I am posting this on the evening of 16th December, seventy years after the tragic events which took place late that night and in the early hours of the following morning.

It is now just after 5 o’clock, and by now all 21 of 97 Squadron’s Lancasters would have taken off for the very long flight to Berlin. They would arrive there around 8 o’clock, and not return to their airfield until around 11 o’clock at night, only to find it almost impossible to land. For 5 crews, there was to be no safe landing, and we remember them tonight, including the handful of survivors, most of whom were seriously injured:

the Deverill crew

the Kirkwood crew

the Mackenzie crew

the Scott crew

the Thackway crew