The Plan

Squadron “X” was formed at R.A.F Scampton on the 17th March 1943 under the command of Wing Commander Guy Gibson. Even he did not know the reason behind the formation of this squadron. His task was to mould and train the crew members, volunteers all into a squadron capable of carrying out a difficult single raid.

He was soon to find out what his targets were to be, to divert attention away from the truth. A rumour was started that the aircraft were about to attack the Tirpitz battleship.

The new 617 squadron began training on the 31st March, this was to consist of flying and navigating at zero feet. They then switched to flying over water. This created it own problems for the pilots, who complained they could not judge height over water.

Many problems were encountered, practice runs at Reculver Bay continued using the test Upkeep bombs. Finally everything came together and a date was set for the full moon on the 16/17th May.

Only on the eleventh hour did any of the crews find out what the real targets were. They were charged with flying across the English channel, to cross the Netherlands and Germany at zero feet and to drop a bomb on the Ruhr dams.