‘Dambusters’ pilot to speak in Bicester

Tony Iveson DFC''Served with 617 Squadron''Pic supplied by Bomber Command Heritage
Tony Iveson DFC''Served with 617 Squadron''Pic supplied by Bomber Command Heritage

A SPITFIRE and Lancaster bomber pilot who flew with the legendary 617 ‘Dambuster’ Squadron will speak at an event in Bicester next month.

Tony Iveson DFC will give a talk at an event raising money for Bomber Command Heritage’s campaign to create a Bomber Command education centre and museum at RAF Bicester.

Dean Overton, chairman of Bomber Command Heritage, said: “We are thrilled, and what a privilege it is to have Tony come along and give us this sort of support.

“It will really help our fundraising efforts and be a magnificent, and entertaining evening for all.”

Mr Iveson will talk about his experiences of Second World War flying in Spitfires and Lancasters with 617 Squadron and their daring raids on the German battleship Tirpitz.

Near misses included ditching his Spitfire into the sea after running out of fuel, and coaxing a damaged bomber to reach the Shetland Islands after half his crew had already bailed out over Norway.

Mr Iveson recently became the oldest man to fly a Lancaster bomber at the tender age of 89.

He is also chairman of the Bomber Command Association national veterans’ body.

Mr Iveson has recently published a book Lancaster: The Biography with co-author Brian Milton, tracing the history of the iconic aircraft.

English Heritage has described RAF Bicester as the best-preserved inter-war airfield in the country, and the site contains many listed buildings.

The talk will be held in the John Paul II Community Centre in The Causeway, Bicester, on October 22, starting at 7pm.

Tickets are £19.50, and the price will include food and a drink.

A raffle will also be held, with prizes including a flight in a de Havilland Tiger Moth. Discounted hotel accommodation is also available at the Littlebury Hotel.

Visit www.bc-heritage.org/events for more information. To buy tickets, send a SAE and cheques payable to Bomber Command Heritage to BCH, Suite 1, Enterprise House, Bicester Business Centre, Telford Road, Bicester, Oxfordshire OX26 4LD.