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Dambusters pilot Les Munro dies in New Zealand aged 96

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Dambusters pilot Les Munro dies in New Zealand aged 96

Old 4th Aug 2015, 14:25
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Dambusters pilot Les Munro dies in New Zealand aged 96

Good Morning All:

Just in from the BBC

Thank you Squadron Leader Munro for your service.

The last surviving Dambusters pilot, Les Munro, has died at the age of 96, the New Zealand Bomber Command Association has said.
Sqn Ldr Munro died in hospital in his native New Zealand on Monday following heart problems, the association said.
The legendary World War Two Dambusters operation flew from RAF Scampton, near Lincoln, in 1943 and successfully used "bouncing bombs" to attack German dams.
There are now only two surviving crew members of the Dambusters missions.
Out of 133 crew, only 77 returned.
Sqn Ldr Munro's aircraft was hit by flak, but he made it home after the hit had destroyed communications in his Lancaster bomber over the Netherlands.
Dave Homewood, of the association, described Sqn Ldr Munro as a "down-to-earth man" who was "very modest about what he did during the war".
"I think he was pretty proud to have been part of the Dambusters, although he was disappointed he never got to drop his weapon.
"He went on to be a flight commander and did a lot of very important operations after the dam raid, although these are often forgotten because the Dambusters were world-renowned."
Sqn Ldr Munro, who was patron of the NZ Bomber Command, was still flying at the age of 95 and had co-piloted an Avro Anson plane in January, Mr Homewood added.

'Remarkable life'

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key paid tribute, writing on Twitter: "Really sad to hear of Les Munro's death, New Zealand has lost a remarkable man who led a remarkable life."
In an interview with the BBC on the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters raid, Sqn Ldr Munro said he had not worried about the dangers of the mission.
"I approached most operations with a thought: 'If I'm going to cop it, so be it,'" he said.
Earlier this year, he put his medals up for auction to help pay for the upkeep of the Bomber Command Memorial in London.
A day before the auction, they were bought by British peer Lord Ashcroft for £75,000 ($117,000). He donated them to the Museum of Transport and Technology While Sqn Ldr Munro was the last living Dambusters pilot, he is survived by two crew members - Canadian former front gunner Fred Sutherland and British former bomb aimer George Johnson.
a330pilotcanada is offline  
Old 4th Aug 2015, 19:28
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The passing of a great man. Sadly very few of these courageous young men left to tell their tale. Deepest respect.
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Old 5th Aug 2015, 07:46
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Such a proud but also very quiet, humble & most honourable gentleman. Les Munro & so many like him, were from that generation, where honour, integrity, bravery & respect ment so very much, he will be so sadly missed. RIP.
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Old 5th Aug 2015, 12:48
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"Sadly very few of these courageous young men left to tell their tale."

Yes, and equally sad that so few are willing to listen to them.
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Old 5th Aug 2015, 19:57
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Les Munro's funeral

I received the following email from Andrew Gormlie, the CEO at Classic Flyers in Tauranga:


Hi Everyone,

Many of you will know by now that our good friend - Squadron Leader Les Munro has just recently passed away after a short illness.

Les was a valued & generous member of our organisation and a frequent visitor to the museum who was always happy to spend time with anyone and chat about his amazing flying career. Only recently he even enjoyed another trip in our Boeing Stearman.

It was Les’ wish that his funeral ceremony was to be held at Classic Flyers.

The ceremony starts at 1.30pm on Saturday 8th August in the Legacy Hangar.

All are welcome to join us in remembering Les’ life and sharing time with his family and friends

India Four Two is offline  
Old 5th Aug 2015, 22:59
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Full obituary in today's Sydney Morning Herald.

Hydromet is offline  
Old 6th Aug 2015, 08:42
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A bit of mixed emotions for somebody who is just existing by accident, because my grandma was one of the few survivers when the eder-dam tsunami washed away the whole village killing thousands...
Definitively "courageous young men", and they did not start the fire, but "the tale" is more than aviation, it is also about collateral damage.
It may not have been the main idea (who knows for sure?), but man-made-tsunamis from busted dams are very effective weapons of mass destruction...

It was a very moving moment for me to visit the Canberra war memorial in december 2004 just days after the tsunami desaster, and to see the dambusters exhibits there.
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Old 6th Aug 2015, 14:47
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Sorry to say that was one of the main reasons for bombing the dams - you cut the electricity and the water supply AND flood hundreds of sq.km
Heathrow Harry is offline  
Old 6th Aug 2015, 22:01
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There's more to your story there than you are letting on (about your Grandma and hence your own existence).

Perhaps not for this thread, but maybe on another one you may tell more.

Russell Gulch is offline  
Old 7th Aug 2015, 02:24
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Another German here, about 40years of age, lurker since the first Malaysia thread. From the region of the Edersee, too. The bridge is out of the water at the moment, btw.

And certainly also immediately hooked by mixed emotions.

It's good that we live in peaceful times, at least in our parts of the world.

May that pilot rest in peace.
cprior is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2015, 08:08
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Les Munro

I salute you Les - brilliant pilot. One of the few.
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Old 11th Aug 2015, 00:01
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Old 11th Aug 2015, 07:19
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A few years back a new Dambusters film was announced but I heard no more about it. Did it ever get completed and released?
joy ride is offline  
Old 11th Aug 2015, 08:57
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Read all about it...!!!!!

Dambusters film - about to be cancelled?
Planemike is offline  
Old 11th Aug 2015, 10:58
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Many thanks Planemike. Seems we might still have a long wait. Peter Jackson is also well behind schedule on the 2nd Tintin film, another I want to see!
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Old 11th Aug 2015, 11:37
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I may have mentioned this before, but it remains relevant. English family, well all except dad, in his 70s, who was German. Son in Law in all innocence mentions the Dambusters 70th anniversary. Ah says Dad, when I was four years old I was in my bed and I heard planes and lots of bangs. In the morning as usual I went down to the Edersee - and went back and told my mother someone had pulled out the plug. Total silence ensued for several minutes
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