Last surviving Dam Buster to give talk at Manchester Airport's Runway Visitor Park | Knutsford Times

Last surviving Dam Buster to give talk at Manchester Airport’s Runway Visitor Park

By on March 7, 2018

Manchester Airport’s Runway Visitor Park will play host to a very special visitor in April.

Under the wings of Concorde, the last surviving British member of the infamous Dam Busters raid will take to the stage and talk about Operation Chastise.  On April 19, Johnny Johnson MBE DFM, will talk about his role in the raids on German dams in May 1943 by the Royal Air Force 617 Squadron.

As part of Manchester Airport’s 80th celebrations, The Aviation Society and the Avro Heritage Museum has organised this very special event that marks 75 years since the operation.  As well as the talk there will be entertainment from a 1940’s singer the Lancashire Belle and there will also be afternoon tea.

The aircraft used for the raid was the Avro Lancaster bomber which was predominantly developed in the factories around Greater Manchester and its first flight was from Ringway airfield which became Manchester Airport.

Johnny Johnson, MBE, said: “I am very much looking forward to our evening in Manchester. In my opinion the Avro Lancaster, was the finest four engine heavy bomber aircraft of World War 2, myself and colleagues look forward to sharing our experiences of Operation Chastise and other missions where the Lanc was certainly put through her paces.”

Peter Hampson, Chairman of The Aviation Society said “This is without doubt a unique event which will bring together so many fascinating people from the world of aviation. Johnny Johnson is a true hero having flown over 50 missions during WW11 and operated as a Bomb aimer on the Lancaster during operation Chastise. It’s very appropriate that Manchester and specifically the airport from where the iconic Lancaster made its first flight has been chosen as the venue for this presentation.”

There will be a number of special guests joining Johnny for the evening including Mary Stopes-Roe, (Daughter of Sir Barnes Wallis), Eric Verdon Roe (Grandson of Sir Alliott Verdon Roe – founder of the Avro Aircraft Company), Sir Charles Masefield – President of BAE Systems and former Avro Chief Test Pilot.

The event starts at 5pm and will end at 8.30pm. Tickets are priced from just £25 and are available from The Aviation Society website –

About Lucy Thorpe

Lucy Thorpe is a freelance journalist who writes for the Knutsford Times - covering stories and news in and around Cheshire and Greater Manchester. If you've got a story to share, or would like to speak to Lucy, please email

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