England

Lancaster bombers flypast at 'Dambusters' Derwent Dam

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Media captionThe crew members who flew on the Dambusters raid included 29 Canadians, adding to the significance of the flypast

Thousands of people have watched the last two airworthy Lancaster bombers in the world fly over the site where the famous Dambusters raid was practised.

The Lancasters have been united for a series of events in the UK.

They passed Derwent Dam in Derbyshire three times on their way back to RAF Coningsby, in Lincolnshire, from Southport Air Show.

Sydney Marshall, a flight engineer on Lancasters in World War Two, was secretly on board one of them.

BBC Radio Lincolnshire was given exclusive to record his experience.

Image caption Sydney Marshall, 90, from Boston, was on board Vera, the Canadian Lancaster
Image caption A journalist from BBC Radio Lincolnshire accompanied Mr Marshall on the flight
Image caption This shot of Thumper, the British Lancaster, was taken from inside Vera

The once in a lifetime sight was in tribute to the Dambusters crews and those killed in World War Two.

The crew members who flew on the Dambusters raid included 29 Canadians, adding to the significance of the flypast.

Image copyright Mick Ryan/Fotovue
Image caption Vera has been in the UK taking part in a number of displays, alongside the Lancaster from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
Image copyright MOD
Image caption The flypast was the climax of a nationwide tour
Image copyright Mick Ryan/Fotovue
Image caption The event was watched by thousands of people
Image copyright Mick Ryan/Fotovue
Image caption Many climbed the hills surrounding the reservoir to get a better view
Image copyright Andy Mell
Image caption Following the display, the Lancasters flew back to RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire
Image copyright Andy Mell
Image caption One of the Lancasters is based in Lincolnshire and the other is normally based in Canada

Retired Sqn Ldr Stuart Reid, who previously flew the RAF's Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) Lancaster, said: "It was very much a British and Foreign and Commonwealth attack against the dams, as was much of the bombing campaign fought against Germany during the Second World War."

He said the operation, which inspired a book and film, was one of the most famous raids in RAF history.

The Canadians who flew on the Dambusters raid

Of the 133 crew members who set off on the Dambusters raid on 16 May 1943, 30 were Canadian.

Of those, 13 were killed, one was captured, and 15 returned.

Find out more and see photos of the men who took part

One Lancaster flew over the reservoir last year as part of a ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the World War Two raid.

"The Dambusters is synonymous with the Lancaster, the Lancaster is synonymous with the Dambusters; the two go hand in hand," said Sqn Ldr Reid.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption One Lancaster flew over Derwent Reservoir for the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters raid in 2013
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The reunited Lancasters flew together at an air show in Eastbourne in August
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Vera is due to return to Canada after the series of events

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