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Heroes of Bomber Command share stories for Lincoln memorial

By AlexColman  |  Posted: October 06, 2012

Heroes: The crew of Bomber Command's 662 Sqaudron.

Heroes: The crew of Bomber Command's 662 Sqaudron.

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Veterans, wives and members of the community are being asked to share their memories of Bomber Command for a memorial that will be built on top of Canwick Hill, in Lincoln.

It will mark the sacrifice of the 25,000 aircrew from Bomber Command who died during Wolrd War II, flying from Lincolnshire.

The site overlooks Lincoln Cathedral, which was a major landmark for crews leaving the county and a navigation point for those lucky enough to return.

Some 46 per cent of all Bomber Command's casualties were based in Lincolnshire.

The memorial is planned to be completed by May 2015 to mark the 70th anniversary of the official ending of hostilities in World War II.

Memories and stories from aircrew are already being shared but the project will be officially launched on the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters raid which left from Lincolnshire in May 1943.

Flight Lieutenant, Don Charlwood was in the Royal Australian Air Force in 1942-3 and served with Number 103 Squadron based at RAF Elsham Wolds, in Lincolnshire.

He said: "I realised that my chief fear of ops had been this fear, the fear of wasting the lives of other men who were relying on me."

In the seven months during the winter of 1942-43 whilst Don’s crew was serving with 103 Squadron, it was the only crew to complete a full operational tour of 30 missions.

27-years-old at the time, serving as a navigator, of the 20 men from his training course who qualified as navigators with him, only five survived the War.

The project is being led by the Lord-Lieutenant of Lincolnshire with support from all sectors of the community including the Bomber Command Association, local councils, Lincolnshire County Council, Lincolnshire Lancaster Association, Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire, active RAF stations in the county and elsewhere, Lincoln Cathedral and the University of Lincoln.

Many other individuals and organisations have also pledged their support.

Read more from Lincolnshire Echo

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  • AlexColman  |  October 08 2012, 8:10PM

    Thank you for the comment. Just to clarify, 25,000 is the number of aircrew who died flying from Lincolnshire not the total number of those sadly lost from Bomber Command.

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  • nickythenark  |  October 06 2012, 4:21PM

    That should be 55,000 Airmen of bomber command that died not 25,000. Heroes every one of them.

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