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Damnbusters at Taunton School

Published Wednesday 22nd of May 2013 10:19:43 AM

LAST Friday's 70th anniversary of the daring Dambusters raids of the Second World War brought back poignant memories at Taunton School.

The historic attacks on German dams in the Ruhr Valley in May 1943, were led by the Royal Air Force's specialist 617 Squadron.

Under the leadership of Wing Commander Guy Gibson, the British fleet - accompanied by Canadian and Australian pilots - attacked and destroyed two key dams, causing catastrophic flooding and killing 1,600 behind enemy lines.

The raid was notorious for using specially developed 'bouncing bombs', invented by aircraft designer Barnes Wallis.

Shortly after the raids, Wing Commander Gibson visited Taunton School to give a talk it is understood he was the uncle of a student at the time.

The school's Tauntonian newsletter at the time told how it had 'a thrilling experience � as he gave a most vivid account of the breaching of the Mohne dam.

It added: 'He made us realise how many hours of strenuous training and practice were necessary before such a daring and delicate operation could take place.'
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