By Brett Gibbons

FORMER aircraft gunner John Davis is never able to forget his wartime heroics because he's reminded of his daring exploits every time one of the most famous films ever made is repeated on television.

San Agustin resident John took part in the raid on the Ruhr Dams in Germany as part of the legendary 617 squadron - immortalised in The Dambusters movie.

Like many hundreds of thousands of past and existing service personnel the world over, he will be sparing a moment to honour old colleagues on Remembrance Sunday. “I will be thinking about the ex-colleagues that were lost,” said John, a former sports writer with the Daily Express.

“I have plenty of memories of old comrades. We were all very young and brave, and I am so glad that I got back in one piece unlike the 50 or so air crew who were killed or shot down,” explained John.

The West Bromwich-born lad was specially selected to be part of the squadron that allegedly changed the course of World War II.

“Being a gunner was supposedly the most dangerous job,” he claimed. Secrecy surrounded the mission and none of the crews knew their intended target.
Squadron “X” was formed at R.A.F Scampton in March 1943 under the command of Wing Commander Guy Gibson. His task was to mould and train the crew members into a squadron capable of carrying out a difficult single raid.

He was soon to find out what his targets were to be, to divert attention away from the truth. A rumour was started that the aircraft were about to attack the Tirpitz battleship.