VIDEO: Dambusters flypast on 70th anniversary of the raid

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Hundreds of onlookers gathered as a Lancaster bomber flew over Derbyshire to mark the 70th anniversary of the daring Dambusters raid.

The Derwent reservoir area was one of the practice sites used ahead of the top-secret World War Two mission.

80th anniversary of the Dambusters. Lancaster flying over Chatsworth.

80th anniversary of the Dambusters. Lancaster flying over Chatsworth.

More than a third of the airmen involved in the operation never returned from the raids, when they had to fly just 60ft above ground to drop their bombs.

The RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and 617 Squadron flew over the dam in Hope Valley, Derbyshire, on Thursday lunchtime.

Only three of the original Dambusters are still alive.

The courage of the low-flying crews that night and the ingenuity of Ripley born Sir Barnes Wallis’ bouncing bomb - which skimmed off the water to clear nets guarding the dams - has inspired generations of RAF personnel- and a famous film.

Many of today’s pilots are still astounded at the achievements of the bomber crews.

More than 1,300 people were killed in the Dambuster raids when bombs were dropped on German dams and flooded the Ruhr valley.There were a number of events taking place around the country on Thursday to mark the raids of May 16 and May 17 1943.

Of the original aircrew, three were captured and 53 were killed.

At the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire, more than 10,500 crests with messages of support were planted at the site’s Armed Forces Memorial.