TIMELESS IMAGES OF UNFORGETTABLE MEN

Hello and so glad you found our website.

It is still very much a work in progress, but do linger on this page for a few moments as the Bomber Crew slideshow above flickers through its brief repertoire.

As these timeless images pass across your screen, please do remember as you view them that in many instances they reflect the brief, flickering moment of these men's lives in Bomber Command.

STORY OF THE SLIDESHOW COMING SOON.

You will see men who died before they ever bombed Germany; men who failed to return from their first operation.....or the last one of their tour. Men who became POWs; evaded capture; escaped from Germany; escaped and were recaptured - one tragic crew shown were beaten to death by the Volkssturm before the Luftwaffe could save them. Another died in full view of their Captain's WAAF Watchkeeper fiancee, tragically on duty to see her hopes for the future dashed in an instant. Seen also is an only survivor, who lived when the rest of his crew were fated to die. For men such as these not a day of the rest of their lives went by without thoughts of their lost friends, to say nothing of the perpetual unanswered question: "Why me? Why did I alone survive?" Another crew present above were to lose their Rear Gunner. He was to die in his turret, chopped to pieces by the propellers of a following kite who got too close, causing a tragic taxiing accident at an emergency landing ground. Many depicted were to vanish forever from sight; their only Memorial a name insrcibed among countless others at Runnymede.

Those of us who were not there will never know the fortitude, courage, honour and selfless devotion of these men who, until recently, had not even the prospect of a National Memorial............

Some shown flew with the arms of Lady Luck always around them and survived their tour; some a second and even third and were much-decorated along the way. One of the men who breached the Ruhr Dams is  also here; he may at first glance prove elusive, but take a look at the Hampden Crews and your curiosity may well be rewarded.

Bomber Command was nothing if not cosmopolitan, and study of these images will reveal English, Scots, Welsh, Northern and Southern Irish and Manxmen; Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders, South Africans, American citizens, Anglo-Indians, Mauritians and Maoris, to name but some. The Free Air Forces of Occupied Europe who escaped Hitler to fly and fight on with us are coming later.

All Bomber Groups can be seen, from Main Force crews who quietly and with unsung determination embarked upon their often one-way Bomber journey, to Pathfinders who flew often in the glare of publicity, which inevitably came with their protracted exposure to danger over the target and corresponding increased losses. Groundstaff, WAAFs, War Correspondents and the odd pet dog are also, if briefly, evident. Of all these stalwarts, more later....

The passage of nearly seventy years has done nothing to dim the shining memory of these unforgettable men and boys. For my part, contact with the survivors of Bomber Command has been both a deep Honour and constant keynote of my life. Thoughts of these Giants invariably fill the quiet corners of my soul with a richness beyond all material gain...... let us give thanks They came among us, for it is certain none like Them will pass this way again.

Mark Chandler.

groupcapt@hotmail.com

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