One of the last remaining Lancaster Bombers has taken part in a flypast to pay tribute to the 70th anniversary of the legendary Dambusters raid.

The veteran aircraft flew over the Derwent reservoir dam in Derbyshire where the original crews practiced for the World War II attack.

The tribute was part of a number of events happening around the UK on Thursday including a 'Field of Messages' at National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire.

dambusters

The plane is one of only two remaining operational Avro Lancasters

The Dambusters raid was meant to strike right at the heart of the Nazi industrial war machine by taking out three dams in the Ruhr valley, flooding the area.

A new type of weapon, the bouncing bomb, was designed and tested by Barnes Wallis specifically for the mission.

Two of the dams were breached while another sustained only minor damage. In the vally, 1,600 people drowned.

The raid was carried out by 133 airmen in 19 Lancaster bombers who formed the RAF's 617 squadron. Fifty-six men and eight aircraft did not return.

dambusters

The crew of "T for Tommy" who survived the raid

Although the top-secret attack, named Operation Chastise, helped boost morale in Britain when it was reported, typically efficient German repairs soon mitigated the effects if the raid.

The attack was immortalised in the 1955 film 'The Dam Busters' starring Michael Redgrave and Richard Todd

The last surviving Dambusters pilot, Les Munro, said he believed the raids were justified due to the effect on morale in Britain.

dambusters

The Mohne dam after the "dambusters" raid 1943

Speaking to the BBC, the 94-year-old, who was born in New Zealand, said: "I believe from an operational point of view they were very successful.

"They had achieved the two major primary targets, they had damaged Sorpe - but not perhaps as great as Barnes Wallis had anticipated - but coming back to the general feeling the effect on the British morale was really significant and I think from that point alone it was justified and can be categorised as successful."

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  • 70th Anniversary Of The Dambuster Raid

    DERWENT, ENGLAND - MAY 16: A Lancaster bomber flies over Ladybower reservoir in the Derbyshire Peak District to mark the 70th anniversary of the World War II Dambusters mission on May 16, 2013 in Derwent, England. Ladybower and Derwent reservoirs were used by the RAF's 617 Squadron in 1943 to test Sir Barnes Wallis' bouncing bomb before their mission to destroy dams in Germany's Ruhr Valley. Today marks the 70th anniversary of the famous Dambuster mission and will be watched by veterans from the original campaign. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • 70th Anniversary Of The Dambuster Raid

    DERWENT, ENGLAND - MAY 16: A Lancaster bomber flies over Ladybower reservoir in the Derbyshire Peak District to mark the 70th anniversary of the World War II Dambusters mission on May 16, 2013 in Derwent, England. Ladybower and Derwent reservoirs were used by the RAF's 617 Squadron in 1943 to test Sir Barnes Wallis' bouncing bomb before their mission to destroy dams in Germany's Ruhr Valley. Today marks the 70th anniversary of the famous Dambuster mission and will be watched by veterans from the original campaign. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • 70th Anniversary Of The Dambuster Raid

    DERWENT, ENGLAND - MAY 16: A Lancaster bomber flies over Ladybower reservoir in the Derbyshire Peak District to mark the 70th anniversary of the World War II Dambusters mission on May 16, 2013 in Derwent, England. Ladybower and Derwent reservoirs were used by the RAF's 617 Squadron in 1943 to test Sir Barnes Wallis' bouncing bomb before their mission to destroy dams in Germany's Ruhr Valley. Today marks the 70th anniversary of the famous Dambuster mission and will be watched by veterans from the original campaign. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • 70th Anniversary Of The Dambuster Raid

    DERWENT, ENGLAND - MAY 16: A Lancaster bomber flies over Ladybower reservoir in the Derbyshire Peak District to mark the 70th anniversary of the World War II Dambusters mission on May 16, 2013 in Derwent, England. Ladybower and Derwent reservoirs were used by the RAF's 617 Squadron in 1943 to test Sir Barnes Wallis' bouncing bomb before their mission to destroy dams in Germany's Ruhr Valley. Today marks the 70th anniversary of the famous Dambuster mission and will be watched by veterans from the original campaign. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • Dambusters 70th anniversary

    A Lancaster bomber during the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight performs a flypast over the Derwent Reservoir as part of a series of events to commemorate 70th anniversary of the Dambusters raid.

  • Dambusters 70th anniversary

    A Lancaster bomber during the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight performs a flypast over the Derwent Reservoir as part of a series of events to commemorate 70th anniversary of the Dambusters raid.

  • Dambusters 70th anniversary

    Spectators wait for the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight flypast over the Derwent Reservoi as part of a series of events to commemorate 70th anniversary of the Dambusters raid.

