Bomber Command Medal

Why not satisfaction and proper accreditation 63 years later?

Can you beleive it? 63 years late!

It was reported that our veteran Canadian friends had finally succeeded in erasing the image (created by the new Canadian War Museum in Ottowa in 2005) of ACM Sir Arthur Harris and his 125,000 aircrew ("old lags" he called them) as war criminals. In so doing they had created an opportunity to remind present day Canadians of the 9,980 Canadian volunteer aircrew members who had served in Bomber Command (BC) and who has sacrificed their lives

In Bomber Command 55,573 BC aircrew were killed in action (KIA) including 38,462 British. 4,050 Australian, 1,703 New Zealanders, 34 Norwegians, 977 Poles, 218 Free French, 68 Americans attached from USAAF to BC and 3 Indians as well as 1,479 BC ground crew. 91 members of the WAAF also died while on duty with BC.

This publicity in Canada leads to others in OZ, NZ and UK towards the possibilities, afforded by the situation, of obtaining the Bomber Command campaigns medal which Harris had requested for his air and ground crew and also a Bomber Comamnd Memorial in London. The medal was refused in 1945 at the end of the war and Harris himself had not been ennobled as had other High Commanders.

In UK meanwhile, efforts to persuade the Air Crew Association (ACA) and the Bomber Command Association (BCA) to lend their support to this drive had not been immediately successful. ACA thought it a BCA matter. Bomber Command Association did review its existing policy (which had been against either a medal or a proper memorial) of "standing back with pride and dignity, still together, still meeting and always remembering" and, influenced by past failures to win such an award, decided against joining the drive for a campaign medal in spite of an Early Day Motion (EDM) 218 dated 13 Nov 2007 in the House of Commons by a well-briefed Labour MP, Austin Mitchell which reads as follows:

Campaign Medal for Bomber Command

That this House considers that it is more than time that a campaign medal should be issed for those who served in Bomber Command between 1940 and victory in 1945; recognises the enormous achievement of Bomber Command's volunteer pilots' air crew in crippling the Nazi war machine and paving the way for the 1944 invasion of Europe, in the course of which Bomber Command lost 1,500 heavyt bombers and 56,000 lives, mainly air crew, all sacrificed for their country; and further condsiders that the failure of the Committee on the Grrant of Honours, Decorations and Medals at the end of the war to recognise service in Bomber Command as an operational qualifaction for decorations was a mistake that should now be rectified for this unique service.

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