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Frederick Tees

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Name  Frederick Tees

Frederick Tees

Frederick 'Freddie' Tees (sometimes known as 'Frank' Tees) (16 June 1922 – ? June 1982) was a member of 617 Squadron of the Royal Air Force and who took part in Operation Chastise in 1943 as a rear-gunner. This action was the inspiration for the 1955 film The Dam Busters. He ended his days as a barber in Letchworth.

'Freddie' Tees was born in Chichester in 1922, the son of Elizabeth Ayling (1885–1944). He joined the Royal Air Force in 1941 with the number 1332270. He joined 207 Squadron on 12 November 1942 before transferring to 617 Squadron on 6 April 1943. This squadron was created specifically to attack the Möhne and Edersee Dams using a specially developed "bouncing bomb" invented and developed by Barnes Wallis.

Tees took part in the famous "Dam Busters" raid on 16–17 May 1943 officially called Operation Chastise. Sergeant Tees, who was 20 years old at the time of the raid, was the rear gunner in Lancaster AJ-C, piloted by Pilot Officer Warner Ottley, in the third and final wave of aircraft from 617 Squadron to leave from RAF Scampton. AJ-C never made it to its target and was shot down near Hamm. Tees should have been the front gunner but had changed places with Sergeant Harry Strange in the rear turret. Tees later recalled that as the aircraft began to rapidly descend Pilot Officer Warner Ottley, the pilot said over the intercom "I’m sorry boys, they got us". The aircraft then crashed.

Tees managed to escape from the rear turret and was quickly taken prisoner. He was the sole survivor from the crew of seven and received serious burns. He required extensive treatment and remained a prisoner of war at POW Camp L6 at Heydekruge until the end of the war.

Later in life Tees ran a gentlemen's barber shop in Station Road in Letchworth in Hertfordshire. He committed suicide in June 1982.


Frederick Tees Wikipedia

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