New Zealander Arthur Joplin was the pilot of a Lancaster on the raid that finally sank the German battleship Tirpitz. After training as a pilot in his native country, he sailed for England, and after converting to the Lancaster bomber, he joined 617 bSquadron, famous as the Dambusters. His was one of the first crew to join the squadron without previous operational experience. After attacking the U-boat pens at Brest, He attacked the Kerbs Barrage on the River Rhine, the first time he dropped the 12,000lb “Tallboy” bomb. On 28 October 1944, the squadrons attack against the Tirpitz was thwarted by by cloud. On 11 November, the Lancasters flew to bases on the Moray Firth and this time the attack was successful. Returning from an attack on Stettin, fog obscured their airfield and whilst attempting to land at a diversion airfield, the bomber crashed short of the runway. Joplin was seriously injured and he returned to New Zealand in February 1946. In 1993 he returned to England for a 617 Squadron reunion. He died aged 99.

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