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Bomber Command to be honoured in Nation's capital.



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The Hon Alan Griffin MP Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Minister for Defence Personnel

VA032 Friday, 4 June 2010

BOMBER COMMAND TO BE HONOURED IN NATION’S CAPITAL

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel Alan Griffin will pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of Australia’s air and ground crew who served in Bomber Command, the deadliest branch of the armed services during the Second World War, on Sunday.

Mr Griffin said more than 10,000 Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) personnel served in Bomber Command—a force that made a vital contribution to the Allied victory in the Second World War.

“Although fewer than two per cent of Australia’s Second World War enlistments served in Bomber Command, more than 3,500 Bomber Command airmen were killed in action, accounting for some 20 per cent of all Australian deaths in combat,” Mr Griffin said.

“Bomber Command was the Allies’ most effective means of attacking enemy industry and supply lines and suffered the highest casualty rates of any group throughout the Second World War.”

Some 125,000 air crew served in Bomber Command during the Second World War from most parts of the British Empire, including more than 10,000 from Australia, as well as France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Czechoslovakia. Almost half of those who served were killed during the bombing campaign.

Mr Griffin will lay a wreath at the Annual Bomber Command Commemorative Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial on Sunday, to commemorate those who served and died.

The Bomber Command Memorial commemorates the service and sacrifice of more than 10,000 Australian RAAF air and ground crew who served and died in Bomber Command during the Second World War. The Memorial depicts the story of Bomber Command including a searchlight reaching the sky, aircraft flown and those who flew or maintained them.

“I encourage Australians to reflect on the important contribution of Australia’s air and ground crew who served in Bomber Command during the Second World War. Without their dedication and courage, the course of the war may have been very different,” Mr Griffin said.

The Annual Bomber Command Commemorative Ceremony will be held at the Bomber Command Memorial in the grounds of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, at 11:00 am on Sunday, 6 June 2010.

Media inquiries: Sasha Nimmo 0437 863 109 The VVCS - Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1800 011 046. To receive the Minister’s media releases automatically by email subscribe at minister.dva.gov.au/subscribe.htm