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Funky Farmer
28-06-2012, 08:37
Quote from 87 year old veteran

"Sixty-seven years is a long time to wait for a memorial but it is going to be worth it, now I've seen it.

"It will be a true justification to all those who lost their lives, the 55,573 who were killed, absolutely in their honour."

Bomber Command's role was to attack Germany's air bases, troops, shipping and industrial complexes connected to the war effort.

Controversy about the effectiveness of the bombing campaign, along with criticism of the civilian casualties, led to Bomber Command being ignored when other branches of the armed services were honoured."

Why has it taken so long to recognise these brave men? No medals, nothing

GeoffB
28-06-2012, 09:16
The bomber crews must have been the bravest of the brave - imagine taking off night after night in a slow-moving easy target, knowing you not only faced enemy
aircraft and flak but mechanical failure and navigational problems. My mother lived near a bomber base and often told how she'd see aircraft returning home with parts of their wings missing, large holes in the fuselage, or smoke pouring out of an engine.

Those in authority who felt ashamed of the bombing campaign after the war are to blame, together with pacifists who have followed on in their footsteps ever since. You hear stupid statements such as "why didn't we bomb the gas chambers at Auschwitz instead of cities?" by people who have no idea of the realities. I went to a book-launch years ago - a bomber pilot had written of his experiences - and young lefties in the audience kept on haranguing the brave old guy about why he didn't feel guilt for being a mass-murderer; all very sickening and insulting to those present who had been bomber crew. I don't normally read the rag, but saw an article in the Guardian about the memorial a few weeks back - a nasty, spiteful carping little offering by somebody too young to have lived during total war.

The Germans started things by blitzing the East End, as Bomber Harris quoted "they sowed the wind and will reap the whirlwind." They provided Stalin with his often-requested "second front" and probably helped keep the Russians in the war. Why shouldn't we honour them, and why should they feel guilt? Interestingly the bomb-aimer on the Enola Gay, the B29 that nuked Hiroshima, said years later that he hadn't lost a wink of sleep and would have done it all again if asked. Good for him!

Funky Farmer
28-06-2012, 09:35
The bomber crews must have been the bravest of the brave - imagine taking off night after night in a slow-moving easy target, knowing you not only faced enemy
aircraft and flak but mechanical failure and navigational problems. My mother lived near a bomber base and often told how she'd see aircraft returning home with parts of their wings missing, large holes in the fuselage, or smoke pouring out of an engine.

Those in authority who felt ashamed of the bombing campaign after the war are to blame, together with pacifists who have followed on in their footsteps ever since. You hear stupid statements such as "why didn't we bomb the gas chambers at Auschwitz instead of cities?" by people who have no idea of the realities. I went to a book-launch years ago - a bomber pilot had written of his experiences - and young lefties in the audience kept on haranguing the brave old guy about why he didn't feel guilt for being a mass-murderer; all very sickening and insulting to those present who had been bomber crew. I don't normally read the rag, but saw an article in the Guardian about the memorial a few weeks back - a nasty, spiteful carping little offering by somebody too young to have lived during total war.

The Germans started things by blitzing the East End, as Bomber Harris quoted "they sowed the wind and will reap the whirlwind." They provided Stalin with his often-requested "second front" and probably helped keep the Russians in the war. Why shouldn't we honour them, and why should they feel guilt? Interestingly the bomb-aimer on the Enola Gay, the B29 that nuked Hiroshima, said years later that he hadn't lost a wink of sleep and would have done it all again if asked. Good for him!

Thank you for an excellent post. Put far more eloquently than I could have.

Bigpeetee
28-06-2012, 09:55
Just the thought of being in such a vulnerable position, with statistics stacked against you, for hours in a dark cold aircraft.

I can't even imagine how those young boys felt, but they did it, I don't know how.

About fifteen years a go when I was teaching flying in a microlight, I got a call from the wife of a Lancaster pilot, who was dying, he wanted just one last flight before he died.

I flew him all along the coast of North Wales to Caernarfon where his wife met us.

He didn't really want to talk about his flying, just that "It was what you had to do" and he was happy to have survived.

A great Old Boy.

A year later after he passed away, his wife and I scattered his ashed over the Little Orme in Llandudno from a 1000 ft up.

Very emotional.

channa
28-06-2012, 11:14
I wholeheartedly agree, that a memorial for bomber command is long over due.

