Lincolnshire

Thieves target International Bomber Command Centre

Lancaster bombers Image copyright International Bomber Command Centre
Image caption More than 125,000 men served as aircrew in Bomber Command during World War Two

The International Bomber Command Centre has been targeted by thieves for the second time in a matter of weeks.

Thieves stole a 5m (16ft 4in) flagpole - complete with Union Jack - at some point over the weekend.

Earlier this month, items intended for an open day, including two generators, food and drink were stolen.

Last year, a memorial to the thousands of crewmen who served in Bomber Command during World War Two was damaged by trespassers.

Image copyright International Bomber Command Centre
Image caption About £2m of funding is required to finish work on the International Bomber Command Centre

Director of the centre Nicky Barr said it was "extremely frustrating".

She said: "I had great faith in the human race, but it has been somewhat diminished - I don't understand why someone would want to target a memorial."

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Image copyright International Bomber Command Centre
Image caption The memorial spire, which is already in place at the site, will eventually list the names of all 55,573 Bomber Command casualties

The Lincoln attraction is to honour the air crews' efforts with exhibitions, information and accounts from service personnel and survivors.

The centre - set to open in September - still needs £2m in donations and events are being held to raise the cash.

Bomber Command

125,000

Aircrew served in Bomber Command in World War Two

  • 364,514 operational sorties flown

  • 55,573 aircrew killed in action

  • 25,611 killed flying from Lincolnshire

  • 70% of aircrew were killed, taken prisoner or injured

Getty Images

Mrs Barr said fundraising efforts were being hampered by the break-ins.

She said: "Whether it was done as high jinks, or whether there is a market for second-hand flag poles, I just don't know.

"The reality is the sacrifices made by these guys [Bomber Command crews] allows for the freedom whoever is doing this has got today."

Officials have launched a petition in a bid to get further funding from the government to complete the project.

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