Dam­busters squadron name lives on

Manchester Evening News - - NATIONAL -

DE­FENCE Sec­re­tary Gavin Williamson said it was “very fit­ting” that Bri­tain’s cut­tingedge F-35 Light­ning stealth fighter jets will carry the name of the squadron that car­ried out the daring Dam­busters raid.

Mr Williamson an­nounced the im­mi­nent ar­rival of the su­per­sonic war­planes on a visit to RAF Con­ingsby on the 75th an­niver­sary of the Dam­busters mis­sion.

The Lan­cast­ers flown by 617 squadron in the Sec­ond World War used Barnes Wal­lis’s bounc­ing bombs to dis­able Hitler’s in­dus­trial heart­land dur­ing their mis­sion on May 16/17 1943.

The squadron was re­cently stood back up for the F-35 jets, which will be based at RAF Marham in Nor­folk.

Mr Williamson an­nounced the ar­rival of the F-35s at the Bat­tle of Bri­tain Memo­rial Flight yes­ter­day.

He said: “If you think about what the Dam­busters were do­ing 75 years ago, they were us­ing the very cutting-edge tech­nol­ogy in or­der to be able do the job that they had been asked to do.

“If you think about the mod­ern 617 squadron, we’re go­ing to be giv­ing them ... the most ad­vanced air­craft in the whole world, and it’s fit­ting that those that have such an amaz­ing jet have, and carry, that squadron name.”

JOE GIDDENS

De­fence Sec­re­tary Gavin Williamson in­spects a Spit­fire dur­ing a visit to RAF Con­ingsby yes­ter­day

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