I am of the opinion lots of people during the war were never recognized for the efforts which gives us our freedom today.

My uncle was a chindit....how many of you need to Google to find out who they were and what they achieved?

Channa

Funky Farmer
28-06-2012, 11:42
At least now they have got a fitting memorial. I'm very impressed. God love them all.

frogijock
28-06-2012, 12:47
At long last an extremely well deserved tribute, these men only did what was needed and no more, if the Germans had stopped Hitler in his tracks then this war would not have happened, unfortunatly things happen in war that means someone has to take actions that they would not normally contemplate, it is easy for people to condem others when they themselves would not/could not take action, the General Belgrano is another action that people condem but it was an enemy ship of war and therefor suffered the consequences of being at sea and near to the action started by their own countrymen.

canalwheeler
28-06-2012, 12:59
The Yorkshire Air Museum is a great tribute to bomber crews, albeit mostly French, but they had good reason to get back at Hitler. They have kept much of the station as it was during WW2.

They also have a Victor and a Nimrod, both of which they run up, and a host of other war time and historic aircraft.

Free camping for one night is available in both the Grey Horse pub carpark in Elvington, or the St Vincent Arms in Sutton upon Derwent (great food), both nearby, as long as you are customers.

If you are not into the beer then there is a very good unofficial unrestricted off-road sheltered lay-by next to the river Derwent, just south of Sutton Bridge. Good place for launching small boats and kayaks.

Home of the Allied Air Forces Memorial (http://www.yorkshireairmuseum.org/)

Tone

Somelier
28-06-2012, 14:20
My uncle was a chindit....how many of you need to Google to find out who they were and what they achieved?

Channa

I take my hat off to your uncle. The Chindits were a remarkable fighting force, led by a remarkable man - Orde Wingate. (didn't need to Google!)

GeoffB
28-06-2012, 14:51
My uncle was a chindit....how many of you need to Google to find out who they were and what they achieved?

Channa

I knew; my father was in the Indian Army and spoke highly of them. He expected to be set to Burma but ended up landing in Sicily and fighting up Italy, to his surprise - such is war.

In the mid 1970s I was in Hong Kong, having taken an RAF Regiment flight there from UK on airfield security and border patrol duties. In a Kowloon bar one night I saw an Army officer I'd recently met and went over for a chat. His friend was a little drunk and was doing something amazing with some plates, flipping them in the air and catching them, so I congratulated him on his skill and introduced myself. He replied "I'm Orde Wingate" and I said something like "yes, like hell you are, that's a good one!" He explained he really was Orde Wingate (the second) son of the Chindit leader, and was stationed in HK as a Captain in the Royal Artillery. He was a very nice chap; I looked him up on wiki and saw he became CO of the Honourable Artillery Company, another distinguished military career for the Wingates.

So many personal stories from WW2 - I wonder how we'd cope with total war today?

fishy & Nina
28-06-2012, 15:03
I wholeheartedly agree, that a memorial for bomber command is long over due.

I am of the opinion lots of people during the war were never recognized for the efforts which gives us our freedom today.

My uncle was a chindit....how many of you need to Google to find out who they were and what they achieved?

Channa

Hats off to your Uncle as well!

Wingate's men are another forgotten group of very brave men who worked in intolerable conditions.

ian

ps
I didn't need to Google it either

scenictraveller
28-06-2012, 18:51
unluckiest man of WW2.

A few years ago there was an article in Treasure hunter mag,about 2 B17s that crashed over england,
they were flying in formation but stacked at 30,000 feet unsure but it was high,

heading to germany on a night mission,
one was below the other,the low one came up and smacked the one above,this tore the engines off one side of the top one
and parchially detonated its bomb load,most of the crew were killed instantly except the bomb aimer as he was blown out the bubble out front.

the bomb aimer from the top one was now hurtling to earth and an alarming speed,he was unconsicous due to the blast.
at around 5000 feet he came to and managed to slow his decent and deploy his chute,he made it to earth safely.

the second bomber had lost control and was on fire,the crew bailed,just before it exploded.

the bomb aimer who fell to earth was gathering his chute when a chunk of metal from the second plane speared him to the ground killing him instantly.

a woman a small child saw the explosion above and ran for cover into there small cottage,guess where the engine and wing fell on.
killed them instanly to.

detectorist are often asked to survey for crash sites to locate and remove crashed aircraft and if possible remove and repatriate remains or
items of personal effects.

