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All Posts, Aviation

The High Peak Dambuster

Author guest post from Frank Pleszak.

I’ve always been interested in aviation and in particular aviation in and around Manchester (https://pleszak.blog). I had already written several blogs about Lancaster bombers and on little known aspects of the of the Dambusters, but a chance discussion with my neighbour Norma when I bumped into her on a dog walk turned into an incredible journey of discovery into what really happened during the most famous of all wartime stories – Operation Chastise. Norma’s uncle, Jack Marriott was one of the Dambusters, a Flight Engineer in AJ-Z, who was sadly, but mysteriously killed on his way home from the Dams.

Jack Marriott

Even though everybody has heard of the Dambusters in reality most people know very little. What is generally known is based on the 1955 film, and as good as it is, and it’s very good, it has lots of inaccuracies, and at the time it was made some of the details of the raid were still subject to the official secrets act.

In the film Jack’s Lancaster was shown crashing near to the Eder Dam, but in reality, it had dropped its ‘Bouncing Bomb’ and managed to fly part of the way home before being shot down as it approached the Dutch border.

Mysterious memorial to Jack Marriott on his former home

My research into the Dambusters story led to discussions with some of the leading experts on the subject and has resulted in a book which describes Jack’s life and the true details of what happened that night on the 16/17 May 1943 when he, and 52 of his fellow airmen lost their lives. Jack’s story didn’t end that night and it continues right up to the present day.

My book has an analysis of what might have happened to Jack’s Lancaster that night, contains unique documents, and resolves some intriguing and mysterious memorials to Jack. – The book ‘Jack Marriott the High Peak Dambuster’ is published on the 31st of March by Pen and Sword.

Telegram to Jack’s father after the raid


The High Peak Dambuster is available to order here.