by Stephen Brown
Overall size of print approx. 28” x 20”.
A flak-damaged Lancaster of 617 Squadron struggles across the airfield perimeter as it returns to base after a precision raid over enemy territory.
After writing a new chapter in aviation history with the famous Dams Raid of May 1943, 617 Squadron went on to execute many more daring operations including the sinking of the Tirpitz. Often flying specially modified Lancasters with enlarged bomb bay doors to accommodate the huge 12,000lb ‘Tallboy’, they specialised in high-value precision targets such as canals, tunnels and U-Boat pens.
The following two pilots and flight engineer signed all
the “Welcome Home” limited edition prints.
We do hope you will find these biographies of interest. We think that by knowing a little about the men behind each signature, it will help you get the most from your copy of “Welcome Home”. We would ask you not to reproduce the biographies in any format without our permission.
Sqn. Ldr. Tony Iveson, DFC, AE, CRAeS,
Tony Iveson (Pilot) was born and raised in Yorkshire and learned to fly in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve before the war. In 1940 he flew with 616 and 92 Fighter Squadrons, Fighter Command, and survived ditching a Spitfire in the North Sea after a combat with a Junkers 88. After qualifying at the RAF’s Central Flying School in 1941 he went on to be a flying instructor in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.
On returning to Britain he was directed to Bomber Command and was posted to No. 617 ‘Dam Busters’ Squadron in 1944 flying Lancasters. He was later appointed a Flight Commander. Amongst other operations he flew on all three attacks the Squadron made on the German battleship “Tirpitz”. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in January 1945.
He was seconded to BOAC at the end of the war to Captain Avro Lancastrians on the re-opening of the routes to Australia and other countries. Later he returned to RAF Transport Command flying Handley Page Hastings before retiring in 1951. He also commanded an Auxiliary Squadron from 1954 to 1957.
He was Secretary of 617 Squadron Association from 1966 to 1990 and is currently Chairman of the Bomber Command Association, still 6500 strong! His post-war career was entirely in communications – in the printing industry, in television, advertising, corporate and financial public relations. Since his retirement in 1990 he lived in the south of France for eight years, returning to England after the death of his wife.
W/O William “Jock” Burnett
‘Jock’ Burnett (Flight Engineer) volunteered at the age of 18 as a Direct Entry in Edinburgh F/E and served in the R.A.F.V.R. from 25/05/43 until 19/02/47. Following a F/E course at St. Athans, South Wales. On passing out from this course Jock was posted to Swinderby on Stirlings heavy conversion unit 1660 before being transferred to Syerston and Lancasters. In early August 1944 Jock joined 617 Sqn. at Woodhall Spa and was subsequently posted with the squadron to Waddington and Digri, India.
He completed 30 missions – all with Lawrence “Benny” Goodman as the pilot. Notable raids Jock took part in were on the Tirpitz (29/10/44), dropping the Grand Slam 22,000 bomb on the Arnsberg Viaduct (19/03/45) and the attack on Berchtesgarten ‘Eagles nest’ (25/05/45).
Sqn. Ldr. Lawrence “Benny” Goodman
Benny Goodman (Pilot) volunteered for aircrew at 18 years of age and was called up in 1940. After basic training he went to RAF Abingdon – a Whitley O.T.U – for what he was told would be ‘straight through’ training. This did not materialise and he found himself in the role of a Ground Gunner. In 1941, a posting eventually came through to the Initial Training Wing followed by Elementary Flying School at Peterborough and an instructor’s course at Woodley, Reading; then to Clyffe Pyparde, a holding unit. A sea journey to Canada followed and Service Flying Training School on Ansons. On completion he was posted to Kingston, Ontario, to instruct Acting Leading Naval Airmen on the Royal Navy tactics of the time. e.g. jinking after take off, dive bombing etc. “However, I had to learn everything first, so I was just about one step ahead of the students! said Benny.
Eventually returning to the UK and O.T.U. on Wellingtons at Silverstone and Heavy Conversion Bomber Unit at Swinderby on Stirlings. Then a short course at the Lancaster Conversion Unit. After an interview Benny and his crew were surprised and delighted to find they had been selected for 617 squadron – this was in 1944 and they stayed together as a crew on 617 squadron until the war in Europe ended.
He completed 30 missions – all with William “Jock” Burnett as his flight engineer. Notable raids Benny took part in were on the Tirpitz (29/10/44), dropping the Grand Slam 22,000 bomb on the Arnsberg Viaduct (19/03/45) and the attack on Berchtesgarten ‘Eagles nest’ (25/05/45).
The following men also signed the Artist Proofs and Remarques.
Richard Todd OBE. Former WW2 paratrooper. Actor who portrayed Guy Gibson so brilliantly in the legendary “Dam Busters” film.
Harold Roddis. Flight Mechanic on the 617 Squadron Dambuster aircraft.
Jim Brookbank. Bomb Aimer 9 Squadron.
Ted Cachart. WOP 49 Squadron, POW and youngest (15) WOP in RAF.
Geoff Brunton 49 Squadron
Jim Inward DFC Flt. Eng. 35 & 76 Squadrons (first tour 25 ops.) and 578 Squadron, 22 Ops.
Jim Auton MBE Nav/Air Bomber on Liberators based in Italy. Took part in the air-bridge to Warsaw, Poland. Bombed the Ploesti, Rumanian oilfields.
Peter Bond Bomb aimer 100 & 156 Pathfinder squadrons.
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