  • Dambusters 70th anniversary

    A Lancaster bomber during the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight performs a flypast over the Derwent Reservoir as part of a series of events to commemorate 70th anniversary of the Dambusters raid.

  • Dambusters 70th anniversary

    A Lancaster bomber during the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight performs a flypast over the Derwent Reservoir as part of a series of events to commemorate 70th anniversary of the Dambusters raid.

  • Dambusters 70th anniversary

    Spectators wait for the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight flypast over the Derwent Reservoi as part of a series of events to commemorate 70th anniversary of the Dambusters raid.

  • Dambusters 70th anniversary

    A Lancaster bomber during the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight performs a flypast over the Derwent Reservoir as part of a series of events to commemorate 70th anniversary of the Dambusters raid.

  • Dambusters 70th anniversary

    A Lancaster bomber during the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight performs a flypast over the Derwent Reservoir as part of a series of events to commemorate 70th anniversary of the Dambusters raid.

  • Dambusters 70th anniversary

    A Tornado bomber during the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight performs a flypast over the Derwent Reservoir as part of a series of events to commemorate 70th anniversary of the Dambusters raid.

  • Dambusters 70th anniversary

    A Lancaster bomber during the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight performs a flypast over the Derwent Reservoir as part of a series of events to commemorate 70th anniversary of the Dambusters raid.

  • 70th Anniversary Of The Dambuster Raid

    LINCOLN, ENGLAND - MAY 16: A WWII re-enactor poses for a photo in front of a WWII Lancaster bomber at RAF Scampton on May 16, 2013 in Lincoln, England. Ladybower and Derwent reservoirs were used by the RAF's 617 Squadron in 1943 to test Sir Barnes Wallis' bouncing bomb before their mission to destroy dams in Germany's Ruhr Valley. Today marks the 70th anniversary of the famous Dambuster mission and will be watched by veterans from the original campaign. (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)

  • 70th Anniversary Of The Dambuster Raid

    LINCOLN, ENGLAND - MAY 16: A WWII re-enactors take photos of a WWII Lancaster bomber at RAF Scampton on May 16, 2013 in Lincoln, England. Ladybower and Derwent reservoirs were used by the RAF's 617 Squadron in 1943 to test Sir Barnes Wallis' bouncing bomb before their mission to destroy dams in Germany's Ruhr Valley. Today marks the 70th anniversary of the famous Dambuster mission and will be watched by veterans from the original campaign. (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)

  • 70th Anniversary Of The Dambuster Raid

    LINCOLN, ENGLAND - MAY 16: The pilots walk over to a WWII Lancaster bomber at RAF Scampton on May 16, 2013 in Lincoln, England. Ladybower and Derwent reservoirs were used by the RAF's 617 Squadron in 1943 to test Sir Barnes Wallis' bouncing bomb before their mission to destroy dams in Germany's Ruhr Valley. Today marks the 70th anniversary of the famous Dambuster mission and will be watched by veterans from the original campaign. (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)

  • 70th Anniversary Of The Dambuster Raid

    LINCOLN, ENGLAND - MAY 16: Pilots make final preparations before take off in a WWII Lancaster bomber at RAF Scampton on May 16, 2013 in Lincoln, England. Ladybower and Derwent reservoirs were used by the RAF's 617 Squadron in 1943 to test Sir Barnes Wallis' bouncing bomb before their mission to destroy dams in Germany's Ruhr Valley. Today marks the 70th anniversary of the famous Dambuster mission and will be watched by veterans from the original campaign. (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)

  • 70th Anniversary Of The Dambuster Raid

    LINCOLN, ENGLAND - MAY 16: Pilots make final preparations before take off in a WWII Lancaster bomber at RAF Scampton on May 16, 2013 in Lincoln, England. Ladybower and Derwent reservoirs were used by the RAF's 617 Squadron in 1943 to test Sir Barnes Wallis' bouncing bomb before their mission to destroy dams in Germany's Ruhr Valley. Today marks the 70th anniversary of the famous Dambuster mission and will be watched by veterans from the original campaign. (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)

  • 70th Anniversary Of The Dambuster Raid

    LINCOLN, ENGLAND - MAY 16: Pilots make final preparations before take off in a WWII Lancaster bomber at RAF Scampton on May 16, 2013 in Lincoln, England. Ladybower and Derwent reservoirs were used by the RAF's 617 Squadron in 1943 to test Sir Barnes Wallis' bouncing bomb before their mission to destroy dams in Germany's Ruhr Valley. Today marks the 70th anniversary of the famous Dambuster mission and will be watched by veterans from the original campaign. (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)

