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TBI Commemorates 70th anniversary of the ‘Dambusters’ Raid
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Posted by  in Live Events

On Friday 17th May, TBI will mark the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters raid with a series of programmes on BBC Radio 2. Culminating in a special Friday Night is Music Night, live from Biggin Hill, the programmes will reflect upon an operation which changed the course of the Second World War.

On the night of 16th/17th May 1943, nineteen Lancaster Bombers from 617 Squadron, took off from Lincolnshire. Each aircraft carried one of Barnes Wallace’s famous ‘bouncing bombs’. Their targets were the dams of Germany’s Ruhr Valley: the industrial heart of the Axis war machine. Eight aircraft did not return from the raid, while almost 2000 lives were lost when the dams themselves were breached.

To commemorate the raid, Chris Evans’s Breakfast Show will come from RAF Scampton: the home of 617 Squadron. After the show, Chris will fly south to Biggin Hill: the historic airfield that led the defence of London and launched Spitfires and Hurricanes against the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain. Chris will make the journey in one of the two remaining flying Lancaster bombers. On touching down, he will be met by Jeremy Vine, before sharing his experience on Jeremy’s show.

The day will culminate with a Friday Night is Music Night special, recorded in front of a live audience assembled in the aircraft hangar at Biggin Hill. Combining recorded testimony and the voices of actors, Jeremy Vine and Dermot O’Leary will bring to life the events of the Dambuster’s raid and the stories of those individuals at its heart. The BBC Concert Orchestra and the Central Band of the RAF will play throughout the programme, resurrecting the music of the war years and performing a new anniversary composition.