Special ‘Dambusters’ event at Porthcawl Museum tomorrow, Saturday August 11

Friday, 10 August 2018

– Events

by Contributed ItemContributed Item

The London Mint Office (LMO), recognised as a trusted and respected partner for a large number of British coin collectors and mints across the world, is making a special donation to Porthcawl Museum on August 11 to mark the area’s strong links with Op Chastise – the famous Dams Raid – which took place 75 years ago in May 1943.

A spokesperson said: “The LMO prides itself on putting history into the hands of its customers, and it will be doing just that when their resident Historian and Cultural Ambassador Justin Robinson presents Porthcawl Museum with a special commemorative Operation Chastise Mission Pack and a limited-edition £1 coin.

The pack contains accurate replicas of the blueprints, photographs, maps, plans, and other documents that were used to brief 617 Squadron for their historic night-time mission over Nazi Germany. These will be displayed at the museum together with a commemorative coin struck to mark the anniversary.

The event will also welcome Belinda Brown, the second cousin of one of the crew of the Dams Raid, Sergeant Gordon Yeo. She will be bringing along some treasured family mementoes to honour the Barry man, who was the only Welshman to take part in the mission.

South Wales has a unique connection to the daring Dambusters Mission, which successfully breached German dams with a new ‘bouncing bomb’, more accurately a mine, codenamed Upkeep.

No less than 14 of the 16 aircraft involved in the mission included crew who had trained at RAF Saint Athan, and RAF Stormy Down, near Pyle.

The connections with the area go further.

Wing Commander Guy Gibson, who led the raid, married Eve Moore from Penarth.

Mr Robinson said: “Sgt Yeo was born in Barry in 1922, and joined the fledgling 617 Sqn as a gunner. He was, at 20, the youngest member of the crew that successfully breached the Möhne Dam. Their actions under heavy fire caused catastrophic flooding in the region and major disruption to the Nazi war machine.”

All seven crew members lost their lives when their Lancaster aircraft was shot down over the Dutch coast as they tried to return home. They are at rest together at Bergen General Cemetery in The Netherlands.

Mr Robinson continued: “The London Mint Office is delighted to present this commemorative pack and coin to the museum to pay tribute to Gordon Yeo’s bravery in volunteering for one of the most dangerous missions of the war, and to remember South Wales’ close ties to the Dambusters.

Rob Taylor, of Porthcawl Museum said: “The Operation Chastise Mission Pack would enhance the small exhibition that Porthcawl Museum already has to the Dambusters as part of the #RAF100 display on show.

“The museum is in the process of obtaining an authentic RAF Hut to make a permanent RAF exhibition in the grounds of the Museum and this pack would then become a valued part of that project.”


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