Episode 13 – Dambusters Grand Slam Ceremony

Guests: Squadron Leader Tony Iveson DFC, AE

Duration: 19 minutes, 34 seconds

Topic: President of the Bomber Command Association in the United Kingdom, Squadron Leader Tony Iveson visited the Museum of Transport and Technology on Wednesday the 11th of January 2012 to address the New Zealand Bomber Command Association. This recording is of his speech, which officially marked the NZBCA project to replicate a Grand Slam bomb.

The Grand Slam was used by No. 617 Squadron in March and April 1945 to attack heavily fortified concrete bunkers and structures. The NZBCA has been working on a full sized replica to give MOTAT visitors an idea of the sheer scale of these 22,000lb earthquake bombs.

As well as the bomb, Tony talks about his time in No. 617 Squadron with fellow squadron member Arthur Joplin, a kiwi who was also one of the veterans present at the meeting. Also detailed was the upcoming unveiling of the Bomber Command Memorial at Hyde Park in London, England, in June 2012.

Quick Links:

•  The New Zealand Bomber Command Association

•  The Museum of Transport and Technology, Auckland

Tony Iveson making his address to the NZBCA

Dambusters Squadron pilots Tony Iveson and Arthur Joplin with the Grand Slam bomb replica

Note: Tony mentioned that there were twelve New Zealanders who served in No. 617 Squadron in WWII. They were:

•  Sqn Ldr Richard Stansfield Derek Kearns DSO, DFC, DFM (pff) Pilot
•  Sqn Ldr John Leslie “Les” Munro DSO, DFC Pilot
•  Flt Lt Bernard Alexander Gumbley DFM Pilot
•  Flt Lt Leonard Chambers DFC Wireless Operator
F/O William John William Muir Low Barclay DFC, DFM (pff) Navigator
F/O Bruce James Hosie Wireless Operator
•  F/O Arthur William Joplin Pilot
•  P/O Ronald Florence Bomb Aimer
•  W/O Frank Cardwell Navigator
•  W/O Maxwell Graham Frame Dowman DFM (pff) Wireless Op-Air Gunner
W/O Loftus ‘Lofty’ Hebbard Air Bomber
•  F/Sgt Harvey Hugh Symes Navigator

Those on the famous Dams raid were Les Munro and Len Chambers. And those kiwis killed in action with No. 617 Squadron were Ron Florence, Bernard Gumbley and Bruce Hosie.

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