Squadron Leader Tony Iveson, who flew with the \'Dambusters\' 617 Squadron made an emotional return to the skies last week as part of a campaign drive to raise funds for a national monument in central London to pay respects to Bomber Command. Together with Flight Lieutenant Mike Leckey, he took the controls of PA 474 \'City of Lincoln\' Lancaster. Incredibly the Squadron Leader flew more than 20 missions over enemy territory with 617 Squadron and had previously fought in the Battle of Britain as a Spitfire pilot for 616 Squadron.

These were his thoughts on flying a Lancaster 63 years after the end of the war:

"Having the controls of the aircraft again affected me in a way that I hadn't really expected. Thinking about it now, I really don't know how we did what we did, particularly pilots with much less experience than me, whose average age was 20."

"It's a sobering thought that we lost three and a half thousand of these [the aircraft]. The flight has made me realise for the first time in fifty years just how lucky I am, because no matter how skilful you were, it was the luck of the draw whether you survived. It just makes me all the more determined to ensure we build a memorial to those 55,000 who didn't make it back."

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