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Posted on Aug 28, 2005 in Armchair Reading

Mosquitos on Dambuster Raids?

By Devin Croft

Dear Sirs,

I thoroughly enjoyed your most recent issue, especially the articles on WWII, including "The Best of WWII". I had only one minor quibble with that article, the comment that the DeHavilland Mosquito was used on many special missions, including the "Dambusters Raid". I think you meant to say that the Mosquito gained it’s fame from many special missions like the pinpoint bombing raid "Operation Jericho" in Amiens, France to free French Resistance fighters and the very low level bombing raid on Gestapo Headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark that destroyed their records and freed many other prisoners. The previously mentioned Avro Lancaster was the aircraft used in the Dambuster mission.

A Mosquito also holds the record for the most missions flown in World War II. F for Freddie from 418th New Zealand Squadron flew 218 sorties during the war, only to crash on VE Day at Calgary airport due to pilot error.

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I look forward to every issue of your magazine as it combines my interest in military history and wargaming–a hobby my brothers and I started pursuing in the 1960’s and continue to this day. My sons have naturally taken up the hobby as well and two of them are now US Marines and enjoy your magazine as well.

Devin Croft
Littleton, CO

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Dear Mr. Croft,

First of all, thanks for taking the time to write!

I’ve done a little research of my own on this issue before confirming with our editors. The Mosquito was apparently used to mark the targets for the Dambusters Raids, although certainly was not the primary vehicle carrying the heavy ordnance for the raids themselves. I can see the text of the article is a bit ambiguous. Thank you for helping to clear this up for the rest of our readers!

Best regards,

Brian King
Website Editor
Armchair General Magazine

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5 Comments

  1. Hi, could you tell me where your research shows that the Mosquito was used in any capacity whatsoever in the Dams Raids? 617 had a Mosquito (replaced later by Mustang) that was used to mark targets (especially for Tallboy and Grand Slam raids). However, I believe you are in error regarding its use on the Dams Raids.

    Thanks

    • Hi, i’ve just come across an elderly gent in a local retirement home, who was a mosquitto pilot and took part in the dam busters raid, he ditched in the channel on his return and spent 12 months recovering. i’m hoping to speak with him soon to hear hi story. i understand 6 mosquitto’s took part in this raid?

      • Hi,
        As a first year teacher in 1963 I had a headmaster who held the VC and had been a squadron leader flying Mosquitos. His name was Lowther. He apparently had flown in support of the dam busters raid one way or another. This evening (8/11/2011) I was surprised to see no mention of Mosquitos in the documentary about this raid on the BBC.

      • Woul it be possible to converse with the Mosquito pilot Lowther as he may have knowledge of and his flight book may offer more on the Mosquitoes in the Dambusters mission
        THank you!

  2. My father Dr.George Edward Cragg MD, said he was with bomber command #5 yet flew with other groups, he was trained as a pilot but at the time they needed Bomber crews, he was with the 408 goose squadron, Dad said he was asked to fly a mosquito, as he was also a navigator, he said he volunteered to do this mission as it was very dangerous, he took off in the afternoon, and dropped in on the Rhur Valley in broad daylight at the Mohne Dam, as from 28,000 feet they could not make out what was recently put on the dam, it looked like a row of anti aircraft guns, he said the germans must have thought he was nuts, as he pulled up over the dam, he said a row of trees, and then he turned east into germany for two hundred miles, north 200 miles, and then back to England, he said he was given some money for his dangerous trip, he said he spent it on the lads in the pub,, my father died 2 years ago, yet he always told the truth, his 1949 medical miracle saved countless millions of lives, he did not seek notoriety, as he was a medical doctor and gave his find to man kind as a gift, all he got was a thankyou, he said if he didn’t go others would have as the dambusters mission was top secret,,,I would like to thank those who say Mosquitoes were used on the dam busters mission! All are heros!

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