In May 1943, 133 members of No. 617 Squadron RAF set off as part of Operation Chastise with the intent of crippling German infrastructure via the destruction of its dams using the Vickers Type 464 ‘Upkeep’ bomb. With the death of Fred Sutherland, only one member remains. The operation and its practitioners were immortalised in the movie The Dam Busters.
Sutherland was a front-gunner during the operation, flying with Pilot Officer Les Knight’s crew (Knight got to be portrayed in The Dam Busters, a courtesy not offered to Sutherland). After the war he joined the Canadian forestry commission and refused to attend war memorial services, apparently still scarred by the numerous civilian deaths caused by Operation Chastise. He was pre-deceased by his wife in 2018.