1 portrait

'Dambusters', by Esten, 22 June 1943 - NPG x76735 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London


by Esten
bromide print, 22 June 1943
8 3/8in. x 11in. (213 mm x 278 mm)
Photographs Collection
NPG x76735

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The commanders who led the 'dam busters' operation became famous and pictures of them, like this one from the Herald Tribune, were widely circulated. Thirty-four of the survivors from the raid were presented with medals and Guy Gibson was awarded the Victoria Cross, Britain's highest military honour. The raid became so famous that Bomber Command tried to prevent Gibson from flying missions, lest his death damage morale. However, he persuaded them to let him return to active service in 1944. He was killed in September of the same year, aged twenty-six.