Price = n/a
617 Squadron Honours Board 1943-1945
It seems only appropriate we should list this item today, exactly 75 years to the day after Wing Commander Guy Gibson led 617 Squadron of the Royal Air Force on an audacious bombing raid to destroy three dams in the Ruhr valley, on an operation code named 'Chastise' that took place on the night of 16-17 May 1943.
We have no idea who created this board or where it was displayed but we imagine it must have come from a redundant museum. It appears to be a one off and whilst the mount is melamine or similar the wood effect sets off perfectly the high quality etched aluminium data plaques and black and white photographs. The board effectively recounts the history of 617 from immediately after the Dams Raid to the end of WWII in 1945. It was deemed by the powers that be after 'Chastise' Gibson should be taken off operational flying and on 2 August, Gibson made his last fight with 617 Squadron, with his regular crew and his successor, Wing Commander George Holden. The information plaques detail the Ops flown by the subsequent Commanders Wing Commander Leonard Cheshire VC, Wing Commander Willie Tait and Group Captain Fauquier, together with dates and their targets. It also features two line drawings of the Avro Lancaster B1 in standard and modified forms. The board also carries black and white photographs mounted behind Perspex of Gibson, 617 crews, the 12,000 lbs 'Earthquake' and 22,000 lbs 'Grand Slam', both created by the Dam's bouncing Bomb inventor Sir Barnes Wallace. Another plaque gives considerable detail on the sinking of the 'Tirpitz' as well as a photograph of the post mission upturned hull of the wreck.
This is another one off item that we had intended to display here on the office wall but lack of space has precluded this so it is time to re home the board, when hopefully it can be shown to better advantage. It would sit happily in a private collection but ideally it would be better to go back into an appropriate museum display. It measures 48" x 24" (122 cm x 61 cm) and is fitted with brass hanging plates to aid wall mounting. As with all our stock feel free to request a range of more detailed photographs to check out the work involved in creating this homage to the amazing Commanders and crews of 617 Squadron.