Bomber Command Veterans
Original EMail from Dean Black, Executive director, Air Force Association of Canada
This is an urgent appeal to all Bomber Command veterans. Please pass this message on to any and all Bomber Command Veterans of which you might know. The Canadian Press wants to do an article on the subject of the long-delayed recognition (medals and the like) of your service and sacrifice during the Second World War. Bomber Command veterans, or those caring for these veterans, are urged to make contact with John Ward of the Canadian Press in Ottawa. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org . Failing that you can contact Vic Johnson, Editor Airforce magazine at email@example.com or through the phone numbers found below.
From: Ralph Fisher [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2011 5:49 AM
To: Ward, John; Lieut. Gen (Rtd) William Carr; Senator Michael Meighen; Senator Hugh Segal; Vic Johnson; Don Elliott; Murray Peden Cc: Hon. Peter MacKay, MND; Jean-Pierre Blackburn; Dean Black, Director Air Force Association; Wing Commander A.J. Wright, RAF (Retired); Sir Martin Gilbert; Lord Ivor Richard; Ron Houghton; John Fletcher; Reg Dear; Jim Sheffield; Cdr. Ralph E. Fisher, RCN (Rtd)
Subject: Planned Canadian Press Article on the 65 Year Struggle for Recognition and Honour of Service in Air Operations of RAF Bomber Command
Rapidly diminishing survivors of the125,000 in allied aircrews, the host of vital ground crews and next of kin from around the globe will be delighted to learn that the long struggle for recognition and honour of service and sacrifice in Bomber Command may finally receive the public awareness and political pressure it needs and deserves in this internet age.
Fortunately, there is no shortage of veterans eminently equipped to assist you in providing a human face for the struggle to achieve strategic and tactical objectives in the Command's historic campaign of air strikes on enemy targets. Nor in the struggle spearheaded in Britain by Jim Wright and powerfully supported in Canada by a number of equally devoted Canadian veterans and political leaders. Most notable among the latter are Bill Carr, Senators Michael Meighen and Hugh Segal. Their combined efforts were rewarded by the unanimous Senate motion and call for needed action by Prime Minister Harper on June 18, 2008. Here it must be emphasized that I have simply been one of the many supporters driven by bloody outrage at the gutless denial of a nation's highest moral obligation, sharpened by a kinship of service in naval aviation during the Cold War.
Suggestions including leads for interviews of contacts in Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand will follow shortly. Meanwhile, I have included some as addressees for a heads up and possible contributions to a most timely initiative. One of these is our old friend and editor of the Air Force Association of Canada quarterly, Vic Johnson, Ottawa.
With all the best for your enterprise,
----- Original Message -----
From: Ward, John
Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 11:00 AM
Subject: Bomber Command
Sen. Hugh Segal gave me your email address. I am a reporter with The Canadian Press in Ottawa and I am working on a story about the long-delayed honour for veterans of Bomber Command. I am looking for men who were on ops with Bomber Command and who would be willing to talk about the 65-year-and-counting delay in getting a distinct honour.
After all, there was a Battle of Britain Star and a North Atlantic Star, but nothing for the hardest-hit branch of any Allied service. Was it early political correctness that persuaded the British government to give the command short shrift? After all, Sir Arthur Harris was the only senior commander denied a peerage. Is it time for Canada to remedy this situation. Any thoughts you might have would be appreciated. I would also appreciate if you could put me on to other vets of Bomber Command.
John Ward The Canadian Press Ottawa