Dedicated to the bomber command crews of WW2... "The crew and I were only on 460 Squadron for just a few months as we each completed our 30 trip 'tour of duty'. Still, we were proud to have played our part in a great Command, to have upheld the honour and reputation of a great Squadron and to have been numbered amongst that splendid company of men who willingly went each night in jeopardy of their lives" Henry Baskerville. Here are our stories ....
Two Lancaster bombers currently completing tour of UK to mark anniversary of Battle of Britain were on display at Eastbourne air show today along with Hurricane and Spitrfire fighter planes. Before this tour, the last time a pair of Lancaster bombers was seen in the UK was 50 years ago - and this meeting will likely be one of the last.
Daily Mail Bomber Command veterans turn out to salute Canadian Lancaster visiting UK Daily Mail Bomber Command veterans turned out to watch the last two airworthy Lancaster bombers fly over Lincolnshire in what could have been their last mission -...
This was the seventh time that the first weekend in June saw Bomber Command veterans, families, researchers, authors and assorted hangers-on converge on the national capital for a weekend of remembrance and reminiscing.
Took off at 23.41 hrs to join 132 Lancasters of 1 Group and 15 Pathfinder Mosquitoes to bomb the railway yards and buildings.
The raid was classed as a success with reports that 287 bombs had hit the target. Damage included 30 locomotives hit and the engine shed. 340 houses were also destroyed and 14 civilians were killed. This was all part of several other raids taking place this night - concentrating on the railway yards at Tours, Tergnier, Laon, Ghent and Aulnoye.
8 Lancaster were lost on this raid (one lost on take off) with the resulting death of 39 aircrew, 4 were made PoWs and 6 evaded capture.
Lancaster ND586 was shot down by Hptm. Helmut Bergmann (1) of 8./NJG4 with the interception taking place at 3,000 mtrs. with the aircraft crashing 10 km. south west of Maubeuge at Vieux Mesnil at 02.20 hrs. He opened fire from 100 mtrs from underneath.
“Then outward bound they set, these Vikings of a new born age, To write fresh deeds of valour,
with crystal pen on history’s deathless page. In silver galleons they set out
Strange ships and wondrous men were these
who plumbed the unknown starlit depths, of God’s celestial seas.
True sons! Who’s ancestors in bygone days vanquished the Spaniards and his seaborne might Young England’s sky born fleet set sail ‘Armada of a cloudless night’. The winking stars in wonder watch as thro’ cloud and moonlit haze
each silver ship sails gracefully by, past phantom caps and starfilled bays
The captain and the crew of each imbued with but one single thought. Their England ne’er shall feel those chains, which alien hands have wrought Tho’ well knowing as their gallant ships, the tempest fury brave The harbour which perchance they’ll find lies yond silent grave
The Navy of the sky sails on! Their decks awash with cloud Swift galleons of Celestial Seas of whom we’re justly proud. Stern guardians of our Empire’s heart patrolling high above how proudly do they sail – these ships out o’er the azure blue
Well knowing that though many sail, those who return are few We need no day, we earth-bound folk, no hour set aside in which to turn our thoughts to then and those of them who died! No cenotaph need we erect to assist us to recall how many of those silver ships with gallant crews did fall!
Their memory shall be evergreen, bourne on the evening breeze which murmurs softly o’er the world
Strange ships and wondrous men were these.”
written by Sgt. A C Easton (SAF) as a tribute to those aircrew who didn’t make it.
At RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire two Lancaster Bombers took to the skies today for the first formation flight of this aircraft type since the 1960s. The two Lancasters will visit some 60 air shows and public events across the UK over the next 5 weeks and today’s flying was in rehearsal for tomorrow’s first public engagement at the Bournemouth Air Show this weekend
Grimsby Telegraph New memorial unveiled to ensure the role of Binbrook airfield is never forgotten Grimsby Telegraph The RAF bomber, and later fighter base, opened in June 1940 and was home to many of the most familiar aircraft in RAF service –...
No. 460 Squadron RAAF was formed from 'C' Flight of No. 458 Squadron RAAF at RAF Molesworth, Huntingdonshire on 15 November 1941, as a bomber squadron equipped with Wellington Mk.IV aircraft. Originally part of No. 8 Group RAF, Bomber Command, the squadron moved to RAF Breighton, Yorkshire and joined No.
Commemorating 70 years Dam Buster operation from RAF Scampton he flies in the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight's Lancaster Bomber BBC One Show (Chis Evans Lancaster bomber flight: http://t.co/H3j4gMBrca...
On the first Sunday in June, crowds will gather throughout Australia to commemorate the men of Bomber Command.
The ranks of those ordered to fly bombers and their deadly cargo from British airfields into the moonlit skies over Europe during World War II are now very thin. Those who remain are unsteady on their feet, their frames frail, but they proudly move to lay wreaths at the Bomber Command Memorial on a chilly Canberra morning, or elsewhere in this nation, to remember comrades long gone.
They gave their best years to a campaign they were ordered to carry out. In the beginning, it was military and industrial targets, but then it was not. Following the war, they were subjected to derision and struggled with their own demons. Nonetheless, their service and sacrifice continues to be felt internationally, and it should never be ignored by Australians.
Peter John Baskerville's insight:
It is letters like this one from NSW-born Pilot Officer Herbert Delacour that remind us of their sacrifice.
Dear Mum and Dad,
I hope you never get this, for if you do, it means I did not return from the operation I am about to set out on. I have no feeling of premonition – nothing at all, but the reason I’m writing this is an expression of gratitude to you, which I want you to know I feel very much. I’ve often wondered how it was I was so lucky to be born to such parents as you and Dad. No other mother in the entire world could have been so good, kind or understanding, or, to sum it up in one word, GRAND, as you have been to all of us ... And the same to Dad. Together such parents in this whole, wide, wicked world of ours could never be found.
Do not grieve over me too much Dad and Mum. Oh I know you will grieve and the pain in your heart will burn badly for a while, but please Mum and Dad, remember I’ve died the way I’ve always wanted to die and died the way so countless numbers of other fellows are dying every day on this earth. I am just merely your contribution to a better, cleaner, freer world. May you obtain that world Mum. And, again, remember it is you who are left behind who are the real heroes, not us who die. It is you who bear the sacrifice, so grin and bear it and remember that famous motto ‘time heals all wounds’. Yes time will erase that burn from your heart Mum and then, you and Dad and the family shall know that what you suffered was, after all, just a minor affair, an everyday happening in this world.
I can’t express here how much I love you Mum and Dad for it is beyond all expression. I hope my brothers and sisters all grow up to have happy successful lives. I will not say goodbye Mum for it is not goodbye, for one day we shall all be again united in a much better land than this.
It may have taken seven decades, but on Sunday at the seventh annual Bomber Command Commemorative Wreathlaying Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial, the 89-year-old finally received the public recognition he deserved.
When young Ron Mayhill came to England from his native New Zealand in 1943, seconded to the RAF to fight against the German forces, he was so excited by the whole process that he kept a diary and wrote long letters home. In these memoirs - based on his diaries, letters and accounts written at the time - he recalls the terror and exhileration often felt on these raids. This book brings to life the wartime routine of a bomber station, the procedures for take-off drill, bombing and marking techniques, as well as individual sorties.