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Dambuster dog's gravestone replaced by RAF to remove racial slur name


A gravestone dedicated to the Dambusters' dog has been replaced by RAF chiefs, in order to remove reference to his name, which is a racial slur.

The 617 Squadron, based at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, undertook a low-level night attack on German dams in 1943, probably the most famous raid in the history of the force. Wing Commander Guy Gibson used his dog's name as a code word to say the dam has been breached, after the Labrador Retriever had died on the same night as the raid.

The headstone at Scampton bearing the dog's name has been removed, while film versions of The Dam Busters have either removed the name or changed it to Trigger.

An RAF source said the original gravestone will be stored in a safe location while the Air Historical Branch considers its next steps.

A spokesman for the RAF said: "As part of an ongoing review of its historical assets, the RAF have replaced the gravestone of Guy Gibson's dog at RAF Scampton.

"The new gravestone tells the story of Guy Gibson's dog, but its name has been removed."

It is understood the decision was taken in order to not give prominence to an offensive term that goes against the modern RAF's ethos.