28th Oct, 2016

New book charts life of ‘Dam Buster’ Maudslay

Evesham Editorial 3rd Jul, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

A NEW book telling the story of daring Willersey pilot Henry Maudslay has hit the shelves.

Squadron Leader Henry Maudslay DFC was just 21-years-old when he died on May 17, 1943 after attacking the Eder Dam in Germany.

The Dam Buster raid, Operation Chastise, has gone down in history as one of the greatest feats of arms executed by the Royal Air Force.

Extraordinary demands were placed upon the airmen who took part in the raid, one of whom was the particularly accomplished young pilot Henry Maudslay.

And in ‘Henry Maudslay Dam Buster’, author Robert Owen tells the remarkable story of the Second World War Bomber Command and of the Dam Buster pilot himself.

Henry left Eton in 1940 and volunteered immediately for the RAF, becoming part of a generation for who the transition into adulthood would, again, be cast in the heat of battle.

Henry flew his first operational tour with No. 44 Squadron on Handley Page Hampdens, following which his experiences and skills were utilised during service trials for the new Avro Lancaster. Henry joined No. 50 Squadron at the start of 1943 for a second tour and in March 1943 he was selected to join a new squadron, No. 617, then forming at RAF Scampton.

He attacked the Eder Dam on the night of 16/17 May 1943.

After a number of attempts, he released his weapon which struck the parapet and detonated on impact almost immediately behind the aircraft.

Contrary to contemporary reports the aircraft survived, and set course for home, only to be brought down near the Rhine with the loss of all its crew.

Combining material from family, school and official archives, together with personal letters and recollections from those who knew him, Owen, describes in detail the family background, school life and extraordinary flying career of this young and

enigmatic airman.

The Observer reported last year on the memorial service at St Peter’s Church in Willersey to mark the 70th anniversary of his death.

Mr Maudslay and his family lived close by at Foxhill Manor, on the Farncombe Estate, from 1937 until he joined the RAF in 1940.

‘Henry Maudslay Dam Buster’ is on general release and available through Fighting High Publishing.

Visit www.fightinghigh.com or call 01763 802018 for more information.

Squadron Leader Henry Maudslay DFC was just 21 when he died.

Mr Maudslay and his crew were attacking the Eder Dam when they died on May 17, 1943.