Dambusters: All the men who took part

A daring World War II night time raid on three dams in the early hours of 17 May 1943 immortalised the RAF's 617 Squadron as the "Dambusters". This is the the first time that photographs of all the men who took part in the mission have been published. BBC News has been working with family members and historians to gather the images since the 70th anniversary earlier this year.

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19 planes altogether

  • 8 were lost
  • 3 turned back
  • 8 returned from the raid



    AJ-G crew members

    • Guy Gibson, Pilot, Commanding Officer
    • Torger Taerum, Navigator
    • John Pulford, Flight Engineer
    • Frederick Spafford, Bomb Aimer
    • Robert Hutchinson, Wireless Operator
    • George Deering, Front Gunner
    • Richard Trevor-Roper, Rear Gunner

    AJ-M crew members

    • John Hopgood, Pilot
    • Ken Earnshaw, Navigator
    • John Fraser, Bomb Aimer
    • Charles Brennan, Flight Engineer
    • John Minchin, Wireless Operator
    • George Gregory, Front Gunner
    • Anthony Burcher, Rear Gunner

    AJ-P crew members

    • Harold Martin, Pilot
    • Jack Leggo, Navigator
    • Robert Hay, Bomb Aimer
    • Ivan Whittaker, Flight Engineer
    • Leonard Chambers, Wireless Operator
    • Bertie Towner Foxlee, Front Gunner
    • Thomas Simpson, Rear Gunner

    AJ-A crew members

    • Henry Young, Pilot
    • Charles Roberts, Navigator
    • Vincent MacCausland, Bomb Aimer
    • David Horsfall, Flight Engineer
    • Lawrence Nichols, Wireless Operator
    • Gordon Yeo, Front Gunner
    • Wilfred Ibbotson, Rear Gunner

    AJ-J crew members

    • David Maltby, Pilot
    • Vivian Nicholson, Navigator
    • John Fort, Bomb Aimer
    • William Hatton, Flight Engineer
    • Antony Stone, Wireless Operator
    • Victor Hill, Front Gunner
    • Harold Simmonds, Rear Gunner

    AJ-L crew members

    • David Shannon, Pilot
    • Robert Henderson, Flight Engineer
    • Daniel Walker, Navigator
    • Brian Goodale, Wireless Operator
    • Leonard Sumpter, Bomb Aimer
    • Brian Jagger, Front Gunner
    • Jack Buckley, Rear Gunner

    AJ-Z crew members

    • Henry Maudslay, Pilot
    • John Marriott, Flight Engineer
    • Robert Urquhart, Navigator
    • Alden Cottam, Wireless Operator
    • Michael Fuller, Bomb Aimer
    • William Tytherleigh, Front Gunner
    • Norman Burrows, Rear Gunner

    AJ-B crew members

    • William Astell, Pilot
    • John Kinnear, Flight Engineer
    • Floyd Wile, Navigator
    • Abram Garshowitz, Wireless Operator
    • Donald Hopkinson, Bomb Aimer
    • Francis Garbas, Front Gunner
    • Richard Bolitho, Rear Gunner

    AJ-N crew members

    • Leslie Knight, Pilot
    • Raymond Grayston, Flight Engineer
    • Harold Hobday, Navigator
    • Robert Kellow, Wireless Operator
    • Edward Johnson, Bomb Aimer
    • Frederick Sutherland, Front Gunner
    • Harry O'Brien, Rear Gunner

    AJ-E crew members

    • Robert Barlow, Pilot
    • Samuel Whillis, Flight Engineer
    • Phillip Burgess, Navigator
    • Charles Williams, Wireless Operator
    • Alan Gillespie, Bomb Aimer
    • Harvey Glinz, Front Gunner
    • Jack Liddell, Rear Gunner

    AJ-W crew members

    • John Munro, Pilot
    • Frank Appleby, Flight Engineer
    • Grant Rumbles, Navigator
    • Percy Pigeon, Wireless Operator
    • James Clay, Bomb Aimer
    • William Howarth, Front Gunner
    • Harvey Weeks, Rear Gunner