Mastodon
28-06-2012, 18:57
This thread is in English
Thank you Bomber Command

runnach
28-06-2012, 19:58
Lancaster flew over house Sept last year, heading for East Fotune open day. Incredible flying machine.

My mate and I, in our daft diving days, found the wrecks of 3 Catalina Flying boats near Oban, rear gun blisters opened and closed with ease. gun located in front nose too. Cabin was incredible too, two huge cart like wheels for pilot and co-pilot to steer these lumps of alloy. Engineer sat cooped up in an area with tiny windows which sweeps up to connect with wing, Cats really are incredible design, there use to be one off Little Cumbrie too.

We also found wreck of a Sunderland flying boat, huge machine it was!!

The Hebrides at War: Amazon.co.uk: Mike Hughes: Books (http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Hebrides-War-Mike-Hughes/dp/1841581437)

"click to look inside!

n brown
28-06-2012, 20:17
i recently read a book about battle of britain pilots,lots of anecdotes in their own words.these guys went up,alone against the enemy,4 or 5 times a day,incredible bravery,but strikingly a couple of them said how they couldn't imagine finding the courage to sit quietly every night for hours and hours,sometimes with planes going down in flames around you,then have to fly straight and level right into the heart of the enemy defences!then if you survived,do it again the next night,amazing

scenictraveller
28-06-2012, 20:37
Lancaster flew over house Sept last year, heading for East Fotune open day. Incredible flying machine.

My mate and I, in our daft diving days, found the wrecks of 3 Catalina Flying boats near Oban, rear gun blisters opened and closed with ease. gun located in front nose too. Cabin was incredible too, two huge cart like wheels for pilot and co-pilot to steer these lumps of alloy. Engineer sat cooped up in an area with tiny windows which sweeps up to connect with wing, Cats really are incredible design, there use to be one off Little Cumbrie too.

We also found wreck of a Sunderland flying boat, huge machine it was!!

The Hebrides at War: Amazon.co.uk: Mike Hughes: Books (http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Hebrides-War-Mike-Hughes/dp/1841581437)

"click to look inside!

reminds me of this site wonder if dogbreath is still on the go

New Page 1 (http://www.scotcrash.homecall.co.uk/med.htm)

runnach
28-06-2012, 21:03
just this minute viewed memorial on ten o-clock news, fantastic and fitting sculpture!!

daisymini
28-06-2012, 21:28
I live in lincs...Stories told of Lancasters and spitfires from my family have remained with me..When i hear a flypast with either a spitfire or a Lancaster it makes my body shiver...My grandfather worked with them at Scampton albeit on the ground..And i always had a fascination from being a child , that i bought my son a Lancaster bomber airfix (that i kinda built myself) but i gave him all the history till he was also fascinated .sadly it seems that im a dying breed at 49 that instilled my son with pride about our history and the freedom they enjoy.....but hey such is youth today..??

Bushtrekker
28-06-2012, 21:45
If you are in the area it's well worth a visit and always brings tears to my eyes. Something else which has that effect is the SOE memorial at Beaulieu, dedicated to the unknown warriors who fought in plain clothes. I remember watching a programme about the SOE women a few years ago and one of them was describing one of her missions. She looked like Miss Marple and said that a German had come round the corner and approached her. The interviewer asked what she had done....'I killed him'

scampa
28-06-2012, 22:14
Only a couple of weeks ago I acquired an old book that documented every WW2 raid by German bombers on the town where my mum lived as a child. It also listed details of everyone that was killed, along with their age, address and circumstances etc.

I gave it to my mum (now in her 80's) and she scanned through the list of victims, often stopping and telling me about some of the ones that she had known. One was her 14 year old cousin, killed by a direct hit on his house. She remembered how just the day before, he had bought a smart new suit with the wages he had managed to save from his new job, and had been proudly marching up and down the street in it for all to see. It was possibly one of the few times that he'd owned brand new clothes.

Another victim listed was an 11 year old girl, who had been my mums best friend at school. She had been on an errand for the teacher when the bombers came over. It was one of those times when the air-raid warning only sounded at the last minute, without sufficient time for everyone to find shelter. Uncannily, my mum would usually have been on that errand, but on that particular day she had been delayed by helping her own mother at home.

