Brave heroes deserve proper medals

I'm throwing my voice behind calls for proper recognition of the efforts made by the Dambusters during World War 2.

During a recent event at the Avro Heritage Museum in Woodford to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Dambuster raids, former Mayor Cllr Linda Holt and I met WW2 Squadron Leader George Leonard "Johnny" Johnson and heard a fascinating first-hand account of the bravery of the entire squadron, as they carried out some of the most dangerous airborne campaigns of the war.

The Avro Lancaster WW2 bomber used during the raids was constructed mostly in Greater Manchester, and modified at Avro’s factory in Woodford so it could accommodate the “Bouncing Bomb” dropped by the Dambusters.

Bomber Command veterans were previously awarded a clasp to add to their medal which all WW2 veterans received for their service in combat, however there have been growing calls for Bomber Command veterans to receive a medal in their own right.

It was an absolute pleasure and an honour to have the chance to meet Johnny Johnson at the commemoration of the Dambuster raids. To hear about the dangers the Dambusters faced and how they carried out their task with such bravery was awe-inspiring, and there is huge support for Bomber Command veterans to have a medal of their own.

There is a fantastic team the Avro Heritage Museum who have worked hard to build up a brilliant display which is a tribute to our local history and it is well worth a visit.