Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire MP calls for Bomber Command medal award

Lancaster bomber
Image caption Edward Leigh called for the courageous members of Bomber Command to be recognised

A Lincolnshire MP has said it is "very sad" the government has failed to recognise RAF crew who served with Bomber Command during World War II.

Gainsborough MP, Edward Leigh, is calling for a medal to be awarded in recognition of the airmen's bravery.

He said he had pressed successive defence ministers on the issue throughout his 28 years in parliament.

Bomber Command had many crew based at Lincolnshire's RAF stations whose role was to fly long range bombing missions.

'Remarkable courage'

Mr Leigh said: "As MP for Bomber County I have consistently pressed the government to make adequate recompense to the enormously courageous members of Bomber Command, which had appalling losses during the war.

"All governments have taken the same line and I think it is very sad that successive ministers of defence, who have had letters written for them by bureaucratic civil servants, don't just get on with it and issue the medal - that's my personal view.

"Each time I write I receive the same reply that no UK medals were awarded purely for service to a particular WWII command.

"But we are making some progress at last with a memorial in Hyde Park to Bomber Command and discussions ongoing with the county council about a national museum at RAF Scampton if it closes as an operational base."

Deborah Lee, who wrote to Mr Leigh asking for his support to get recognition for the crew of Bomber Command, said she was shocked to discover no dedicated campaign medal was ever awarded.

She said: "The average age of the 55,000 men who died was just 22 and they all volunteered at the beginning of the war and showed remarkable courage and bravery night after night.

"I think it is a slight that needs redressing and is hopefully sorted out before the last veteran has gone."

Bomber Command veteran Douglas Hudson, 95, said: "I received an Air Crew Europe Star and the France and Germany Star, but to the best of my knowledge the ground crew received nothing.

"We in the air could never have flown if it were not for our ground staff.

"It's a general Bomber Command medal we are seeking."

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