Dam Buster Film Photograph #4
Large format black & white photograph, 39 x 27cm / 15 x 11" on mountboard approximately 51 x 41cm / 20 x 16cm. Shows an Avro Lancaster bomber in the air over Lincolnshire during production of the classic film 'The Dam Busters' in 1954. The aircraft, Lancaster B-7 NX679 can be seen clearly and has the film prop 'bouncing bomb' slung beneath the fuselage. It is interesting to note that the actual bomb, codenamed 'Upkeep' was still under the official secrets act at the time of filming so the 'dummies' used were loosely based on the actual bomb. This particular Lancaster was the one used as Wing Commander Guy Gibson's aircraft, 'piloted' in the film by Sir Richard Todd. Four original Lancaster bombers were used during filming and this air to air shot was taken by Sgt. Michael Cawsey, a flight engineer of 97 Squadron who flew as part of the crews. His flights included low level formation and runs over the Derwentwater dam casting beams on the water to establish flight at 60'. This rare photograph is in good condition but has been mounted on board for display and is currently covered with (loose) thin acetate film. This could be removed and the photograph re-mounted or framed. Captioned 'The Photographs mounted on the white cards in this display were taken during the filming of The Dam Busters in April - June 1954, for which four Lancasters were brought out of storage and based at RAF Hemswell, where they were flown by specially selected crews from the two resident squadrons, nos. 83 and 97. The pictures were all taken by Sgt. Michael Cawsey, flight engineer to Joe Kmiecik, and are a priceless record, giving some idea of the type of very low-level flying involved, both during preparations and on the actual raid. Some of the flying sequences were filmed at R.A.F. Kirton-In-Lindsey, which was still a grass airfield, as Scampton had been at the time of the Dams raid, but which, by the time the film was made, had tarmac runways. This enabled the take-off scenes in particular to appear fully authentic'. The photo comes from the now dispersed Brian Goulding archive (co author of the Lancaster At War books). We have a very small number of similar photos to be listed. A similar photograph, impossibly signed by a Guy Gibson sold for around £1000 recently! Please note that any 'odd colours' are caused by glare on the film covering and are not on the image itself. Stock code P20093.