To mark the 80th anniversary of the Dambusters Raid, RAF veteran Jon Knott took on the Dambusters Ride in Lincolnshire on the 13 May to raise money for the RAF’s leading welfare charity, the RAF Benevolent Fund.
Jon Knott, 53, from Westwoodside, North Lincolnshire, saddled up his recumbent trike for the ride out of Woodhall Spa on 13 May 2023.
The annual Dambusters Ride pays tribute to the Dambusters, members of the RAF’s 617 Squadron who were assembled to bomb three dams in Germany’s Ruhr Valley on the night of 16-17 May 1943 – also known as Operation Chastise. This year marks 80 years since the risky raid, in which the revolutionary bouncing bomb, the brainchild of engineer Barnes Wallis, was dropped at low level on Germany’s industrial heartland in the Ruhr Valley. The mission was a success, but the cost was high; of 133 aircrew who left, 53 were killed and three became prisoners of war.
Jon, who served in the RAF for 27 years, said: “I wanted to take part to support the RAF Benevolent Fund, by raising funds for a charity close to my heart and to achieve a manageable physical goal with like-minded friends and colleagues.
“The RAF Benevolent Fund has supported me and my family in the past and I want them to still be available to support other beneficiaries in the future. I believe the Dambusters Ride is open to all, I even rode with one of my army veteran pals last year and I was also one of several recumbent tricycle riders, so it’s not only for speed demons.”
The Dambusters Ride consists of two elements: a Virtual Ride on the weekend of 20-21 May and a Heritage Ride that took place in Lincolnshire on Saturday 13 May.
Image: Jon Knott (right) at this year’s Dambusters Ride. Credit: Michael Powell.