Dambusters 70th Anniversary Tornado Tail Art Unveiled

On Thursday 21st March 617 Squadron unveiled the brand new commemorative tail art of an RAF Tornado GR4 celebrating the RAF’s elite ‘Dambusters’ Squadron.

The unveiling took place at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire and historian Dan Snow was there to host the event. The unique tail art has been designed to commemorate 70 years since the 617 Squadron formed as part of World War Two, before carrying out the daring attack on three defended dams in Germany, for which they became known as the Dambusters

As recently announced in the new July-December 2013 catalogue, Corgi will be commemorating this special anniversary with a limited edition 1:72 scale model of the Panavia Tornado GR4 617 Sqn RAF featuring the anniversary artwork. Due for release in August AA33614 will coincide with the release of AA32620 Avro Lancaster Blll (Special) ED925 ‘Mother’, 617 Dambuster Sqn, ‘Operation Chastise’ RAF Scampton, May 1943, Flt Lt John Vere Hopgood DFC. The two real life aircraft are expected to fly together at air shows across the UK this year to celebrate the momentous anniversary in aviation history.



The world famous Dambusters have the tails of the Tornados given a special paint scheme to mark the 70th anniversary of the squadron’s low-level night flight into wartime legend.

The RAF’s famous “Dambusters” squadron is to be disbanded and reformed in 2016 to fly the new F-35B Lightning II joint strike fighter.  The reformed squadron will be stationed at RAF Marham in Norfolk and manned by both RAF and Royal Navy personnel.


Tornado GR.4 from the famous 617 Squadron fly from Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, for the final time before it is disbanded for only the third time in its history. Squadron Leader Mark Jackson carries out pre-flight checks before his final flight aboard the aircraft in Afghanistan. They return to Scotland where they were disbanded in April 2014.  

617 Sqn is due to reform in 2016 as the RAF’s first F-35 squadron.