Bomber Command Memorial Unveiling Ceremony

30/05/2012 Posted by chris

Hi everybody,

The Bomber Command Memorial Unveiling Ceremony will take place in Green Park on the 28 June 2012 by HM the Queen. I am hoping to attend the event with Bill North’s Mid-Upper Gunner Dennis Bartlett. Dennis Bartlett’s friend Sgt George Moggridge was lost on Operations 21/22 June 1944 to Wessling in 619 Squadron Lancaster ME846, PG-C.

Sir Michael Beetham who is the president of the Bomber Command Association and 50/61 Squadron Association has worked tirlessly to get recognition for the ultimate sacrifice of the 55,573 lost Bomber Crewmen. Robin Gibb who sadly recently passed away was also a major contributer to this memorial. Sir Michael was a Lancaster Pilot with 50 Squadron during WW2, later becoming Marshal of The Royal Air Force. He masterminded Operation Black Buck, the long range Vulcan Bomber attack on Port Stanley airport during the Falklands Campaign. He has kindly contributed a foreward section to my book Riding In The Shadow Of Death.

I will also be attending the 50/61 Squadron Memorial Day in Skellingthorpe on 9/10 June to commemorate Bill and his crew and their lost commrades. There will also be a fly past by the BBMF (Battle of Britain Memorial Flight) Lancaster Bomber.

The book is in the last stages of editing now and will be available before 28 June. The launch venue will be at Newark Air Museum which is on the site of former RAF Winthorpe 1661 Heavy Conversion Unit (HCU). This is where Bill North and his crew had two near fatal crash landings in Stirling Bombers whilst training for Operations. It is also where the picture of Bill and his crew standing next to a Stirling was taken in March 1944. This was the photo that fascinated me me I was 7 years old in 1970 and has done ever since. RAF Winthorpe was the starting place and now the ending point for the long journey Bill and I have been on, so it is a perfect ending. As soon as the date is available for the launch I will let everybody know.

Thank you again, Chris.


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