Blog/News

23 June 2013 - Gave a talk to Members of Mortdale RSL sub-branch on the Arctic Expedition, a much nicer day than today.  Had a chap who was about ten at the end of WW2 describe a P39 Airacobra trying to fly under Tom Ugly's bridge (20' above MHWS). The pilot splatted in the river.

Here I am, it's cold and waiting for heavy rain. Just posted the news that the Brits are rejecting Australian applications for Bomber Command clasps and Arctic Stars.  They have pushed the responsibility to DoD Honours and Awards.

The Bomber Command Memorial Day ceremonies went well at the start of the month.  Drinks under the wing of Lancaster G-George is a rare treat and in such great company! The ceremony at the Memorial in the Sculpture Garden was spoiled by impending rain. The AWM moved the ceremony to the terraces above the Pool of Reflection and the wreaths lay on the Tomb of the Unknown soldier. Fitting in its own way because large numbers of Bomber Command (and Coastal) have no known grave.

Recruited a new member of the "455 family" - Carol Smith whose father, Bill Brewis was an Armourer on the Russian Expedition.

04 March 2013 - Life is very hectic from Christmas to March. Lynne and I have the families of course. Then there is News Year's Eve on Sydney Harbour on our yacht followed by Australia Day.  Then there is the Annual Compass Yacht Regatta that we organise each year in late February or early March at Vaucluse Yacht Club.

Bomber Command also absorb a fair slice of time. The Autumn newsletter is nearly ready and in the visit we have had to Melbourne for my son Shaun's birthday I was fortunate to have lunch with Peter Isaacson "The man who flew under the Harbour Bridge" and got away with it. To add spice to life after 70 years the Brits have decided to award two more gongs to World War 2 veterans.  It is a bit twisted really. When WW2 finished and the Brits saw what they had done to Germany, Bomber Command was on the political nose - Churchill abandoned them, their CO Butch Harris didn't get a peerage and his airmen did not get the medal promised at the end of WW2. The lives of 57,000 men including 10,000 Australians had been expended in the bloodiest campaign of WW2. The survivors melted away, scarred survivors - even the ground crews had been crushed by the unending death of boys they had known for days weeks, months. to the Bomber Command Air Crew only goes a clasp to put on the 1939-45 Air Crew Europe medal ribbon.

Strangely the Brits also decided to award an Arctic Medal for the Convoy Veterans. These include many Australians serving with the RAAF (455 463 Squadrons), RAF (617, 9, 81, 134 Squadrons), RAN on Arctic escorts such as HMS Intrepid.

16 June 2012 - It's been a busy few months. Lynne and I went to Natfly at Temora, it was great. The RAAF Expedition to Russia talk went well and so did book sales. May found us in Canberra for the Bomber Command Memorial Day functions. The Saturday night Meet & Greet is a really special event. Standing around under the wing of "G" for George at the AWM chatting with the men that flew them and meeting the surviving relatives. Sunday morning was the Service in Memory of the 3,050 Australians lost in the Campaign and their 50,000 mates of various Services also lost and those who have since died. The weekend was topped off with a lunch at Rydges Lakeside.

In 2 weeks time, the Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park London will be opened by the Queen. Fittingly their will be 130 Australian Veterans there, proudly watching.

17 Mar 2012 - Just finished two Powerpoint supported talks for Natfly at Temora.  The first "Support our Bomber Boys" I will trial at the Lions Club Miranda on April 3.  The other "The 70th Anniversary of the RAAF Expedition to Russia" was developed as a Probus talk and adapted as a warm-up talk at Natfly

18 Jan 2012 I would like to think the many relatives who have put forward airmen to be added to the list  of Member of 455 Squadron.  During World War 2 there was a parochial division between governments where their airmen came from. They did not recognise the reality at Squadron level where men came from many countries.  455 was much more than an Australian Squadron with Brits, South Africans, Kenyans and New Zealanders.

In short, the list of members has been updated, I welcome further updates

Also the site has become a back door into Bomber Command Association of Australia. I am the Editor of their Quarterly Newsletter and pass membership enquiries back to the committee.  455 started life as a Bomber Command Squadron and as veterans thin out BCAA provide a home for orphaned Vererans and their families regardless of Unit association.

It is hard to believe that this year it will be 70 years since the RAAF Expedition to Russia. I wish I could think of someway that this event be remembered, perhaps more later.

The Bomber Command Memorial for our Fathers in Green Park London, will be opened by the Queen on 28th June this year.  It has taken over 60 years of struggle to get to this stage, I wonder if the Bomber Command Medal might also be realised.  If it does not get issued by the end of June, I suspect it will become a lost issue

Well, lots have been added.

All members of 455 RAAF Squadron have been listed. Check the related Items menu

There has been fantastic support for The Raaf in Russia by members of the Bomber Command Association of Australia

At this point I must thank Carl Holden This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for creating this site.  It is coming together quickly and I hope people agree it looks good and cohesive.   Thanks  Geoff

I have put up a selection of photos.  I could have put up warlike aeroplanes, but chose to put up people and where possible attached names to them. If I have made any name errors or omissions let me know so I can correct them

I have listed 365 members of 455 Squadron. This list will always be incomplete, there is no official list. While nominally an RAAF squadron, the RAF move mostly aircrew in and out of the unit.  This list is from memories, photo captions, books and other records.  Details like decorations have not been researched. I am happy to accomodate additions and corrections

 

1st July 2011 Been doing a lot of tidying up as I get a bit more proficient.  The Bomber Command Medal is the next campaign.  On the 8th May 2012 (provisionally) the Queen will open a beautiful new memorial to the men of Bomber Command - this is our last chance to shame the British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand governments into awarding these men the medal that was denied at War's End in 1945.

That lack of recognition by our lead ally and her Commonwealth governments has hit the men badly over the years. They watched their companions serve their country and go to their deaths each night - for what?

The Bomber Command Memorial Day was celebrated this year by Australians in Canberra, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane Hastings (Vic) and London

Geoff

Last Updated (Sunday, 23 June 2013 03:48)

 
Home Blog/News