A Lancaster bomber has overflown Penarth sea front and Cardiff Bay to celebrate and commemorate the 75th anniversary the famous RAF Dambuster’s raid on vital German reservoirs in WW2.
The Lancaster approached from Lavernock at 18:45 last night and flew Northwards along the coast , skirting Penarth Head and then heading towards the Welsh Assembly building on Cardiff Bay.
The route provided a fine view for spectators on Penarth Esplanade – although not many people were actually aware of the event in advance.
The Dambusters’ raid – one the major episodes of WW2 – was a successful mission to destroy three vital dams in Germany using bouncing bombs. It was led by Wing Commander Guy Gibson.
Gibson had got to know Penarth well during his courtship with Eve Moore – an actress who was the daughter of a local shipping executive who lived in No 2 Archer Road, Penarth.
The famous WW2 hero frequently drove from his base to Penarth and sometimes did the commute in a borrowed RAF aircraft , landing a Cardiff Airport – which was then at Pengam Moors.
Gibson sunbathed on Penarth beach, played golf at the Glamorganshire golf club and, in 1940, married his fiancee Eve Moore at Penarth’s All Saints Church .
A commemorative plaque at the Moore family’s former home marks Wing Cdr Gibson’s association with the house – and the town.
The Luftwaffe later bombed All Saints Church – although the German attack had no connection with the Dambusters’ raid.
Wing Cdr Gibson – who was awarded the VC for his leadership of the dams raid – was subsequently killed in 1944 by “friendly fire” when his Mosquito was mistaken by another RAF aircraft for a German plane as it flew over Holland. Gibson was only 26 years old.