  • 70th Anniversary Of The Dambuster Raid

    LINCOLN, ENGLAND - MAY 16: Pilots make final preparations before take off in a WWII Lancaster bomber at RAF Scampton on May 16, 2013 in Lincoln, England. Ladybower and Derwent reservoirs were used by the RAF's 617 Squadron in 1943 to test Sir Barnes Wallis' bouncing bomb before their mission to destroy dams in Germany's Ruhr Valley. Today marks the 70th anniversary of the famous Dambuster mission and will be watched by veterans from the original campaign. (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)

  • 70th Anniversary Of The Dambuster Raid

    LINCOLN, ENGLAND - MAY 16: Pilots make final preparations before take off in a WWII Lancaster bomber at RAF Scampton on May 16, 2013 in Lincoln, England. Ladybower and Derwent reservoirs were used by the RAF's 617 Squadron in 1943 to test Sir Barnes Wallis' bouncing bomb before their mission to destroy dams in Germany's Ruhr Valley. Today marks the 70th anniversary of the famous Dambuster mission and will be watched by veterans from the original campaign. (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)

  • 70th Anniversary Of The Dambuster Raid

    LINCOLN, ENGLAND - MAY 16: The First aid kit on a WWII Lancaster bomber on May 16, 2013 in Lincoln, England. Ladybower and Derwent reservoirs were used by the RAF's 617 Squadron in 1943 to test Sir Barnes Wallis' bouncing bomb before their mission to destroy dams in Germany's Ruhr Valley. Today marks the 70th anniversary of the famous Dambuster mission and will be watched by veterans from the original campaign. (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)

  • 70th Anniversary Of The Dambuster Raid

    LINCOLN, ENGLAND - MAY 16: The badge on the side of a WWII Lancaster bomber at RAF Scampton on May 16, 2013 in Lincoln, England. Ladybower and Derwent reservoirs were used by the RAF's 617 Squadron in 1943 to test Sir Barnes Wallis' bouncing bomb before their mission to destroy dams in Germany's Ruhr Valley. Today marks the 70th anniversary of the famous Dambuster mission and will be watched by veterans from the original campaign. (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)

  • 70th Anniversary Of The Dambuster Raid

    LINCOLN, ENGLAND - MAY 16: Cartoon nose art on a WWII Lancaster bomber at RAF Scampton on May 16, 2013 in Lincoln, England. Ladybower and Derwent reservoirs were used by the RAF's 617 Squadron in 1943 to test Sir Barnes Wallis' bouncing bomb before their mission to destroy dams in Germany's Ruhr Valley. Today marks the 70th anniversary of the famous Dambuster mission and will be watched by veterans from the original campaign. (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)

  • Dumbusters 60th Anniversary

    A Lancaster bomber from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight swoops over Reculver at the sight where Barnes Wallis secretly tested the bouncing bomb, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Dambusters Raid.

  • Dambusters

    In the cockpit of the last operational Lancaster at RAF Scampton are five survivors (from left) George Chalmers (wireless operator), Ivan Whittaker (engineer), Jack Buckley (gunner), Bill Howarth (gunner) and Bill Townsend (pilot) of the Dambusters raid on the industrial heart of Germany. *02/04/04: A collection of the medals won by Ivan Whittaker have gone on display ahead of their auction later this month. During the Second World War he twice received a Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) - the only flight engineer in the RAF to receive two such honours.

  • Dambusters medals

    A collection of medals from a member of the famous 617 "Dam Busters" squadron Group Captain Ivan Whittaker that are to be auctioned at Spinks in Bloomsbury, London, it was announced Friday April 2, 2004. Left to right are the OBE, DFC,1939-1945 Star, Air Crew Europe Star, Italy Star, Defence Medal and The War medal.

  • World War Two - UK & Commonwealth - The RAF - The Dambusters Raid - 1943

    The Dambusters Raid -The results of the RAF attack on the Moehne and Eder Dams.

  • World War Two - UK & Commonwealth - The RAF - The Dambusters Raid - 1943

    The King and Queen meet allied airmen who breached the Mohne and Eder Dams The DSO was also awarded to Fl Lieut D J H Maltby of Hastings, holder of the DFC to whom the King is talking.

  • World War Two - UK & Commonwealth - The RAF - The Dambusters Raid - 1943

    The King and Queen meet allied airmen who breached the Mohne and Eder Dams. The King meets an American airman Fl Lieut J C McCarthy of Long Island, serving with the Canadian airforce. He won a DSO.

  • World War Two - UK & Commonwealth - The RAF - The Dambusters Raid - 1943

    The King and Queen meet allied airmen who breached the Mohne and Eder Dams The King meets an Australian who won the DSO for his part was Pilot Officer L G Knight of Camberwell Victoria with whom the King is seen talking.