    AJ-K crew members

    • Vernon Byers, Pilot
    • Alistair Taylor, Flight Engineer
    • James Warner, Navigator
    • John Wilkinson, Wireless Operator
    • Arthur Whittaker, Bomb Aimer
    • Charles Jarvie, Front Gunner
    • James McDowell, Rear Gunner

    AJ-H crew members

    • Geoffrey Rice, Pilot
    • Edward Smith, Flight Engineer
    • Richard MacFarlane, Navigator
    • Chester Gowrie, Wireless Operator
    • John Thrasher, Bomb Aimer
    • Thomas Maynard, Front Gunner
    • Stephen Burns, Rear Gunner

    AJ-T crew members

    • Joseph McCarthy, Pilot
    • William Radcliffe, Flight Engineer
    • Donald MacLean, Navigator
    • Leonard Eaton, Wireless Operator
    • George Johnson, Bomb Aimer
    • Ronald Batson, Front Gunner
    • David Rodger, Rear Gunner

    AJ-C crew members

    • Warner Ottley, Pilot
    • Ronald Marsden, Flight Engineer
    • Jack Barrett, Navigator
    • Jack Guterman, Wireless Operator
    • Thomas Johnston, Bomb Aimer
    • Harry Strange, Front Gunner
    • Fred Tees, Rear Gunner

    AJ-S crew members

    • Lewis Burpee, Pilot
    • Guy Pegler, Flight Engineer
    • Thomas Jaye, Navigator
    • Leonard Weller, Wireless Operator
    • James Arthur, Bomb Aimer
    • William Long, Front Gunner
    • Joseph Brady, Rear Gunner

    AJ-F crew members

    • Kenneth Brown, Pilot
    • Harry Feneron, Flight Engineer
    • Dudley Heal, Navigator
    • Harry Hewstone, Wireless Operator
    • Stefan Oancia, Bomb Aimer
    • Daniel Allatson, Front Gunner
    • Grant MacDonald, Rear Gunner

    AJ-O crew members

    • William Townsend, Pilot
    • Dennis Powell, Flight Engineer
    • Cecil Howard, Navigator
    • George Chalmers, Wireless Operator
    • Charles Franklin, Bomb Aimer
    • Douglas Webb, Front Gunner
    • Raymond Wilkinson, Rear Gunner

    AJ-Y crew members

    • Cyril Anderson, Pilot
    • Robert Paterson, Flight Engineer
    • John Nugent, Navigator
    • William Bickle, Wireless Operator
    • John Green, Bomb Aimer
    • Eric Ewan, Front Gunner
    • Arthur Buck, Rear Gunner

Lancaster bomber crews on the dams raid consisted of seven members: pilot, flight engineer, bomb aimer, rear gunner, front gunner, navigator and the wireless operator. Each of the Dambusters aircraft had its own call sign starting AJ. Guy Gibson's plane, for example, was "AJ-G for George". When a plane was shot down, or crashed, it was usually fatal for all the crew and so on the image above you will see those killed mostly appear in groups of seven.

Three of the 133 are still alive today: George Johnson, Les Munro and Frederick Sutherland.

Picture credits: Charles Foster, Imperial War Museum, Bomber Command Museum of Canada, Australian War Memorial, Valerie Ashton, Norma Bagshaw, Dorothy Bill, Grace Blackburn, Bolitho family, Bonhams, Lewis Burpee, Jean Feneron, Peter Fort, Garbett/Goulding collection, Simon Goodale, Bill Gracie, Irene Hopkins, Hopkinson family, Dominic Howard, Howarth family, Peter Humphries, Ibbotson family, Jarvie family, Jaye family, Liddell family, Maltby family, Les Munro, Nichols family, Nicholson family, Roberts family, RAF Halton apprentices archive, Taylor family, Tytherleigh family, Alan Wells, Wilkinson family, Williams family, Yeo family, Young family, Yahya El-Droubie, Warner family, Weller family, Gary Whitaker.

Production: Greig Watson, Dominic Bailey, Bella Hurrell, Christine Jeavans, Steven Connor, Ransome Mpini, Helene Sears

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