Dambusters The Morning After

Gerald Coulson





Dambusters The Morning After Gerald Coulson

Just after midnight, on the night of 16/17 May 1943, Avro Lancaster crews of 617 Squadron undertook what was to become the most remarkable and probably best-remembered air raid of the World War Two. Flying all the way from their base in England in darkness at tree-top height, with just the light of the moon to guide them, the specially selected crews made a surprise attack on the mighty hydro-electric dams in the Ruhr.

Flying specially modified aircraft, each Avro Lancaster was equipped with the unique cylindrical hydro-statically detonated bomb as conceived by Barnes Wallis. This huge device when released from the aircraft flying at exactly 230mph and at the precise height of 60 ft spun onto the surface of the water. To achieve the critical height above the water at moment of release, two beams of light, from front and aft, were projected from the aircraft on to the surface of the water, creating a neat figure-of-eight on the surface below. As each bomb bounced across the water towards its target, it struck the dam wall, sank to the pre-set depth, and exploded. The results were devastating.

Led by the mercurial Squadron Leader Guy Gibson, ignoring furious defensive gunfire while flying perilously close to the water, each crew made their precision run at the target, released their deadly bomb, and those lucky enough to survive the barrage of tracer shells and anti-aircraft fire, escaped into the darkness. Not all of them did. In the space of those few, highly charged minutes, the Avro Lancaster crews of 617 Squadron wrote their names into history. Sixty-four years on, the memory of their exploits and the courage displayed by the crews on that historic raid, together with the genius of Barnes Wallis, remain undimmed.

Gerald Coulson’s new painting shows a single Avro Lancaster of 617 Squadron, one of the lucky ones having made it safely back to base, proudly standing alone as if in tribute to those that didn't’t return.



In this wonderful tribute to the brave men who undertook the historic dams mission, each print in the edition is signed by the artist Gerald Coulson and authenticated by three veterans of 617 Squadron from the night of 16 - 17 May 1943. The Artist Proof edition is additionally signed by the international movie star Richard Todd.


Sergeant RAYMOND E. GRAYSTON. Ray Grayston had been serving in 50 Squadron when he was posted to 617 Squadron in March 1943. The flight engineer of Les Knight’s Avro Lancaster AJ-N, they attacked and successfully breached the Eder
Dam. Ray was shot down on 16 September 1943. and was taken to
Stalag Luft III as a POW.

Squadron Leader GEORGE L. JOHNSON DFM. Joining the RAF in 1940 George Johnson served with 97 Squadron before joining 617 Squadron. Bomb Aimer on American Joe McCarthy's Avro Lancaster AJ-T they attacked the Sorpe Dam for which he was awarded the DFM . Commissioned a few months later, George retired from the RAF in 1962

Corporal KENNETH LUCAS. Ken Lucas joined the RAF in June 1940, and was posted as ground crew to 49 Squadron at RAF Scampton, transferring to 617 Squadron on its formation He was heavily involved in carrying out the modifications to the aircraft before the raid, fitting the motors that drove the belt that spun the bomb, and attaching the crucial lamps to the underside of the aircraft.

ACTOR RICHARD TODD. During World War Two Richard Todd served as an officer in the British 6th Airborne Division, and was one of the first British officers to land in Normandy on D-Day. He met up with Major John Howard ar Pegasus Bridge and would later appear in two films in which this scene was re-enacted - 'The Longest Day' in 1962 and' D-Day the Sixth of June' in 1956. The role for which he is possibly best remembered was that of Guy Gibson in the 1955 film ' The Dambusters', which to this day remains one of the most famous war movies ever made.

Each print is accompanied with a matching numbered certificate of authenticity.

Overall Print Size 27"x 20 1/2" (inches) Printed in lightfast inks on acid free archival paper.



Signed and Numbered Print
UK £125.00 Edition Size - 450


Artist Proof Edition
UK £195.00 Edition Size - 50



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