  • Military - 24th Anniversary of the Dambusters Raid - Royal Air Force Station Scampton

    A Lancaster bomber arrives at Scampton after a commemorative flight from Biggin Hill, Kent. On board as passengers were two of the dambuster pilots who took part in the raid by Lancasters which breached the Moehne and Eder dams in May 1943.

  • World War Two - UK & Commonwealth - The RAF - The Dambusters Raid - 1943

    Guy Gibson with his wife when he was awarded the VC in 1943 for his part in the Dambuster raids. He was killed a year later.

  • Engineering - British inventor Dr Barnes Wallis - Royal Aeronautical Society - Hamilton Place, London

    Dr Barnes Wallis, 80, is handed a tribute from the Royal Aeronautical Society. Presenting the Honourary Fellowship of the Society scroll is society president M.B. Morgan, right, Controller of Guided Weapons and Electronics, Ministry of Technology, on the occasion of the 56th Wilbur and Orville Wright Memorial Lecture at the Royal Aeronautical Society in Hamilton Place, London.

  • Film - British inventor Dr Barnes Wallis - Dambusters squadron reunion - London

    Dr Barnes Wallis, the man whose faith in the low-level 'bouncing' bomb was a key factor in the success of the historic raid by the Dam Busters on the Moehne Dam in the Second World War, in London during a reunion of members of the famous Dambusters squadron. He is speaking to Richard Todd, right, who starred in "The Dam Busters" film as Wing Commander Guy Gibson, at the Warner Theatre, Leicester Square, where a special screening of the film was part of the Dam Buster weekend reunion.

  • Engineering - British inventor Dr Barnes Wallis - Royal Aeronautical Society - Hamilton Place, London

    Dr Barnes Wallis, 80, is handed a tribute from the Royal Aeronautical Society. Presenting the Honourary Fellowship of the Society scroll is society president M.B. Morgan, right, Controller of Guided Weapons and Electronics, Ministry of Technology, on the occasion of the 56th Wilbur and Orville Wright Memorial Lecture at the Royal Aeronautical Society in Hamilton Place, London.

  • Military - 24th Anniversary of the Dambusters Raid - Royal Air Force Station Scampton

    Dr Barnes Wallis, right, inventor of the 'bouncing bomb' which was used to breach the Moehne and Eder dams in May 1943, with Air Chief Marshall Sir Ralph Cochrane (Retired), who was Air Officer Commanding Nos. 3 and 5 Groups in 1942-45. In the background is a Lancaster bomber which had made a commemorative flight from Biggin Hill, Kent, with two Dambuster pilots as passengers, part of the celebrations at Scampton, home of the No.617 (Dambusters) Squadron.

  • Military - British inventor Dr Barnes Wallis and Wing Commander Rodrick Learoyd - RAF Scampton

    Dr Barnes Wallis, left, inventor of the bouncing bomb, and Wing Commander Rodrick Learoyd, one of Bomber Command's five surviving holders of the Victoria Cross. They are stood in front of the RAF's last flying Lancaster at a ceremony marking the stand-down of Bomber Command at RAF Scampton, near Lincoln. Tomorrow will see the merger of Bomber and Fighter Commands to become RAF Strike Command.

  • War - World War Two - Dambusters

    Wing Commander Guy Gibson (seventh from left) with other RAF personnel who took part in the Dambusters raid at an investiture at Buckingham Palace. Guy Gibson received the Victoria Cross and bar to the DSO for his leadership in the successful attacks on German dams.

  • Military - 24th Anniversary of the Dambusters Raid - Royal Air Force Station Scampton

    An historic silhouette over Scampton as a Lancaster bomber "beats up" the runway on its arrival after a commemorative flight from Biggin Hill, Kent. On board as passengers were two of the dambuster pilots who took part in the raid by Lancasters which breached the Moehne and Eder dams in May 1943.

  • World War Two - UK & Commonwealth - The RAF - The Dambusters Raid - 1943

    Official photograph from the British Air Ministry of the first detailed scale model of the Moehne dam for squadron 617's raid of 1943.

  • World War Two - UK & Commonwealth - The RAF - The Dambusters Raid - 1943

    The Moehne dam, Germany, which was bombed by the Dambusters.

  • World War Two - UK & Commonwealth - The RAF - The Dambusters Raid - 1943

    The Dambusters Raid 1943 - This picture of the Moehne Dam was taken a few hours after the dam was breached.

  • World War Two - UK & Commonwealth - The RAF - The Dambusters Raid - 1943

    A " bouncing bomb " during testing in early 1943.

  • World War Two - UK & Commonwealth - The RAF - The Dambusters Raid - 1943

    The Eder Dam after the Dam Buster raid of 1943 - hills surrounded the dam and the Germans thought it could never be bombed.