BOMBING UP TOMMY
by Richard Taylor
– THE DAMBUSTERS –
Operation Chastise – the famous attacks on the great dams of the Ruhr valley by the Lancasters of 617 Sqn are known as perhaps the most daring precision air raid in history. As a fitting tribute, Richard Taylor’s outstanding painting depicts the scene just a few hours before departure, on the afternoon of 16 May 1943 at RAF Scampton as the hardworking ground crews of 617 Squadron ready their Lancasters in preparation for the night’s raid.
In the foreground Lancaster AJ-T ‘Tommy’ is loaded with Barnes Wallis’ ingenious ‘Upkeep’ bouncing bomb which will later be called into use by Pilot Joe McCarthy. After their original aircraft AJ-Q ‘Queenie’ developed a last minute coolant leak McCarthy and his crew switched to Lancaster AJ-T which as a reserve aircraft was not fitted with the twin Aldis lamps needed to calculate the correct height; Bomb Aimer George ‘Johnny’ Johnson and the crew knew that once they reached the target the odds would be stacked against them. Nevertheless with dogged determination they finally got airborne at 22.01 hrs and headed for their target – the Sorpe Dam.
Overall print size: 24” wide x 12 ½” high
Each print is individually numbered and signed by the artist Richard Taylor.