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Bomber Command Commemoration Service

 
         

St Pauls Cathedral - London

Wednesday 24th April 2002

         
 

 

On Wednesday 24th April, I had the honour of attending the Bomber Command Commemoration Service at St Pauls Cathedral in London, which was held in honour of the 55,573 airmen who lost their lives whilst serving with RAF Bomber Command during the Second World War

The commemoration coincided with the 60th Anniversary year of the appointment of Sir Arthur T (Bomber) Harris as C in C of Bomber Command, the Avro Lancaster entering service and many other major events during WWII

 

Prized Possession: My Admission Ticket

 

 

Waiting for the Lancaster Fly Past

Waiting for the Lancaster fly past

Photo: Bob Baxter

  About 1,800 veterans and their families were present at the event, which was attended by HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales wearing the uniform of an Air Vice Marshal, in place of his Grandmother Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (Patron of the Bomber Command Association) who sadly died 25 days earlier on March 30th 2002

Others attending included:-

The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter Squire, GCB, DFC, AFC, ADC, DSc, FRAeS, RAF

Marshal of the Royal Air Force, Sir Michael Beetham

Squadron Leader, Tony Iveson, DFC, AE, RAF (Retd)

                                       
Passing through the Guard of Honour, (which was formed by the Queens Colour Squadron) a procession of Bomber Command Veterans, with their colours proudly carried by ex Wireless Operator Peter Lloyd now aged 78.

Avro Lancaster PA474 of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, which had paid such a spledid tribute to Queen Elizabeth's funeral on Tuesday April 9th, made yet another visit to London and flew across St Pauls Cathedral at 12:20 pm. In time-honoured tribute to those who served with Bomber Command, she dropped a wing as she passed overhead to terrific applause from those below.

 

Time to swap memories

Time to swap memories

Photo: Bob Baxter

 

  Time for a chat

Time for a chat

Photo: Bob Baxter

 

  The atmosphere was such that there was barely a dry eye to be seen as the Lancaster circled and then flew over for a second time to another resounding round of applause.

How different it was this time to 'Go round again'

                                       
In the picture opposite, Bomber Command author Alan Cooper, is seen shaking hands with Polish F/Lt Roman Kuvak, now aged 89 (and still able to get into his uniform) who flew with RAF Bomber Command

His medals from left to right are:-

Polish

Polish Order of Military Virtue 5th Class for services in the field.

Cross of Valour for services in the field.

Air Force Active Service medal.

British Medals

1939 Star, Air Crew Europe Star, Defence and War Medals.

 
  Alan Cooper meets F/Lt Roman Kuvak PAF Retd

Alan Cooper meets F/Lt Roman Kuvak PAF (Retd)

Photo: Bob Baxter

 

F/Lt Kuvak told Alan and myself of a raid to Mannheim during which the entire floor of his aircraft was blown away. The temperature in the aircraft was minus 54 degrees. It was only due to the incredible design of the Wellington that he managed to fly the stricken aircraft back to England.
                                       
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