The service and sacrifice of RAAF personnel who served in Royal Air Force Bomber Command in WWII – as part of RAAF or Commonwealth squadrons – were commemorated at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra on 4 June.
CAPTION: Air Chief Marshal (retd) Sir Angus Houston, Ron Houghton, President of the Bomber Command Association of Australia, Bert Adams, Max Barry and Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Robert Chipman at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra. Story by Squadron Leader Bruce Chalmers. Photo by Leading Aircraftman Ryan Howell.
Combat losses in Bomber Command were spread over more than 100 operational squadrons, including the RAAFs eight squadrons and those Australians who served in other Commonwealth squadrons.
This year, three RAAF members who returned after the war attended the commemoration as they have done for more than 80 years.
Ron Houghton, who flew with RAF’s 102 Squadron, Max Barry, who flew with RAAF’s 463 Squadron, and FLGOFF Bert Adams, who flew with RAAF’s 467 Squadron, attended to remember colleagues and friends who served with Bomber Command.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston accompanied the veterans at the ceremony.
Dr Houghton was attached to 102 Squadron RAF at Poklington, Warwickshire, flying Halifaxes before transferring to Supermarine Spitfires.
“It’s one of those things that seems odd at first, bomber to fighter, but my role in the Spitfire was purely a training role,” Dr Houghton said.
“My job was to play the role of Luftwaffe fighters during training for bomber crews, undertaking an attack profile to train bomber crews to be ready for fighter attack on missions.
“The Spitfire was the best aircraft I have ever flown.”
460 Squadron again supported the Commemoration with attendance, among others, by 462 Squadron and 464 Squadron, which also have proud histories of supporting Bomber Command in WWII.
Before the commemoration at the AWM on 4 June, the Last Post Ceremony featured the story of a Bomber Command RAAF member, Pilot Officer James Allan Kerby, who flew with 460 Squadron and had at least one flight on the AWM’s ‘G for George’ Lancaster aircraft.
The reading on the day was done by Wing Commander Mary Anne Whiting.
CAPTION: The courtyard and the Pool of Reflection at The Australian War Memorial for the Bomber Command Last Post ceremony, Canberra. Photo by Leading Aircraftman Ryan Howell.