The Flying Log Book of Sgt. D.J.D. Powell, a participant in No.617 Squadron's historic Dambuster raid, 'Operation Chastise', 16th/17th May 1943,

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Lot 584
The Flying Log Book of Sgt. D.J.D. Powell, a participant in No.617 Squadron's historic Dambuster raid, 'Operation Chastise', 16th/17th May 1943,

Sold for £ 2,760 (US$ 3,367) inc. premium
The Flying Log Book of Sgt. D.J.D. Powell, a participant in No.617 Squadron's historic Dambuster raid, 'Operation Chastise', 16th/17th May 1943,
the log covering the period of training in 1940 to being posted as 'Missing' on 15th September 1943, including details of 15 'Ops' to targets in Italy, France and Germany, the Dams raid noted simply as Operations. Attack On Rhur Dam - Emmepe (sic), several pages variously signed by Gibson, Maudslay, Martin and Munro; together with other items including Air Crew Europe Star, Defence Medal and War Medal 1939-1945; a mounted photograph of Powell on stand; several newspaper clippings and letters from fellow 617 members, Harold Hobday and Bill Townsend

Footnotes

  • Sgt. Dennis Powell, 644741, was Flight Engineer of Lancaster ED886, AJ-O 'Orange', which was part of the third wave of five aircraft to fly to the Dams. The pilot was F/Sgt. W. (Bill) Townsend, he and his crew having transferred to 617 Squadron from No.49 Squadron on 25th March 1943.
    AJ-O took off from Scampton at 0014 hrs and flew at about 100ft across the North Sea and came under fire over Holland. Townsend's evasive flying at such low level was instrumental in them surviving the flak and they flew on to their target, the Ennepe Dam. After problems with their approach, on the fourth attempt their Upkeep mine was dropped at 0337hrs but it exploded short of the dam with little apparent effect. As dawn was fast approaching, Townsend set a course for home and flew fast and low, so low that they had to 'jump' over power lines. Approaching the Dutch coast they came under fire again, the enemy shells actually being bounced off the water and going over the top of the aircraft! Shortly afterwards, a (faulty) oil gauge indicated a problem with one engine which Powell shut down. Despite this, Townsend landed back at base at 0615hrs, the last aircraft in Operation Chastise to do so. Subsequent research has suggested that AJ-O in fact attacked the Bever Dam, mistaking it for the Ennepe Dam. [See 'The Dambusters Raid', John Sweetman, Cassell Military Classics, 1999].
    Four months later, on 15th/16th September, eight of the squadron's Lancasters, armed with the new 12,000 HC (high capacity) bomb, attacked the Dortmund-Ems canal, the raid having been postponed from the previous day due to fog. Powell was onboard the aircraft flown by S/Ldr G. Holden, the new squadron C/O, and it was one of the five lost in the attack. Other members of the crew included Taerum, Hutchison, Deering and Spafford, all of whom had been in Gibson's aircraft for the Dams raid. Hobday's letter, written to Powell's mother in 1961, states: 'We were flying a matter of yards from the machine which carried Guy Gibson's crew - piloted by Sq Ldr Holden - which must have been the one which your son was in. We were very low and they were shot down by light flak.'
    Powell and other crew members were buried in the British Military Cemetery, Reichswald Forest, Germany.
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