This Day in History
Dam Busters

Dam Buster Raid
May 16 1943

The famed “Dam Buster” raid took place on May 16 1943. The RAF 617 Squadron of Avro Lancasters took off on one of the most famous missions of World War II. The Avro Lancaster was one of the best Allied heavy bombers of World War II. It was based on an unsuccessful twin-engine aircraft called the Manchester. A key reason for the Lancaster’s achievement was its use of four Rolls-Royce Merlin engines - the same engines that powered the Spitfire.

Well-known for its dependability, the Lancaster was liked by its crews and participated in many famous World War II missions, including the historic “Dam Buster” raids that led to the destruction of the strategically important Mohne, Eder and Sorpe dams. Lancasters also destroyed the infamous Nazi battleship Tirpitz and were instrumental during attacks on the famous Peenemunde aircraft and rocket research facility.

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All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2018. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.