A Veteran from Bedford will be attending the unveiling of the new Bomber Command Memorial in London, United Kingdom on June 28.
Minister of Veterans Affairs Steven Blaney is leading a delegation of 40 Second World War Veterans who served in Bomber Command for the unveiling by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Included in this group are Bomber Command Veterans Malcolm MacConnell from Dartmouth and Donald Bishop from Bedford.
The group departs Ottawa June 26. The Veterans being honoured with the creation of this new memorial were young heroes when the Second World War ended 67 years ago. Today, many of them are in their nineties.
Photos and additional information will be available at www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/feature/bomber_command.
The Honourable Steven Blaney, Canadian Minister of Veterans Affairs, has announced the Government of Canada’s contribution of $100,000 toward the creation of a new Bomber Command Memorial in London, United Kingdom.
The memorial, to be unveiled in London’s Green Park in June, will honour all members of the Bomber Command from Allied countries and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“It is our sacred duty to remember and honour the brave men and women who served our country so selflessly. Our Government is proud to support the Bomber Command Memorial which will help us remember the important contributions of our Veterans,” said Minister Blaney. “Once completed, the Bomber Command Memorial will serve as a permanent reminder of the sacrifices made by the brave men and women who served our country during the Second World War.”
“Our Government is proud to honour our Veterans who fought for peace, freedom and democracy around the world, and today we salute the 50,000 Canadian service men and women who served in Bomber Command operations during the Second World War,” said Mr. Hawn. “Let us remember in particular the more than 10,000 Canadians who paid the ultimate price in defending the skies over Europe.”
Minister Blaney also announced that the Government of Canada will support Bomber Command Veterans in travelling to London for the official unveiling of the Bomber Command Memorial in June of this year. While in London for the unveiling, these Canadian Veterans will reunite with their comrades from Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Veterans Affairs Canada will help offset costs related to accommodations and ground transportation, while the Department of National Defence will provide for air travel.
“The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces are dedicated to honouring the 55,573 fallen British and Allied forces of the Bomber Command,” said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. “This new Bomber Command Memorial will serve as a tangible and long-lasting tribute to the service, courage and ultimate sacrifice of those who served so valiantly during the Se cond World War.”
The Bomber Command Memorial in London’s Green Park will honour the 55,573 men of Bomber Command who lost their lives in the Second World War. Bomber Command personnel suffered a death rate of no less than 44 percent. Of the approximately 125,000 who served, almost 10,000 became prisoners of war. Canada’s commitment to Bomber Command was 15 squadrons, with the No. 6 (RCAF) Group flying more than 40,000 missions.
“This is a unique gesture from the Canadian government and I thank Minister Steven Blaney for both the financial contribution to the Memorial and the support being offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs to Canadian veterans in June,” said Malcolm White, Chairman, Bomber Command Association. “That Minister Blaney is here in London to make this announcement demonstrates the significance of the Bomber Command Memorial to Canada. I personally want to thank Canada for the sacrifice of your brave airmen who served in Bomber Command; we remember them now and for ever.”
During the Second World War, while the Royal Air Force Fighter Command defended the United Kingdom against aerial attacks, it was the role of Bomber Command to attack the enemy’s military strength by bombing key targets in an attempt to weaken its military and industrial capabilities.
For more information on Canada’s role in Bomber Command and the Second World War, visit veterans.gc.ca.