Hattip to Don the Kiwi. The march of time can be as sad as it is inevitable, and so it is in this case. The last pilot of 617th Squadron that flew the Dam Buster raid on May 16-17, 1943, Kiwi John Leslie Munro, has died at age 96 in Auckland, New Zealand on August 4, 2015. The raid was a spectacular attack on three mammoth dams in the Ruhr. Codenamed Operation Chastise, it involved over a month of training for the low altitude attacks on the dams and the development of bombs that would bounce on the water upon release and careen into the dams. The execution of the raids in the teeth of enemy fire required immense skill and courage. The attacks breached two of the dams and damaged the third, causing immense damage in the Ruhr, the industrial heartland of the Third Reich. Of the 19 Lancaster bombers participating in the raid, eight were lost.
In a time when the World desperately needed courage and the willingness to stand against evil, Munro and his colleagues were in the forefront of the fight.