This is a photograph of and signed by the following 617 'Dambuster' ace that took part in the famous D-Day landings 6th June 1944.
The photo is autographed in pen by the following rare 617 Dambuster:
Wing Commander John Bell MBE DFC:
After initially training as a Navigator he went on to complete most of his 50 ops in Lancasters as a Bomb Aimer with 617 Squadron, including all the raids against the German battleshipTirpitz.
He was with 617 Squadron bombing targets in France until he and his crew were taken off bombing duties to practice a strange form of navigation and flying which eventually turned out to be the spoof raid which 617 Squadron flew on the night of the D-Day invasion, called Operation Taxable.
They were briefed on the June 5th that their operation would take place that night, through the hours of darkness, and they took off at midnight.
The spoof raid was initially operated by eight Lancaster bombers flying in a line towards the French coast, two miles apart at a height of three thousand feet and a speed of 180 mph.
'While they were flying there were two air crew in the rear of each Lancaster and W/C John Bell was one of them.
They were handed bundles of aluminium strip which they dropped at approximately three second intervals through the flare shoot.
The strips varied in size and went from small to large as they approached the French coast and large to small when they turned back to the English coast. A green light indicated when it was time to throw it.
This created a huge cloud of aluminium strip, which was supposed to jam the German radars and give the impression that something was happening behind the cloud, in other words were there ships approaching from behind that cloud?
At the end of two hours they were relived by another flight of eight Lancaster bombers that slipped in behind them to take over so there was no break in dropping the aluminium. That was their only mission on the night of the D-Day landings.
The photo size is 175mm + 125mm (approx). W/C John Bell is the one sitting on extreme right hand side of photo.
The photo is in v/good condition .