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Remembering the Dambusters

This May marks the 70th anniversary of one of the most famous raids of World War II.

The Dambuster Raid of 1943 was a pivotal move for the allies and an event that will not be forgotten.

On May 17th 133 hand-picked troops, which included 30 Canadians, dropped bouncing bombs on German hydro dams, targeting the industrial sector.

The Dambuster was a big move that would turn the tide of the war but it came with a big price.

8 of the 19 Lancaster planes did not return from the mission and 53 soldiers were lost.

The Bomber Command Museum of Canada honored the Dambusters and veterans from across Alberta came to remember.

There are no surviving members of the original crew, but there are those who knew the men.

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Lance Benson was an air gunner in a Halifax, a plane similar to the Lancaster.  He joined the air force when he was 17.

“I was scared that the war was going to be done before I got to get to the action,” Benson remembers.

“I was a tail gunner that watched for enemy aircraft and fired guns off the tail end of the aircraft. Kind of a tail end guardian”

Benson and other veterans gathered in Nanton for the commemoration.

Organizers with the museum were happy to have the veterans in attendance but also young children and families coming to learn about our history.

“We want people to realize the cost of freedom and the reason that we are standing here free today is due to the fact that these young fellows went out and gave their lives,” says Dan Fox, VP of the bomber society.

“The next generation has to pass the torch and never forget the cost of war”.

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