RAF Wickenby veteran receives Bomber Command claspContinue reading the main story
A 90-year-old Bomber Command veteran has been honoured with an award on his 71st wedding anniversary.
End Quote Ken Brind, Bomber Command veteran
I loved navigating. I loved the Lancasters. But I didn't care much for getting shot at.”
Ken Brind was a Lancaster Bomber navigator who flew with 626 Squadron out of RAF Wickenby, in Lincolnshire, during World War Two.
The Bomber Command clasp was introduced in February, after a Ministry of Defence review concluded Bomber Command had been treated "inconsistently".
Mr Brind, who now lives in Canada, said: "We waited a long time for this."
Mr Brind, originally from Aldbourne, Wiltshire, applied for the award following the government announcement.'Lucky to survive it'
However, his application was lost, meaning he had to reapply in June.
He said receiving the clasp, which coincided with his anniversary with his wife Mary, "meant a lot".
"I think we were neglected," he said.
- Unit formed in 1936. During the war it was tasked with attacking Germany's airbases, troops, shipping and industry.
- A total of 55,573 of its airmen died in World War II. Their average age was about 22
- The first "thousand-bomber raid" was in May 1942, three months after Arthur "Bomber" Harris was made commander in chief
- The famous Dambusters raid of May 1943 struck at dams surrounding the Ruhr Valley
Source: BBC History
"It's reached a point where most of us from Bomber Command have gone. But those of us who are left - and I am in touch with a number of them - feel we are at last getting some recognition."
Mr Brind joined the RAF straight from Marlborough Grammar School at the beginning of the war.
He said: "You never forget those days. I was one of those who was lucky to survive them.
"In one case I was in hospital when my crew went on a bombing raid to Berlin and they were all killed. Because I wasn't with them, I survived.
"I loved navigating. I loved the Lancasters. But I didn't care much for getting shot at."
He stayed with the RAF after the war, becoming a navigation instructor. He then joined the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Cold War and moved to Canada in the 1950s.
He returned to Britain in 2012 with his sons, travelling to London for the dedication of the Bomber Command memorial.