Personal first-hand stories really bring home the true horrors and devastation caused by such raids, and obviously many such stories exist from all of the nations involved.

As for the rights or wrongs of the actions of our Bomber Command, as far as I'm concerned we were fighting desperately for the survival of our country, our people and everything that we believed in. I'm certainly no expert on the history of WW2, or of the general tactics needed to improve our chances of survival or success, but along with attacking military and industrial targets, I know that anything that impacts on the morale and fighting spirit of the enemy population is also a major factor.

Channa... my late father served with the Commandos and saw action in the Far East. I'm not sure if he actually crossed paths with the Chindits, but I know that he always spoke of them with great respect and admiration.

And lastly, fast forward a few decades....... On several occasions in the 1980's I spoke with a man who had been an RAF pilot in the recent past, and had routinely flown Vulcan Bombers over several foreign lands whilst armed with a nuclear payload. The enormity, responsibility, potential effects of his actions, or whatever, had a very profound effect on him and he took on religion in a big way. He gave up his flying career and became a military chaplain, dedicating his time to the spiritual support of military and emergency service personnel who may at times have to deal with death or tragedy on a large scale.

I don't think anyone should doubt the sense of responsibility or necessity felt by those in Bomber Command.

Bushtrekker
28-06-2012, 22:18
If you look closely you can still see the bullet holes in the brickwork, caused by a german bomber's gunner as he strafed the road, killing a 19 year old.

daisymini
28-06-2012, 23:06
Only a couple of weeks ago I acquired an old book that documented every WW2 raid by German bombers on the town where my mum lived as a child. It also listed details of everyone that was killed, along with their age, address and circumstances etc.

I gave it to my mum (now in her 80's) and she scanned through the list of victims, often stopping and telling me about some of the ones that she had known. One was her 14 year old cousin, killed by a direct hit on his house. She remembered how just the day before, he had bought a smart new suit with the wages he had managed to save from his new job, and had been proudly marching up and down the street in it for all to see. It was possibly one of the few times that he'd owned brand new clothes.

Another victim listed was an 11 year old girl, who had been my mums best friend at school. She had been on an errand for the teacher when the bombers came over. It was one of those times when the air-raid warning only sounded at the last minute, without sufficient time for everyone to find shelter. Uncannily, my mum would usually have been on that errand, but on that particular day she had been delayed by helping her own mother at home.

Personal first-hand stories really bring home the true horrors and devastation caused by such raids, and obviously many such stories exist from all of the nations involved.

As for the rights or wrongs of the actions of our Bomber Command, as far as I'm concerned we were fighting desperately for the survival of our country, our people and everything that we believed in. I'm certainly no expert on the history of WW2, or of the general tactics needed to improve our chances of survival or success, but along with attacking military and industrial targets, I know that anything that impacts on the morale and fighting spirit of the enemy population is also a major factor.

Channa... my late father served with the Commandos and saw action in the Far East. I'm not sure if he actually crossed paths with the Chindits, but I know that he always spoke of them with great respect and admiration.

And lastly, fast forward a few decades....... On several occasions in the 1980's I spoke with a man who had been an RAF pilot in the recent past, and had routinely flown Vulcan Bombers over several foreign lands whilst armed with a nuclear payload. The enormity, responsibility, potential effects of his actions, or whatever, had a very profound effect on him and he took on religion in a big way. He gave up his flying career and became a military chaplain, dedicating his time to the spiritual support of military and emergency service personnel who may at times have to deal with death or tragedy on a large scale.

I don't think anyone should doubt the sense of responsibility or necessity felt by those in Bomber Command.

Im not qualified as serving personnel , but from Northern Ireland with my oldest brother to my youngest brother and the falklands to now my son in Afghanistan all i can say is as a mother..Im not religious but i prey every day till he comes home..x

scampa
28-06-2012, 23:21
I've just watched the tribute to Bomber command on BBC2 and found it very touching.

As for the memorial to them that was unveiled by the Queen, the only word I can use is "magnificent"!! It's very sad that the vast majority of the airmen involved in WW2 never got to see it, but at least it's there at last!

