WWII “Dambusters” Couple Celebrate 70th Wedding Anniversary

George Winston

WWII Couple Celebrate 70th Wedding Anniversary

It was in 1943 when Flt Lt Steve Stevens was returning from a mission and was waiting for landing instructions from one of the men working at the control tower. Stevens was shocked to hear that the voice guiding his landing was coming from a woman, the woman he was going to spend 7 decades with.

Because it was the first time he had heard a female voice coming from the control tower, he decided to go and have a look. He then saw that glamorous woman, as he described her, sitting with other people and being the centre of attention.

They got married in Norwich, eight months later.

On May 17, 1943, Maureen was giving landing instructions to the aircrews returning from the famous Dambuster raid. She was desperately listening and hoping that more men would manage to make it back home, the Lincolnshire Echo reports.

Steve and Maureen settled in Norwich, over 60 years ago. Steve wasn’t able to turn up at their first date because he had to go on another raid. When he heard her voice the second time, he tried to convince her to give him another chance. A few weeks later he asked her to marry him.

“I think it went something like, ‘If I’m alive at the end of the year, we’ll get married!’,” said Maureen.

Maureen remembered the Dambuster raid which at that time felt so secret that not even Steve knew anything about it. The operation was successful, however, of the 19 aircraft which took off from RAF Scampton, eight of them never came back; and of the 133 aircrew, 53 were dead.

“On almost every trip people just didn’t come back,” said Steve. “Sometimes they would arrive at a base and move their things in to a room one day, and then go out on a trip and never return”.

Steve moved with his family to London in the 1930s and left school for a job in local government. During a night shift, he found out a bomb had fallen in his street but he got back home, all was left of where his house had been was a gaping hole.

He recalls standing in the back garden and shouting ‘You bastards. I’ll get my own back on you”. Shortly after he joined the RAF.

Steve, who was christened Sidney, will be 92 this month and his wife Maureen or Maud, will be 94.