Remembering real ‘heroes’.
Posted by Big John on June 21, 2012
During my RAF national service back in the 1950’s I served with many World War II veterans. In fact most of the officers and senior NCO’s I worked alongside displayed on their uniforms aircrew wings, brevets and assorted medal ribbons, including Distinguished Service Orders and Distinguished Flying Crosses. One or two still bore the scars which showed that somehow they had escaped from the horrors of a burning aircraft.
On the whole they were an amiable crowd who still tended to treat humble airmen, such as me, as one of the ‘crew’. I remember one officer very well. In fact it would be hard to forget him for he was the typical “wizard prang … jolly good show old chap”.. ex-bomber pilot and came complete with handlebar moustache, pipe and cocker spaniel.
I had not thought of these men for years, that is until I read about the plans to unveil a memorial to those who lost their lives serving with Bomber Command and the reported way in which some of the survivors are being treated.
It seems hard to believe that the people organizing this event would allow a bunch of bloody politicians and bureaucrats to take priority on their guest list, for it should be remembered that at the end of the war the destruction of German cities, which resulted in huge casualties, was something politicians, including Churchill, seemed keen to forget, to distance themselves from and to wipe from history. In fact no campaign medal was awarded to those who flew with Bomber Command, and these brave men were once ignored because of bad publicity, becoming victims of political correctness.
If any of my old ‘comrades’ are still alive and kicking, I hope they make it to the ceremony and get a seat in the front row. They were little more than boys when 55,000 of their mates took off into the night sky, never to return.
This memorial has been funded by the veterans themselves and their supporters. Obviously our government had better things on which to spend our money.
Remind me …
… How many billions is the Olympics costing ?