|My Dad inspects his plane before a bombing op in North Africa|
My Dad was a pilot with RAF 40 squadron of bomber command. He flew 40 operational missions and was shot down on the 40th. He was held as a prisoner of war in a POW camp in Bucharest. He lead a successful escape and was one of 128 aircrew who were flown back to allied bases in Italy by the USAF in Flying Fortresses, after linking up with Yugoslavian partisans.
For arcane political reasons, it was hushed up. Dad died in 1987. Like every other member of bomber command who survived, he wasn't issued with a campaign medal. The 55,000 brave men who died as part of the sevice were never recognised. Most of the survivors had died before the memorial was built. Disgracefully the govt didn't pay for this. The latest insult is the fact that the government has belated issued a "clasp". The last surviving member of the Dambusters has called this a disgrace and an insult.
I can say without hesitation that my Dad was the bravest and most heroic person it has ever been my honour to know. He didn't join for medals, he volunteered to defend freedom and democracy. But he damn well deserves one, as did his comrades at arms.
I doubt our self serving, greedy politicians give a $h1T that they owe their jobs to bomber command. Sometimes this country (or at least the people who are in power) make me sick. We have a shabby history of failing our servicemen. This is only equalled by our record for overpaying politicians, and bankers. But we are all too busy watching celebrity Big Brother to give a t0$$ aren't we?