617 Squadron – Pilot Officer Leonard George Weller Died: 16/17th May 1943

after me the flood

Aprés moi, le déluge – After me, the flood.

617 Squadron
Remembered on a roundel,
A plain wall fractured by,
Three flashes of lightning,
From the breach, water rapids;
Aprés moi, le déluge.
Operation chastise.
The dam is busted up,
Water swirling down,
Takes out the power ops.

The water engulfs
A train with it’s passengers.
A car races cold water.
It isn’t fast enough.
After me the flood.
Ottley’s wing shears past,
With a violent patch of flak,
Burpee acts fast,
Dives away from the attack,

Billy gives em flak,
Fire sears the sky,
German gunners flank,
We’re hit! We fall, we die.
Aprés moi, le déluge.
Left a box of medals,
A cracked photograph,
A telegram, single mother,
And a distant epitaph.

We never forget,
Watch The Dambusters,
Year after year,
Stand in silence,
Wear a poppy while,
My mother remembers
My grandmother’s tears.
After me, the flood.
Aprés moi, le déluge

No. 617 Squadron Lancaster III ED865 P:O. Leonard George Weller and Sgt. Thomas Jaye

Pilot: P/O. Lewis Johnstone Burpee D.F.M. J/17115 R.C.A.F. Age 25. Killed

Fl/Eng: Sgt. Guy Pegler 573474 R.A.F.V.R. Age 21. Killed

Nav: Sgt. Thomas Jaye 1299446 R.A.F.V.R. Age 21. Killed

Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. James Lamb Arthur R/11941625 R.C.A.F. Age 25. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. Leonard George Weller 142507 R.A.F.V.R. Age 28. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. William Charles Arthur Long 1600540 R.A.F.V.R. Age 19. Killed

Air/Gnr: W.O.2 Joseph Gordon Brady R/93554 R.C.A.F. Age 28. Killed


Lancaster III ED865 AJ-S took off from Scampton at 00.11 hours as part of the third and final wave of Operation Chastise. Arriving safely at the Dutch coast, P/O. Burpee attempted to avoid the searchlights and flak, but the Lancaster was hit and caught fire, crashing onto the aerodrome at Gilze-Rijen, causing a massive explosion to the buildings.
All the crew were originally buried at Breda, since when they have been re-interred in Bergen-op-Zoom Cemetery.
The average age of this crew was 23.

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