Battle of Britain Memorial Flight News

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight commemorate 80th anniversary of Op Chastise

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) are preparing to commemorate the 80th anniversary of Operation Chastise, commonly known as the Dambusters Raid, which took place in May 1943.


Op Chastise was an attack on the German Dams, taking place during the night on the 16th - 17th May 1943, where 617 Squadron of the Royal Air Force (RAF) carried out the raid which involved 133 aircrew and 19 Lancaster Bomber aircraft.

BBMF Lancaster PA474 above the clouds. Photo credit: Darren Harbar

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, continue to maintain a number of historic war time aircraft in airworthy condition in order to commemorate those who have fallen in the service of this country. On the evening of the 16th of May 2023, the BBMF Lancaster will be flying a special route over all Bomber Command bases in Lincolnshire to commemorate the anniversary of the raid, as well as conducting a flypast at the RAF Museum, Hendon (18.01). 


Speaking about the plans to commemorate the anniversary, the Flight Lieutenant Giles Croft, BBMF Operations Officer said:

“We are working hard to produce an achievable plan that allows us to showcase the Lancaster, commemorate the unsung heroes of Bomber Command and also incorporate the tasking we already had for the evening of 16 May.  At this stage, the Lancaster sortie for that evening includes 34 flypast locations which is far more than we would normally plan in a single sortie.  We will try to “make up the time” by reducing most events to a single overflight so that we can meet our fixed time over the RAF Museum in Hendon but still manage a tour of the Lincolnshire Bomber Command Airfields prior to landing before sunset. I personally can’t wait to see our Lancaster over her home turf, against the same backdrop she would have had in the 1940s; I just hope that backdrop is clear evening skies with less than 15kts crosswind!”

The timings for the Lincolnshire fly overs are as follows;

Spitalgate, Lincolnshire, NG31 9EW - 18:58

Fulbeck, Lincolnshire, NG32 3JE - 19:02

Swinderby, Lincolnshire, LN6 9US - 19:04

RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire, LN5 9NB - 19:07

Lincoln- IBCC, Lincolnshire, LN4 2HQ - 19:08

Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire, LN6 0HX - 19:12

Scampton, Lincolnshire, LN1 2TH - 19:15

Dunholme, Lincolnshire, LN2 3QF - 19:16

Wickenby, Lincolnshire, LN3 5AX - 19:18

Faldingworth, Lincolnshire, LN8 3NW - 19:19

Ingham, Lincolnshire, DN21 5BU - 19:21

Hemswell Cliff, Lincolnshire, DN21 5TY - 19:22

Blyton, Lincolnshire, DN21 3PE - 19:24

Elsham Wolds, Lincolnshire, DN20 0NT - 19:30

Kirmington, Lincolnshire, DN39 6YH/DN39 6YW - 19:31

North Killingholme, Lincolnshire, DN40 3JL - 19:32

Grimsby, Lincolnshire, DN36 4RX - 19:37

Binbrook, Lincolnshire, LN8 6EG - 19:39

Ludford, Lincolnshire, LN8 6AD - 19:41

Kelstern, Lincolnshire, LN11 0RQ - 19:42

Strubby, Lincolnshire, LN13 0LN - 19:47

Spilsby, Lincolnshire, PE24 5BD - 19:51

East Kirkby, Lincolnshire, PE23 4DE - 19:53

Bardney, Lincolnshire, LN3 5TZ - 19:58

Fiskerton, Lincolnshire, LN3 4EZ - 20:00

Metheringham, Lincolnshire, LN4 3RD - 20:03

Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, LN10 6QG - 20:05

RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, LN4 4SY - 20:07


The plans to commemorate the anniversary will be subject to weather and serviceability caveats due to the nature of operating historic aircraft, and the timings published may be subject to change.

Squadron Leader Mark Sugden, Officer Commanding the BBMF said:

“The Dambusters raid was one of the most audacious raids in the history of the Royal Air Force, and we at the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight are proud to commemorate the bravery, dedication and sacrifice of all those involved.”

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