Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 11°C

Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Ipswich: Bomber Command recognition has come far too late, says veteran

11:59 04 January 2013

Bernard Dye talks about his time during the war with the  Bomber Boys.

Bernard Dye talks about his time during the war with the Bomber Boys.

Archant

WHEN war in Europe finally came to an end in 1945, their sacrifice was largely ignored.

Of the thousands of people who served in Bomber Command, which helped bring Hitler’s war machine to its knees, about 55,000 perished.

Now, more than 65 years after the end of the Second World War, the members of Bomber Command have finally been recognised and could be in line for a new clasp, according to Prime Minister David Cameron.

But for one war veteran, the decision has come far too late.

Bernie Dye, of Lancing Avenue in Ipswich, served on 30 operations as an air gunner during the conflict, which included raids on Germany and bombing coastlines just before D-Day.

“At the time, our losses were so heavy that every time you finished an operation, you were grateful to be on terra firma,” said the 88-year-old.

“We never got a thank you, we were just forgotten. The people who survived through the war, they all knew what we did and they thanked us, but not the politicians.

“We were just snubbed after the war.

“It is too late for those we have lost and for their relatives.”

Bomber Command facts

■ At the start of the war, Bomber Command consisted of nearly 500 bombers – most of which were obsolete.

■ Lieutenant general Sir Arthur Harris was named as the commander of Bomber Command in 1942.

■ Sir Arthur developed the force, which went on to consist of about 125,000 volunteers.

■ It was involved with bombing Germany’s industrial heartland.

■ In the latter part of the war, it dropped food to areas of the Netherlands in Operation Manna.

■ 55,573 crew members died, 8,000 were injured and about 10,000 became prisoners.

■ A monument to Bomber Command was unveiled in June, 2012.

Mr Dye served at Mildenhall, 622 Squadron, for about nine months during the conflict and reached the rank of Warrant Officer – the highest rank for a non commissioned officer.

Those who served in Bomber Command were given a one in 20 chance of being killed on their raids and of the 62 men that Mr Dye served with – just 17 survived.

He said: “We lived together like families.

“We went to the sergeant’s mess morning, midday and evening, we drunk there in the evening and most of us had trained together for several months.”

“I’ve seen them come back in tears when they hear of the crews that were lost. You remember their faces and their names, it’s sad to think they never lived to enjoy a life really,” he added.

The decision to recognise the men of Bomber Command has come after a review into war medals by British diplomat, Sir John Holmes.

Those who served in the Arctic Convoys will also be recognised in the new awards but it is expected to be several months until they can finally be received.

For Mr Dye, it is a relief that the decision has been made, but his thoughts still go to his comrades.

He said: “I would accept it and I would be proud to think “at last”, but for the thousands that died, it’s too late.”

0 comments

Motorcyclist banned

A handyman has lost his driving licence after police saw him speeding on his motorbike while over the drug-drive limit.

Police have been called to a collision between a Ford Focus and a Ford Fiesta near to the Suffolk Ski Centre.

Fraudster must now pay back £183,000

The kingpin behind internet escort and debt elimination scams which fleeced £5.7million from 17,300 victims has had the amount he must pay back reduced from £750,000 to £183,000.

Sir Stanley Rous

Sir Alf Ramsey wasn’t the only Suffolk knight to have a key role in the World Cup Final of 1966.

Samuel and Darren Noller at the Eiffel Tower, Paris

A father and son cycling duo raised more than £3,000 for a Suffolk charity helping women struggling with addiction.

Team manager Alf Ramsey and trainer Harold Sheperdson (standing) watch England's victory over Germany in the 1966 World Cup

On the 50th anniversary of his greatest triumph, we are today celebrating Sir Alf Ramsey, the man who inspired both Ipswich Town and England to extraordinary levels of success and glory.

Millions of pounds are lost each year in our region due to people wasting medicines. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Suffolk health chiefs are urging people to buy their own treatments after they spent £3.4 million on “wasted medicines” in the past year.

Jubilee Meadow and Orchard, in Bredfield, near Woodbridge, received Keep Britain Tidy’s Green Flag Community Award. Planting the young orchard trees on a raw March day.

A Suffolk village will be flying the standard for top quality parks and gardens after receiving Keep Britain Tidy’s Green Flag Community Award.

The 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment marched through Woodbridge Market Hill to mark 10 years of being based just outside the town at Rock Barracks.

Crowds of people lined the streets of a Suffolk town to salute locally based soldiers.

Police are investigating

Police have been called to Thurston Road near Bury St Edmunds this evening after a bull escaped its field and onto the road.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24