Dambusters ride in support of RAF Benevolent Fund

Friday 20th May 2022 11:00 am

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A RETIRED RAF officer from Ross-on-Wye was one of almost 300 cyclists to complete a 60-mile cycle for charity.

On Saturday May 14, retired Senior RAF Officer Paul Stevenson aged nearly 79 years with his eldest son Neil and nearly 300 other riders, completed the 60 miles Dambusters Heritage Ride on Saturday (May 14) to raise funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund. This charity provides support to past and present RAF members and their families.

The event, which started and finished at the Petwood Hotel in Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, the home of the Dambusters, has raised over £70,000 for the charity and Paul wishes to thank local bike shops Revolutions (Ross on Wye) and Zero Bikes (Much Marcle) for their generous contributions in helping him exceed his personal fund raising target.

The cycling challenge was launched in summer 2021 to celebrate the centenary of George ‘Johnny’ Johnson DFM, the last surviving original member of Operation Chastise, also known as the Dambusters raid.

The Dambusters were members of the RAF’s 617 Squadron who were assembled in March 1943 to bomb three dams in Germany’s Ruhr Valley. The raid, which took place on the night of May 16-17, involved 133 aircrew flying 19 specially adapted Lancaster bombers.

Fortunately, the weather was kind, the ride was completed in a respectable time of four hours and the participants said how much they enjoyed the experience and friendliness of all who took part.

Should readers wish to make a donation to the RAF Benevolent Fund, please visit their website.

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