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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.
But the BBC has had leftist / pacifist / anti-our-brave-lads-who-died-trying-to-preserve-civilatsion leanings for many years now, so why am I not surprised?
Chad's Son You are right.
Many families lost loved ones during the Bomber Offensive. It is often forgotten that in the early days of the war only Bomber Command were attacking Germany in any strength.
My cousin, an Observer, lost his life over Germany in 1942 and he is still fondly remembered, especially by me who followed into the same service specialisation.
An old friend is attending the Memorial Service even though he has had to buy a new suit and organise a wheel chair. The loss of life of many of his friends still affect him.
No doubt FE will remember his Father, who served with my friend post-war, on this special day.
I await the BBC coverage with interest.
I met one of the crew of a Lancaster which had been shot down. He was lucky to have survived. What a lovely man he was too. No animosity to wards anybody. "Bless 'em all"....
Can anyone even begin to imagine what it was like, isolated in your rear turret, alone with your thoughts, on the way back from the Ruhr, knowing you were going to have to do the whole thing over again in a few days time, and again a few days after that an so on?
Cold raw courage on a scale seldom seen before or since.
morddwyd - They were undoubtedly very brave and I don't want to diminish that but I don't agree with "Cold raw courage on a scale seldom seen before or since". That doesn't take into account the bomb disposal experts (2nd World War, Falklands, Afghanistan, etc) or many other acts of bravery eg Lt Cdr Esmonde VC.
Personally I have no argument with "Live or "Recorded" coverage. The event will be covered and I'm pretty sure it will be shown at a time when people watch TV.
What us wrinkles have to understand is that more than 60 years after the event a great many people have moved on and have little interest in events such as this. My son's thoughts were that this should have been done many years ago and he wonders what the point of it is today when there are many other memorials to this war. He surely has a point.
When I tried to become a pilot in the early 60's I met many aircrew who were in bomber command and they were not all shrinking violets as I was told there were many who couldn't wait to go on their next mission. Post event bravado or fact...well who can tell?
While I do admire their courage I don't think they were any braver than the navy, my grandfather was sunk twice in WW1 and 3 times in WW2
"That doesn't take into account the bomb disposal experts (2nd World War, Falklands, Afghanistan, etc) or many other acts of bravery eg Lt Cdr Esmonde VC."
That's why I said on such a scale, the sheer numbers, tens of thousands, who did it.
Perhaps the Mercantile Marine, who did it without the means any means of fighting back, but it was courage on a massive scale.
That is not meant to detract from any individual act, or acts, of courage, before or since.
I now understand what you mean - scale of numbers, not scale of courage.
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