The last surviving Dambusters pilot is to sell his gallantry medals awarded for the famous raid and donate the proceeds to the Bomber Command Memorial fund.
Squadron Leader Les Munro hopes to raise £50,000 from the sale, which will go towards the upkeep of the newly-built memorial dedicated to the 55,573 airmen killed during the Second World War.
Among them will be the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery, which brought a tragic twist of fate for Sq Ldr Munro.
When his mother opened the door to an official delivering an unopened telegram with news of his award, she feared the worst and collapsed with an aneurism and died within a week.
After being given the devastating news, Sq Ldr Munro was offered the chance to be taken off bombing operations, but declined.
The 95-year-old visited the monument in London's Green Park in 2013 and said he was inspired to make the sacrifice "out of comradeship" to his fellow servicemen who did not made it back.
Sq Ldr Munro said it was important for the memorial to maintain its condition for the relatives of the thousands of men listed on it and future generations.
The monument was built 67 years after the end of the war to commemorate the RAF aircrew and groundstaff from Britain and Commonwealth countries who died on bombing operations in the war.
The charity, the RAF Benevolent Fund, has the duty to pay for its maintenance and upkeep at a cost of £50,000 a year.
Out of the 19 commanding officers who flew on the famous 1943 raid to destroy three dams in Germany's industrial heartland, Sq Ldr Munro is the last one alive today.
Eight them were killed during the mission, making up the total of 53 out of 133 crew killed.
Despite the losses, the raid - codenamed Operation Chastise - was a success with two dams breached by Dr Barnes Wallis' ingenious bouncing bombs, wiping out scores of armament factories in the Ruhr Valley.
Sq Ldr Munro's Lancaster bomber was struck by an anti-aircraft flak shell on the raid over Holland, knocking a gaping hole in the fuselage and putting all communications out of use, forcing the crew to turn back still carrying its mine.
He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for the raid. Sq Ldr Guy Gibson, who led the mission, received the Victoria Cross.
Sq Ldr Munro was also awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery shown during 58 sorties over Europe.
Last surviving Dambusters pilot sells gallantry medals for upkeep of Bomber Command Memorial - Telegraph