In todays Daily Mail: Lying face-down in the nose of the lumbering Lancaster bomber, staring through its Perspex nostril, ‘Spam’ Spafford thought his time was up. ‘Christ, this is bloody dangerous!’ the veteran bomb-aimer shouted up at the pilot. The man at the controls — Wing Commander Guy Gibson — immediately lifted the plane just moments before instant obliteration and pulled away. Gibson and his crew had not been confronted by German fighters or anti-aircraft guns cannon but the dark waters of the same Derbyshire reservoir where I am standing now.
They had just been on their first training run over the Derwent Dam and had immediately discovered the perils of flying a 30-ton bomber at 240mph a few feet above open water in the dark.