WWII hero reveals Ian Fleming inspiration in 'Moonraker'

19-Jul-2017 • Literary

A 92-year-old World War Two hero has revealed how he was recruited as a teen spy by James Bond author Ian Fleming and sent on a secret mission, reports The Sun. Peter Lyons, from Penketh in Lancashire, was asked by Fleming to join a specialist Commando Unit he led called the 30th Assault Unit.

Peter said: “Ian Fleming set up the 30th Assault Unit a few years before the end of the war. We had to find an atomic bomb. They were unheard of in England."

The unit was tasked with seizing material which proved the Nazis were trying to construct a nuclear bomb as well as other military intelligence. Peter was part of a group of just three Commandos sent behind enemy lines to a factory in Kiel, Germany, to find the uranium needed to build a bomb. However while the radioactive substance was not uncovered, it led to the capture of German-born scientist Hellmuth Walter in May 1945.

Some people believe his capture formed the basis of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novel ‘Moonraker’, with one of the characters called Dr. Walter – said to be based on Hellmuth.

“The henchman of Drax in the novel is Dr. Walter who has the same surname as the top scientist that we captured.

“There are a number of similarities between parts of the Bond novel and the missions that we were sent on.”

Petere is believed to be the last survivor of 30 Assault Unit.


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