Updated: Sep 26
The story of the men and women of RAF Bomber Command from World War II always struck me as a sad statement of human failings of character that really rub me up the wrong way about humanity at large in all the worst ways possible.
The way the good members of Bomber Command were treated by political janky Johnnies like Winston Churchill and the other parasitic point scoring political scumbags that followed him to no 10 Downing street in the immediate years following the war gets right up my nose in sheer disgust in fact.
There was no bigger contribution made in the war on the British side than those made by ALL members of Bomber Command.
With the aid of the American Bombers of course, both these Air based parties helped close out this war to end everyone's suffering and misery during the course of what was a very bloody for civilians war.
It was not just the many 7 man crews that each Lancaster bomber had that were lost and who paid the Ultimate price, it was all those in the team that supported this Bomber Command war effort that were all ridiculously tainted with the stigma and accusations of being murderers and other such ridiculous stigmas they painted these Bomber Command people with, as a collective group of pariahs, post WWII.
Looking at the Damage Europe was after the war came with much finger pointing bullshit from the peanut gallery.
It was a World War, World Wars are not tea and cookies boxing matches, they are ugly affairs that kill soldiers and civilians alike.
To think these folks were derided and had to endure shame and other sufferings foisted upon their souls et al by these shitty politicians who threw them under the bus, deliberately turning the people against all those associated with Bomber Command efforts during the war is to me something quite unforgivable.
Yet the folks of Bomber Command did not whinge and moan about it other than amongst themselves, electing a stiff upper lip Modus Operandi demeanor of indignation instead.
The fact is that without their unbelievable contribution, the UK would almost certainly have been a province of Adolph Hitlers Germany where many more than just 75,000 souls would have been lost.
They did what they did under the Command of Air Marshall Harris and there can be no illusions whatsoever as to the heavy contribution and massive price they all paid for their efforts, both during and surprisingly long after the war's end.
In one devastating night alone on March 30th of 1944 they lost 96 Lancaster Bombers and crew.
How quickly it was that people forgot that the RAF did not start the wholesale bombing of cities and civilians, the Germans and their Luftwaffe played that game as part of their campaign of total terror against the allies.
In fact, the people at the time were indignant and full of very loud ugly chirping about a British lack of response in doing the same to Germany in a timely manner.
No sane and rational person would ever argue that any war is pretty and these bombing campaigns from both sides produced unimaginable horrors for civilians and other people involved on both sides of the war.
In fact, I never encountered a politically correct Military grade aircraft bomb in my life to date, and if any of you ever find one do get in touch so I can come marvel at the thing with my 40 flocks of unicorns!
Also easily dismissed and quickly forgotten was how frightfully young the majority of these Bomber Command Flight crews actually were.
Looking at videos and interviews with people that are between 95-102 today tells you via simple math that many were between 18 and 20 years old when thrust into this war.
Many lied about their age and were in fact 16 and 17 years old.
This statistic still does not convey their youth in any way at all, it's just a shocking number.
I have seen real life color film of RAF briefings from 1944 recently and these crews were mostly relative babies when they went to war in these Lancaster bombers and I am frankly brutally shocked by this fact every time I watch the various footage clips I have seen.
When you sit in a briefing room with 1200 people one day and the next day find that 672 of your chums are missing, never to return, you have some seriously raw emotions about this sort of thing churning around inside your head, that's for darn sure.
You cannot ever even begin to understand or imagine what this must have been like for them all to have gone through, such a traumatic and devastating experience that repeated itself sortie after sortie in a never ending nightmare.
I knew quite a few Bomber Command engineers and pilots who worked for Rolls Royce after the war and they all suffered from heavy PTSD.
Back then nobody knew what PTSD was, but they definitely knew what it was, I can attest to that myself.
Many of them were devastated by what they witnessed and by the way they were treated.
In 1977, I attended my first Battle of Britain event as a cadet of the Air Training Corps 1066 Wavertree Squadron and marveled at the Battle of Britain display aircraft which then were one Hurricane, One Spitfire and one Avro Lancaster Bomber.
At that time I had no clue as to the price that was paid by the members of Bomber Command and the dire way they were treated at war's end, only romantic notions about fighter pilots like Douglas Bader and Sailor Mallan shooting down the hun lived inside my head back then.
Had I known the truth in fact, I would have been very critical and vocal as a teenager of these glossed over facts we conveniently were not taught in history class while at school.
It is funny how much pure unadulterated 24 carat Bullshit gets spun in school history books after a major event like a war in fact.
It must be remembered that when you do go to Bomber Command War Memorials, that the statues and bronze works seen on display were not paid for by the UK Government, the survivors of Bomber Command paid for them all with their own money and fund raising efforts they themselves did with zero help from the UK Government at all.
This is itself a totally scandalous slap in the face type situation.
I would twist Churchill's own words to state, Never before has a higher price been paid by so many members of Bomber Command to the total appreciation of so few fickle members of the public and Westminster, than that which was paid by the honorable members of RAF Bomber Command during World War II.
They are owed most of the accolades for the War ending the way it did and have received almost no recognition for the outrageous price they all paid.
Most people look at the basic misleading statistics from the War, comparing British Aircraft numbers to the Luftwaffe numbers at the start of the war and then fail to reconcile the fact that 7,377 Lancaster Bombers were manufactured during the war and that a staggering 57,205 men were lost in the various 126 Bomber Command Squadrons with 8402 serious injuries and a further 9838 Prisoners of war as casualties.
In total 75,446 airmen of Bomber Command were killed, wounded or taken prisoner in the course of the war.
Never in the modern history of mankind have there been so many, owing so few their eternal gratitude and immense respect, not ever.
What they got in return was derision and idiotic labels as murderers as the masses and the political establishment rapidly forgot the price paid by the men and women under the Command of Air Marshall Arthur Harris.
It was totally scandalous is what that was.
Never forget what these fine people did for us all.
There should have been 75,466 Victoria crosses awarded to members of RAF Bomber Command at the end of the war, that's for bloody sure!
On behalf of everyone everywhere, I offer my heartfelt thanks, respect, honor and acknowledge the heavy price paid by so few, for so many.
Given the way the world is now, I am seriously wondering why they actually even bothered, but they did and I have the luxury of hindsight that they never had.
This is why donating to the RAF Memorial fund is a deep badge of honor and a token that says how much you acknowledge what was paid by the members of Bomber Command for the victory against Hitler.
They earned our ever lasting respect and honor, in the hardest way imaginable.
It is the season of Remembrance and these thoughts cross my mind often...
On Memorial day I will raise a glass in remembrance and to acknowledge the debt....as well as reflect on the unjust price they all paid and tears of immense anger will be rolling down my cheeks like they do every freaking year without fail.....