Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Maureen Stevens

Discussion in 'WWII Obituaries' started by The_Historian, Dec 18, 2017.

  1. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    18,729
    Likes Received:
    2,036
    Location:
    Stirling, Scotland
    "One of the last unsung heroines of the famous Dambusters raid in World War two has died.
    Maureen Stevens was a radio telephone operator who helped guide the Lancaster bombers back to their base at RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire, after they had dropped their bouncing bombs.
    Her calming voice helped reassure the surviving crews as they flew home from the iconic raid on Germany's Möhne, Eder and Sorpe dams in the early hours of May 17, 1943.
    Mrs Stevens died aged 97 at Saxlingham Hall nursing home near Norwich, Norfolk, the day before she was due to celebrate her 74th wedding anniversary with her former bomber pilot husband Steve Stevens.
    The only two surviving air crew who took part in the Dambusters raid are now air gunner George 'Johnny' Johnson of Bristol who was awarded the MBE in June this year for his role, and Canadian front gunner Fred Sutherland.
    It is believed that former Women's Auxiliary Air Force volunteer Mrs Stevens who was known as Maud was possibly the last surviving person in the RAF Scampton control tower on the night of the raid.
    Mr Stevens, 96, who survived 30 bombing missions and received the Distinguished Flying Cross in November 1943, said: 'In her last few moments, I kissed her. She was quite beautiful to the last.
    'She was always a very happy person. She was dignified. My son would say she would breeze through a room like a breath of fresh air.
    'Instead of having a funeral of mourning, it will be a celebration of her life.'
    Mrs Stevens was born and brought up in Norwich and was working as a proofreader at Jarrold's print works in the city when she volunteered for war work.
    She said: 'I thought I would be doing some sort of clerical work. But in the interview they kept me talking for a long time and then said they had something different for me.'
    The interview led to her training her as a radio telephone operator which involved welcoming and guiding pilots home after countless raids over Europe."
    Dambusters radio operator dies aged 97 | Daily Mail Online
     
  2. Jaap Vermeer MDE

    Jaap Vermeer MDE Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2017
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    53
    Thanks Gordon for this interesting article,

    Jaap
     
  3. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    2,152
    Likes Received:
    574
    Location:
    Auburn, Alabama, US
    I agree with Jaap, a remarkable story about two truly outstanding people. Makes my existence sound so dull ! What a job talking to aircrew on their returning flights , the tension must have been terrific for her as well as the crew.

    Gaines
     
  4. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    18,729
    Likes Received:
    2,036
    Location:
    Stirling, Scotland
    She must have had nerves of steel.
     

Share This Page