FOREWARD: (*scroll down page for links for background, itinerary, costs etc)
This PREMIUM 2020 commemorative WW2 Bomber Command Tour is primarily designed to honour and remember the Canadian, Australian and New Zealand Commonwealth men and women who played such a pivotal role in RAF Bomber Command in WW2.
The young men of Bomber Command faced dangers that today we can barely imagine - to give us the freedoms we take for granted today. Their sacrifice and extraordinary courage should never be forgotten. Bomber Command crews also suffered a horrific casualty rate: 55,573 were killed out of a total of 125,000 aircrew, a 44.4% death rate. A further 8,403 men were wounded in action, and 9,838 became prisoners of war. Most who flew were very young, the great majority still in their late teens. Crews came from across the globe – from the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and all corners of the Commonwealth, as well as from occupied nations including Poland, France and Czechoslovakia.
It took astonishing courage to endure the conditions that the suffered. A crew member in Bomber Command had a shorter life expectancy than a soldier in the trenches in WW1. Flying at night over occupied Europe, running the gauntlet of German night fighters, radar controlled searchlights and terrific anti aircraft fire, plus mid-air collisions and general flying accidents - the nerves of these young men were stretched to breaking point. But coolness and bravery were their tradecraft. Truly remarkable bravery.
Spirit of Remembrance is proud and honoured to support the newly opened (April 12, 2018) International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) in the UK through the operation of this tour, with a donation from the tour proceeds going to the IBCC. The (IBCC) was created to provide a world-class facility to serve as a point for recognition, remembrance and reconciliation for Bomber Command. One of our tour highlights is a visit to the IBCC. Flight Sgt. H. James Flowers from Australia was a rear gunner in a Lancaster Bomber in WW2 - this is what IBCC means to him - and to all that flew and died in Bomber Command. Watch his emotional remembrance interview here.
And - here's a superb video of one of the only 2 airworthy WW2 Lancasters in the world - Avro Lancaster PA474 (Battle of Britain Memorial Flight - RAF Coningsby) on her first test flight in 2019 (June 2019)
Continue to the TOUR INTRODUCTION here: