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Opening of Bomber Command Memorial


john bunyan
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On Thursday, the Bomber Command Memorial is being opened by a number of Royals. I see that the BBC are not covering this “live” (do I detect a bias here?). I tried – admittedly not with all my might, to contact the Bomber Command organisation, as I would like to have attended, but found them a very difficult team to contact. The telephone was unanswered, and they appear to have no on line or e mail application system. It is too late now anyway. My father was one of the about 55000 KIA in bomber Command – night of 23 Aug 1943, a navigator in a Lancaster of 207 Sqn shot down in N Holland on way back from a raid on Berlin. The rear gunner, who landed still in his compartment, was the only survivor. My mother who sadly died 4 years ago was a WAAF driver with Coastal Command at the time.. I am sure quite a few on the forum will think about the Bomber Boys on Thursday.

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Belatucadrus

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Well I've just watched the BBC coverage of the event and have to say IMHO it was pretty good. Just a calmly presented quality program outlining what they did and covering the event. After the awful jubilee program it was a return to form.

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flycatcher1

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Belatucadrus I agree with you and the coverage on the News Channel was excellent.

I am a nit picker, I know, but I wish that they had mentioned the Polish, Czech and French Bommber Squadrons at the event although Esler did mention them in the highlights programme.

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morddwyd

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They did mention the Eastern European pilots several time, though not the French.

Although I knew the Canucks made a somewhat disproportionate contribution to Bomber Command, I didn't know until today that they lost more than 50% of their blokes.

I must admit that I would rather the Queen had not turned her back on the magnificent sculpture quite so quickly, even if she did return later.

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flycatcher1

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morddwyd I am sure that you mean Eastern European crews and not just pilots. I have a vested interest.

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Forum Editor

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I was in London today, walking along, when suddenly I heard a Lancaster overhead. I knew it was a Lancaster because as a child I listened to them taking off and landing almost every day or night at RAF Lindholme, where my father was Wing Commander (flying) for three years in the 1950s

I was knee high to a grasshopper's baby back then, but the sound of a Lancaster's engines is unmistakeable, and without any warning there was one, flying over my head in Central London. It was a poignant moment.

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Belatucadrus

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I have in my possession a plastic model of a Lancaster given to me many years ago by a friend of my father, so what you may say. Well my dads friend was a tailgunner in a Lanc one of the lucky survivers, hence the care given it that none of my other models received.

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morddwyd

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flycatcher1

Of course I did, and my apologies for the typo.

Pilots just drive the damn thing, it's the crew that does the work!

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flycatcher1

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morddwyd Thanks for the correction. Pilots seem to get all the praise and most of the medals.

FE. I hate to correct you but in your time at Lindholme when DH was the Wing Commander (Training) the Merlins you heard were installed in Lincolns.

However Lindholme was the Base for the Lancaster Finishing School at the end of the War and was renowned for ghostly noises and apparitions.

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Aitchbee

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I am sorry if someone has mentioned it before, but on the tv today I saw a million red poppy flowers being released from a big old-fashioned plane, probably the Lancaster (they filled the sky) and then an old gentleman(a survivor) lookin' up with a tears in his eyes...it was very moving.

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Condom

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Everything seemed to go well and I think it got a fair coverage. I also watched the program around midnight about "bomber command" and it gave a good background to the whole strategy and our being caught out by the German propaganda ministry which went into overdrive after Dresden.

I find it rather strange that Churchill appeared to loose his nerve over this particularly as he fully backed the raid. It was all so long ago now. Worse things happened during the war.

The memorial looks great and certainly worth a visit next time I venture to London.

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