Bomber Command Road Trip

Discussion in 'Non Bike Related' started by Boothman, Jun 10, 2024.

  1. Boothman

    Boothman Elite Member

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    l and my 29 year old son visited the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln on 5th June and were massively impressed by both it and the staff/volunteers. An amazing, informative and emotional experience that I strongly suggest everyone should visit at least once.

    To be able to learn more of Bomber Commands (mostly ignored and shunned by governments since the end of WWIl) dedication and sacrifice in defeating Nazi Germany was humbling. But also to uncover more for operation Manna and personal stories of individuals from the war being relayed today.

    The knowledge and passion of those at the centre was second to none.
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  2. Boothman

    Boothman Elite Member

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    We went from there to RAF Coningsby (the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight exhibition is closed following the recent loss of a spitfire and pilot Squadron Leader Mark Long) to just have a look through the fence and caught a bunch of Typhoons heading out
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    And then stopped to pay respects at the 617 Squadron Memorial in the village

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  3. Boothman

    Boothman Elite Member

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    On the 6th for the 80th Anniversary of D Day we went to the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre for a VIP Experience Day including our taxy ride in their Lancaster NX611, “Just Jane”

    Everything about the day was fantastic including the weather. We arrived at 9 am and were greeted by the very knowledgable and enthusiastic Safety Officer Liz Dodds (who we had met the previous day at the International Bomber Command Centre where she also works). There was a presentation by Louise explaining the history of the centre and family connection to Christopher Panton who made the ultimate sacrifice piloting a Halifax on a Nuremberg raid in March '44.

    Followed by briefings of what to expect by our pilot for the day and safety by Liz.

    We were on the morning taxy run myself stood behind the flight engineer in the cockpit with my son stood in the mid turret position.

    Awesome isn't enough to describe the experience. The sound, vibration and even smell all added to the event I would recommend to anyone for their bucket list.

    The afternoon provided opportunity to view all the other exhibits on the grounds, including seeing their B25 and Mosquito. And to view the second groups taxy run from the field.

    On top of the day befores visit to the IBCC this gave further reinforcement to the dedication and sacrifice of Bomber Command. This is a must see/do venue for all.

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    #3 Boothman, Jun 10, 2024
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2024
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  4. PauloHRC

    PauloHRC God Like

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    Superb Boothy, those boys were hero's!! ;)
     
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  5. Boothman

    Boothman Elite Member

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    Indeed they were and the total shunning by the establishment after the war of bomber commands dedication and sacrifice was despicable. Starting with Churchills famous so much owed speech all about fighter command and the constant references since for all branches of the armed services and civilian groups (such as the merchant seamen) regarding their input in defeating Nazi Germany. Who all deserve all their recognition and plaudits.

    However, it took 60 years for a memorial to be commissioned, funded (totally by private donation) erected and unveiled ultimately by the late Queen in 2012. The Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln was in the planning, but never went for funding until after the Green Park memorial was completed. It again was a private venture mostly from public donation that opened in 2018.

    The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre is a family owned and run tribute started by two brothers Fred and Harold Panton as a memorial for their older brother Christopher who was shot down and killed on a raid to Nuremberg in 1944.

    There are the names of 57,861 men and women recorded on the walls at the bomber command centre as they recognise all bomber command losses including ground crews and civilian specialists, whereas the official number killed for WWII is 55,573. That’s the full capacity of the Etihad stadium in Manchester with an additional 2,173 standing on the pitch. Without any disrespect, but to give an idea of balance, Fighter Commands WWII losses are recorded as 3,690.

    There is still no official Campaign Medal available for bomber command, it having first been suggested and shelved by Churchill (still being PM) in the short period of the coalition government after the war. Calls since have fallen on deaf ears within all governments.

    Despicable doesn’t come close to describing such a heinous slur to the bravery and sacrifice of what were all volunteers - you could be drafted in to the RAF, but for flight operations you had to put your own hand up.

    I’ll get off my soapbox now.
     
    #5 Boothman, Jun 10, 2024
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2024
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  6. PauloHRC

    PauloHRC God Like

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    Your knowledge is second to none, i barely knew any of that ! :rolleyes:

    They all deserve a medal though!!
     
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  7. bladey

    bladey Senior Member

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    Mildenhall Museum, where I am a volunteer, houses the Stirling Society to commemorate their contribution to WW2. The late Vera Lynn opened the exhibits a few years ago. As you say, total heroes.
     
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  8. SimonRR

    SimonRR God Like

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    The Lincolnshire aviation heritage centre has a bike night twice a year, well worth a visit, £5 a bike, lanc does taxi run, museum open, food and stands selling various stuff, thousands of bikes usually, great evening out for a fiver
     
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