Page last updated at 09:42 GMT, Sunday, 19 April 2009 10:42 UK

Flypast for Dam Buster inventor

Sir Barnes Wallis
Sir Barnes Wallis visited the Cumbrian hotel for 30 years

A flypast is due to take place over a Cumbrian lake to celebrate a war time inventor's links with the county.

Derbyshire-born Sir Barnes Wallis - inventor of the "bouncing bomb" used in the Dam Busters raid - was a regular guest at Rosthwaite's Scafell Hotel.

To mark the opening of a suite dedicated to him, two Tornado jets will fly over Derwentwater on Wednesday.

The RAF's 617 "Dam Busters" squadron used the bombs on the famed raid on German dams in 1943.

Sir Barnes, who died in 1979 aged 92, visited the Scafell Hotel for more than 30 years between the 1940s and 1970s.

Dignitaries and war veterans from all over the country are expected to attend the event as well as representatives from the 617 Squadron Aircrew Association (Veterans) and serving RAF officers.

Sir Barnes, born in Ripley, Derbyshire, was immortalised in the 1951 book The Dam Busters and the film of the same name, made in 1954.

Scafell Hotel
The hotel sits in the Borrowdale Valley

They told the story of a series of daring World War II raids by 617 squadron, who used the bouncing bombs to destroy German dams powering Hitler's war machine.

Hotel owner Miles Jessop said: "Sir Barnes and Lady Wallis loved the Borrowdale Valley, and walking, often with their family, over the fells.

"He was without doubt a very great, talented, and notable man. It was with this in mind that we felt we should proudly re-name the new suite The Barnes Wallis Suite."

The bombs were designed to bounce to evade torpedo nets protecting the wall of the dams holding back millions of tons of water in lakes in the Ruhr valley.

The attack, codenamed Operation Chastise, was carried out on the night of 17 May, 1943.

Not all the targets were destroyed and about 1,650 people were killed.

In total, 53 of the 133 aircrew who took part also died.

Print Sponsor

Dambusters memorial is 'defaced'
07 Nov 07 |  Lincolnshire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific