The Dambusters is a factual account of Royal Air Force Squadron 617 who became known as the “Dam Busters” because of Operation Chastise, a mission using highly specialised bombs to destroy Ruhr dams in Germany. Led by 24-year-old Wing Commander Guy Gibson, a veteran of more than 170 bombing and night-fighter missions, twenty-one bomber crews were selected from 5 Group squadrons. The crews included RAF personnel of several nationalities, members of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF). The daring Dambusters raids were met with jubilation by Allied forces during WWII.
In 1954, Australasian Radio produced a radio dramatisation of The Dambusters based on Australian author Paul Brickhill’s best-seller of the same name, in 26 half-hour episodes. The series featured a top-line cast, most of who were ex-airmen, including former members of the “dam-busting’ 617 Squadron and Royal Australian Air Force personnel: Paul Brickhill, author and narrator, flew with No. 92 Squadron RAF attached from the Royal Australian Air Force. Producer, Gordon Grimsdale, was an ex-fighter pilot. Charles Tingwell, who played the role of Guy Gibson, flew Spitfires and Mosquitoes in the Western Desert. David Eadier who played Air Vice-Marshal Cochrane, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross during WWII and took part in the first raid on the Tirpitz. And, ex-RAAF flight-lieutenant, Max Osbiston played the role of Australian Ace, Mick Martin.
“The wonder of this programme lies in the consistently true characterisation given by each performer.” [Around the Dial – Alexander MacDonald, 1 July 1954]
Author and Narrator:
Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell, Allan Trevor, Coralie Neville, David Eadie, Alexander Archdale, Rod Taylor, Mary Jane Windsor
The Dambuster was produced and broadcast in Australia in 1954
Some of the Australians on the dams raid, The Dam Busters, Paul Brickhill, Evans Brothers ed., 1951, pg. 48.
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1954 Australian radio dramatisation of The Dambusters based on Australian author Paul Brickhill’s best-seller of the same name, in 26 half-hour episodes. Total Running Time: 11 hours and 25 minutes.