Plea of a WW2 veteran

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Avronut
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Plea of a WW2 veteran

Post by Avronut »

I hope it's ok to post this but I understand if the mods need to take it down.

A 92 year old WW2 veteran who sings in the same choir as my mum has launched an online petition. He flew 35 sorties for the RAF in Wellingtons from bases in Italy. He has been refused the Bomber Command Clasp because he did not fly from the UK. The award is new and finally recognises the sacrifice, bravery, and contribution that bomber crews made to the war effort.

The petition needs 10,000 signatures to get a response from the government and 100,000 to have the issue debated in parliament.

You can read more about the story here.

The petition is here.

Thank you.

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jalfrezi
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Re: Plea of a WW2 veteran

Post by jalfrezi »

Signed, he flew bombers for the RAF, it should be irrelevant which base he flew from, even if he was technically flying with the USAF.

Avronut
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Re: Plea of a WW2 veteran

Post by Avronut »

Thanks for signing. As far as I'm aware he did fly for the RAF in 142 Squadron and not USAF.

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Brevet Cable
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Re: Plea of a WW2 veteran

Post by Brevet Cable »

Looking it up , 142 sqdn was part of the NASAF , which was a combination of RAF & USAAF units under the command of Doolittle ( USAAF ).......but then , the NASAF was a component part of the MAC , which was commanded by Tedder ( RAF )
Following that logic it would be like saying that the British & Commonwealth forces post-Overlord were part of the American Army as Eisenhower was in overall command , or that the American forces involved in the early stages ( Neptune ) were part of the British forces because Montgomery was in overall command. :lol:


The issue of the eligibility for the Clasp isn't new , it was first publicised back in 2013 : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/raf-bomber-command/10225585/Dozens-of-Second-World-War-veterans-denied-Bomber-Command-clasp.html
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Seahornet
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Re: Plea of a WW2 veteran

Post by Seahornet »

I hate to be a wet blanket here (heaven knows, our surviving veterans deserve all the recognition they can get), but the issue seems to be cut and dried. If you didn't serve in Bomber Command, then you can't be eligible for the Bomber Command Clasp. :sad:

It's too late to re-designate the Clasp to be more inclusive, but surely an equivalent decoration should exist for those bomber crews who served with equal valour in the various overseas commands? :question:
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In stature, grace and hue,
In shadowy silent distance grew the iceberg too....

Avronut
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Re: Plea of a WW2 veteran

Post by Avronut »

I thought if you flew RAF bombers for the RAF you were part of Bomber Command.

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NAM Updater
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Re: Plea of a WW2 veteran

Post by NAM Updater »

The structure is detailed in here http://www.raf.mod.uk/history/bombercommand.cfm
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flashman8
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Re: Plea of a WW2 veteran

Post by flashman8 »

signed................... :biggrin:
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Avronut
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Re: Plea of a WW2 veteran

Post by Avronut »

Thanks. According to that link 142 Squadron was part of Bomber Command.

Jimbo27
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Re: Plea of a WW2 veteran

Post by Jimbo27 »

When he flew with 142 Sqn, it wasn't part of Bomber Command. Therefore he isn't eligible.

The Bomber Command Clasp was created as a vote winner, it has nothing to do with whether or not it was fair. If the system was fair, people like this chap would be able to get a 'Mediterranean Air Force' clasp, blokes who fought in Burma would get a 'Far East Air Force' clasp, etc, etc

Traveller
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Re: Plea of a WW2 veteran

Post by Traveller »

Wow he looks great for 92. Ask him if he recalls the crash at Cunovo, Slovakia 40 sqn. WellingtonMF458 on 5.10.44. One of many that flew out of Sicily to mine the Danube and stop Romanian oil getting to Germany.

FarnboroJohn
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Re: Plea of a WW2 veteran

Post by FarnboroJohn »

Avronut wrote:I thought if you flew RAF bombers for the RAF you were part of Bomber Command.


No. Flying bombers in the Mediterranean and Far East was done under local command arrangements. In the Mediterranean that would have meant, successively or at different levels, the Desert Air Force and Mediterranean Air Command. And if you flew Spitfires in e.g. Malta you weren't part of Fighter Command, either.

Bomber Command crews got no campaign star for their efforts, thanks to Churchill and others blaming the young heroes for the slaughter at Dresden instead of shouldering the responsibility themselves as would have been just. The very belated granting of the clasp did not make up for that disgraceful behaviour.

However, war service in other theatres was recognised with campaign stars. For 35 missions flown from Italy the entitlement is to the Italy Star. It would be nice if the OP would confirm that the old gentleman does have that campaign star.

John

Avronut
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Re: Plea of a WW2 veteran

Post by Avronut »

Thanks for the explanation John, it has made it much clearer for me.

It's just a real shame that Theo would like some recognition and can't get it. Whether he was technically part of Bomber Command or not he took the same risks and would like the clasp. If he wants it and can't get it he must feel like he's being snubbed again.

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Brevet Cable
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Re: Plea of a WW2 veteran

Post by Brevet Cable »

FarnboroJohn wrote:For 35 missions flown from Italy the entitlement is to the Italy Star. It would be nice if the OP would confirm that the old gentleman does have that campaign star

From the photo in the article.....
1939-45 Star ( although it looks like the ribbon's on backwards ) , Italy Star , War Medal & Defence Medal.
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Big Dave
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Re: Plea of a WW2 veteran

Post by Big Dave »

This campaign has been going on for a few years - ever since the Bomber Command Clash was introduced. It's time the error was corrected:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/raf- ... clasp.html

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sdad
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Re: Plea of a WW2 veteran

Post by sdad »

He clearly did NOT take the same "risks", nor did those in Bomber Command take the same "risks" as him! His "risks" entitle him to the Italy Star, theirs to the Clasp. Others posting above have clearly shown how the type of aircraft you were in did not indicate the Command you were under. We have a family member who was on Liberators but he was in India.....

BTW, they're only about £3.50 on ebay (hint).

Avronut
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Re: Plea of a WW2 veteran

Post by Avronut »

sdad wrote:He clearly did NOT take the same "risks", nor did those in Bomber Command take the same "risks" as him! His "risks" entitle him to the Italy Star, theirs to the Clasp.


I understand why he isn't entitled to the Bomber Command Clasp but is entitled to the Italy Star. It is the reasoning behind the exemption which I disagree with along with 2000+ who have signed the petition. He flew into enemy territory with his comrades while under fire from enemy planes and AA. Those are the same risks as anybody who flew bombing raids for the UK. They should all receive the clasp in my opinion but obviously you disagree and I respect that.

sdad wrote:BTW, they're only about £3.50 on ebay (hint).


So I should buy him a clasp from ebay and that will put everything right. Ok. I find that remark deeply insulting.

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sdad
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Re: Plea of a WW2 veteran

Post by sdad »

Slightly thin skin there. It wouldn't put everything (ie the whole war) or anything right but there are plenty of people you see who have awarded themselves various decorations. If someone wants it, they can get it whether or not the government agrees to the award. Freedom of choice!

Avronut
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Re: Plea of a WW2 veteran

Post by Avronut »

Buying one totally defeats the object. You haven't been given it by someone who recognises your sacrifice.

Obviously we aren't going to agree so let's leave it there. I assume you don't want to sign the petition which is your choice but others might.

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