BBC Two announces that Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two, has commissioned a one-off live programme to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters Raid. The Dambusters: 70 Years On will be presented by Dan Snow and will tx on Thursday 16 May 2013.
Exactly 70 years earlier, in 1943, 19 Lancaster Bombers took off from RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire. Their mission: to fly as low as 60 feet above the ground, at night, into heavily defended enemy territory and drop their newly invented bouncing bombs onto three vital dams, the Möhne, Eder and Sorpe, with the intention of destroying the industrial heart of German war production.
Dan Snow says: “The ‘Dambuster’ raid is certainly the most famous single British air raid of all time. The scale of the ambition, the genius of its many, varied participants, the breathtaking skill of the aircrews, and the impact on Germany’s war machine have all ensured that it holds a special place in the minds of people across Britain and the Commonwealth. It continues to be the inspiration for films, books and programmes 70 years after the lumbering Lancaster bombers took off from RAF Scampton. It is an incredible honour to be involved in a programme to mark this important anniversary, meet the few remaining survivors, and remember the sacrifice of those, on both sides, caught up in the horrors of the Second World War.”
To commemorate one of the most daring bombing raids of the Second World War and the courage of the 133 men who undertook it, the programme will come live from RAF Scampton.
In the programme, Dan will talk to the daughter of Sir Barnes Wallis, the inventor of the bouncing bomb, veterans Johnny Johnson and Les Munroe, and Tornado pilots from today’s 617 Squadron.
Earlier in the day, Dan will be on board the UK’s last flying Lancaster Bomber. During the broadcast, Tornado jets from the current 617 Squadron, two Spitfires from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the Lancaster will fly in to RAF Scampton, display and land.
The College Band of the RAF will play the iconic Dambusters March, and the programme will end with a short Sunset Ceremony.
The Dambusters: 70 Years On will be Executive Produced by Phil Dolling, BBC Head of Events and Produced by Julie Heptonstall for BBC In-House Entertainment & Events.