Farewell to Canada’s last Dambuster

Vintage head and shoulders photo of a young man wearing a military uniform and Air Force “wedge” cap
A war-era photo of a very young Fred Sutherland; he was 18 when he enlisted and 20 when he was shot down and escaped from Europe via Spain and Gibraltar. PHOTO: Courtesy Elinor Florence

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Canada’s last Dambuster has slipped the surly bonds of earth.

Sergeant (retired) Frederick Edwin Sutherland died Monday, January 21, 2019, at the age of 95. He was the last living Canadian who participated in the famed Dambusters Raid on the night of 16-17 May, 1943. The raid was carried out by the Royal Air Force’s 617 Squadron, formed specifically for the secret mission.

Only one Dambuster is still with us: the RAF’s Squadron Leader George Leonard “Johnny” Johnson, who is 97.

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