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HOD – Keeping Their Stories Alive
September 12 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
An event every day that begins at 10:00 am, repeating until 17 September 2023
Part of the Lincolnshire HODs Festival 2023
RAF Scampton was one of the oldest and iconic RAF Stations in the UK. It closed on 31st March this year following 106 years of service to its country through two world wars and the cold war. It was the birthplace of 617 (Dambusters) Squadron.
This exhibition aims to keep their stories alive through a series of artistic and authentic photographs, talks and two newly commissioned stained glass windows. The exhibition is set in the beautiful 14th century Scampton Church and RAF War Graves Heritage Centre. A place well known to those who served on the inaugural 617 Squadron. The church breathes RAF heritage and, along with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission is honoured to be the guardians of 107 Commonwealth War and Service Graves.
617 (Dambusters) Squadron, one of the most famous squadrons in the RAF, was formed on the 23rd March 1943 under the command of Wg Cdr Guy Gibson. The Squadron evolved specifically for the famous Operation Chastise that took place on the night of 16/17 May 1943. During this operation, the Squadron employed the ‘Upkeep’, a bouncing bomb designed by Barnes Wallis. Of the nineteen Lancasters that left RAF Scampton that night, only eleven returned. Scampton Church has been the church of RAF Scampton for the past 100 years, and we are honoured to join: the Bomber Command Memorial Trustees, RAF Historical Society, Lincolnshire Lancaster Association, 617 Squadron Association, International Bomber Command Centre, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Red Arrows, RAF Museum, Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the RAF Benevolent Fund, in creating an artistic stained glass window in tribute to the squadron. The window is designed by the celebrated glass artist Claire Williamson.
It features the 617 Squadron and Bomber Command badges, underneath which are representations of the floodlights fitted to the Lancasters to ensure they were at the correct height prior to releasing the bouncing bomb. The window also includes silhouettes of saeven Lancasters and an airman with bowed head. The humility of the figure, bowed before the cross, represents the sacrifice made by the eight crews that did not return from Operation Chastise.
We should also never forget the 561 personnel lost from RAF Scampton during WW2, and the 1,600 civilians who lost their lives as a result of the raid on the dams.
Booklet Number: 30a
Address: Scampton Church and RAF War Graves Heritage Centre, High Street, Scampton, Lincoln LN1 2SE
Time: Fri 8th – Sun 17th 10.00 – 16.00
Booking required: Yes, please email firstname.lastname@example.org