Before any troops even set foot on the beaches on 6 June 1944, Bomber Command had already lost almost 300 aircraft and 2,000 men (1,500 killed) attacking invasion targets. Wing Commander John Bell MBE tells us about the significant contribution made by the RAF and Bomber Command in D-Day and why this must never be forgotten.
John says: "One thing that has struck me after the campaign and reading about it and knowing what took place, I find it strange that although Bomber Command was heavily involved before D-Day and there were a lot of casualties with aircraft being shot down, there is little attention paid to their involvement and the very important part it played, and continued to play, after the army's moved eastward.
"Bomber Command was an important part of the operation behind the lines in bombing rail tunnels and other installations which would prevent the supply of reinforcements to the invasion area. I was disappointed after the war to discover that Bomber Command’s tremendous contribution to the landings had not been properly recognised.
"D-Day itself was a well planned invasion which was absolutely necessary in order to bring the war to a conclusion.
"Our involvement was terribly important for the success of the operation and to be involved was a great honour for the Squadron. Operation Taxable was a very important part of the history of major operations.
"Whether it was totally successful I don't know but we carried it out and it was a terribly difficult operation to conduct - extremely tiring for those involved, to fly so precisely at night and to effectively drop the aluminium foil – I'm proud of what we achieved."
This blog is dedicated to the 55,573 men of Bomber Command who failed to return.
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