Airliner World - as soon as they leave the editor’s desk.
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below