Rubbertramp
29-06-2012, 10:34
Totally agreed that these men were the bravest of the brave and if our country were to be threatened again I'd be first in the queue to defend it.........However.....*dons tin helmet*......I wonder how approving people would be it there were to be a memorial to those of the Luftwaffe or the Japanese Kamikazi pilots who killed and maimed thousands of British servicemen and civilians. By definition these men were equally as brave even though their leaders were lunatic despots and I find it distasteful that, though indirectly, events such as the firebombing of Dresden in which thousands of men women and children were killed, should be celebrated.......Just trying to put a balanced view.

canalwheeler
29-06-2012, 11:09
I find it distasteful that, though indirectly, events such as the firebombing of Dresden in which thousands of men women and children were killed, should be celebrated.......Just trying to put a balanced view.

I don't think anyone is 'celebrating' anything. Just remembering. Maybe the memories will keep such things from happening again....... but I doubt it, somehow.

Tone

scampa
29-06-2012, 13:15
Totally agreed that these men were the bravest of the brave and if our country were to be threatened again I'd be first in the queue to defend it.........However.....*dons tin helmet*......I wonder how approving people would be it there were to be a memorial to those of the Luftwaffe or the Japanese Kamikazi pilots who killed and maimed thousands of British servicemen and civilians. By definition these men were equally as brave even though their leaders were lunatic despots and I find it distasteful that, though indirectly, events such as the firebombing of Dresden in which thousands of men women and children were killed, should be celebrated.......Just trying to put a balanced view.

I'm sure that nobody would doubt the bravery and sacrifices made by those on both sides of the conflict (although I'm also sure that none of the actions of British Forces would compare to the sheer cruelty, inhumanity and atrocities of some of our past enemies during WW2, often at many levels of command).

I also believe that if we could have magically engineered a successful outcome that avoided any loss of life on either side, then we would have done so.

As Canalwheeler says, we are not "celebrating" any loss of life but are remembering, respecting and paying tribute to the bravery and sacrifices made by people to whom we owe a huge debt of gratitude, and whos' actions were responsible for the lives that too many of us take for granted today.

Apologies to any of our members from various Nations for any seemingly unpleasant issues mentioned on this thread. Whilst the events shouldn't be forgotten, they belong to the past and we have all moved on a great deal since those times.

Makzine
29-06-2012, 13:58
I wholeheartedly agree, that a memorial for bomber command is long over due.

I am of the opinion lots of people during the war were never recognized for the efforts which gives us our freedom today.

My uncle was a chindit....how many of you need to Google to find out who they were and what they achieved?

Channa

My father was sent to scotland for arctic warfare training then shipped out to India so knew of the chindits during his time, another forgotton band.

scenictraveller
29-06-2012, 16:25
just a point the Luftwaffe was well respected amongst britsh airmen and bomber crews as they had there own interment camps
for downed fellow airmen,and treated them with the same respect as the brits did there crews.

there was a program about a britsh bomber crew that were captured and sent to aushwitz,and were handed over to the Luftwaffe,
just days before they were to be killed.only because the Luftwaffe found where they were.

Mastodon
29-06-2012, 18:34
Totally agreed that these men were the bravest of the brave and if our country were to be threatened again I'd be first in the queue to defend it.........However.....*dons tin helmet*......I wonder how approving people would be it there were to be a memorial to those of the Luftwaffe or the Japanese Kamikazi pilots who killed and maimed thousands of British servicemen and civilians. By definition these men were equally as brave even though their leaders were lunatic despots and I find it distasteful that, though indirectly, events such as the firebombing of Dresden in which thousands of men women and children were killed, should be celebrated.......Just trying to put a balanced view.

Yes, Dresden was appalling with 25 000 casualties in 7 raids, however London suffered twice that in 8 months of bombing. The memorial isn't about that - its about ordinary men who saw the elephant but kept going back night after night.

scenictraveller
29-06-2012, 18:38
everyones allowed there comments,at the end of BOB the germans flew 3000 planes over russia if they had flew them at the end of BOB over the uk
this would now be a vostsprundork forum.

these men and women put there lifes on the line to save our way of life that we all respect now and have respected them since we learned of the bravery and courage
lets face the french started it,the germans took advantage and we fell into the trap.

bomber command was made up of flight crews and ground staff,and many a female was killed whilst in bunkers directing raids,and waiting for crew to return.

scampa
05-07-2012, 19:16
For anyone who's interested, the "Bomber Command" programme is repeated on ITV at 10.35pm tonight (Thursday).

Or you can watch it on ITV Player here.... Video - ITV Player (http://www.itv.com/itvplayer/video/?Filter=320255)


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