‘Priceless’ Panda flew with the Dambusters

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P1A toy panda that flew on the famous Dambusters raid has appeared on BBC’s Antiques Roadshow.

The bear, which has no name, was tucked into the boot of airman Gordon Radcliffe as he took to the skies on missions, including the famous Dambuster raid.

After many successful missions, the crew began to regard the bear as a lucky charm. In all, an amazing 60 operational flights were completed with the little panda on board.

P2Last May, Gordon’s daughter, Dorothy Bailey, took the precious heirloom to RAF Coningsby, where the popular TV programme was recorded.

“He was tucked into my father’s boot, which is why one ear is not as good as the other. He kept my father safe throughout the war,” commented Dorothy.

Military expert Mark Smith said on the show, “He is priceless. He was priceless to your Dad, he is priceless to you, he is priceless to the RAF as a member of the Dambuster crews. He belongs to the nation.”

You can learn more about RAF mascots from a previously published YJA article by clicking here.


Charlotte D, Year 6

Burgh School

One Response to ‘Priceless’ Panda flew with the Dambusters

  1. Andrew :) October 1, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Great article Charlotte.