From: Major General (Retd) Anthony L Meier
I agree with everything Alan Cooper said in his letter last week about the lack of recognition for the brave members of Bomber Command in WW2, to whom we owe great respect – except his remarks about medals. for original letter, click here
He perpetuates the myth that there was no medal awarded, only an ‘insignificant clasp’.
He cites political reasons for this.
In doing so he does a disservice to his ‘95-year-old very good friend’ and the other surviving veterans by making them feel ‘unappreciated’.
The fact is that there was a medal and it was instituted without any delay at the same time as all the other WW2 medals (apart from the Arctic Star) in May 1945.
It is called the Air Crew Europe Star and I’m sure he will find that his friend was awarded it.
The Air Crew Europe Star is suspended by a handsome ribbon, designed personally by King George VI, comprising stripes of sky blue to denote daylight missions, black for night raids and yellow representing the searchlights seeking the bombers out.
Furthermore it is inappropriate to describe the subsequently awarded Bomber Command clasp as ‘insignificant’.
It is, in fact, a special honour.
It is worn on the ribbon of the 1939/45 Star, which members of Bomber Command were also awarded.
This medal covers all operational service for the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force in every theatre of war and for all six years of the war.
Yet only two clasps have ever been instituted for it, both to Royal Air Force aircrew – Battle of Britain and now Bomber Command.
That is something they should be proud of.
We are; my wife’s great uncle was a Halifax bomber pilot shot down and killed over Germany in February 1944 and we were honoured to receive his clasp recently.