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Friday, 24 September 2010

The Legendary Guy Gibson





Guy Gibson was born in Simla India in the year 1918 during the time of the British Raj. At the age of six he moved to Cornwall, England, United Kingdom and went to boarding school in Kent.

In 1936 he joined the RAF and by the outbreak of the war was a bomber pilot. In 1940 he won the DFC and became a night fighter in Bristol Beaufighters acquiring four kills over a high number of missions. As time went on, he shot down other German bombers too. By 1942 he had won the DSO.

Many of his subordinates remembered him as being brash, tough and aloof because he was a strong disciplinarian and considered by some, arrogant. However, this might be a harsh over all judgement as these ways could be considered good qualities for the type of dangerous and stressful work these men had to carry out and Guy Gibson was very dependable in command because of this.

In 1943 he was selected to command 617 Squadron. His new mission was to destroy the Ruhr Dams with bouncing bombs. These new bombs were the invention of Barnes Wallis. This attack was exceptionally daring and required precision Speed, height and accuracy under intense enemy fire. Of 19 Lancaster to fly on the mission, only 11 of the bombers survived. The rest were lost on the raid and 53 crewmen were killed.

Two of the three dams were breached and devastation from the flooding was extensive. However, the enemy were able to rebuild quicker then expected. After this raid, Guy Gibson was awarded the Victoria Cross.

He was later killed in the year of 1944 when his mosquito crashed in Holland. His navigator Sqn Ldr Jim Warwick was killed too. Guy Gibson was just 26 years old.

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