25 May 2012
Thirty-two veterans, aged between 87 and 94, who served in the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) with Bomber Command, will attend the dedication and unveiling of the Bomber Command Memorial in London in June.
Around 6000 New Zealanders served with Bomber Command between 1939 and 1945, bombing various targets considered crucial to the war effort, as well as undertaking many other well known operations, including the Dam Busters raid.
More than 90 expressions of interest were received, however around 40 applications were subsequently withdrawn by veterans themselves as they reconsidered their ability to make such an arduous journey.
Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand General Manager, Rick Ottaway, said he was delighted to have a strong delegation of RNZAF veterans able to travel to London for the dedication and unveiling of the Bomber Command memorial on 28 June 2012.
"It’s great to see so many veterans able to travel to London to commemorate the 1,851 RNZAF servicemen who lost their lives serving with Bomber Command.
"It’s an honour to give these brave RNZAF veterans the opportunity to attend the dedication and unveiling and to allow them to share their stories.
"I acknowledge that there will be some disappointment amongst those who are not able to attend the London-based event, however we will support those veterans to attend a ceremony to acknowledge their service here in New Zealand."
To be eligible to be part of the delegation, each veteran was required to have been a member of the RNZAF and served with Bomber Command. Each veteran was medically assessed to ensure they are fit to travel and participate in the events in London.
The veterans will travel to London by RNZAF Boeing 757. All international travel, accommodation, on-ground transport, and medical costs are being funded by Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand.
The 70 metre long memorial built in London’s Green Park to honour the men of Bomber Command has been paid for by the public and benefactors.
For further information please contact Katherine O’Donnell, Media Advisor – Defence Communications Group, 04 4960296 or 021 664 293.
Attached is a list of some of the veterans confirmed to attend the Bomber Command memorial dedication and unveiling – 28 June 2012.
Veteran Town/City Age
Mr Geoffrey Bibby Havelock North 89
Sir Richard Bolt Lower Hutt 88
Mr Harold Burrows Whangaparaoa 92
Mr Maurice (Nick) Carter Hamilton 90
Mr Argyle (Bruce) Cunningham Miramar, Wellington 91
Mr John Curtis Taupo 88
Mr Kenneth (Ken) Dalzell Thames 88
Mr Clive (Estie) Estcourt Hamilton 94
Mr Trevor Guthrie Feilding 90
Mr John Hyndman Wellington 89
Mr David (Dave) Johnston Christchurch 88
Mr Hugh (Dick) Lempriere Wellington 88
Mr Ron Mayhill Auckland 88
Mr Jack Meehan Mt Maunganui 91
Mr Arnel (Arnie) Meyer Papamoa Beach 89
Mr John Morris Remuera, Auckland 88
Mr William (Bill) Petersen Te Atatu Peninsula, Auckland 90
Mr Frank Prebble St Heliers, Auckland 88
Mr Donald (Don) Riding New Plymouth 88
Mr Alan Speirs Kawerau 88
Mr Ray Tait Russell 88
Mr Jack (Waky) Wakefield Blenheim 90
Mr Maurice Wells Christchurch 93
Mr Tom Whyte Waiatarua, Auckland 87
Mr Louis (Lou) Woodward Mt Maunganui 89