Below is a picture of Dick Haine, who served as a bomb aimer on a 50 Squadron Lancaster and was killed on a raid on the gun emplacements at Pointe du Hoc on the 6th June 1944, D-Day. Dick lost his life that night and is buried in Bayeux Cemetery.
Dick’s story, and that of his crew, features in my book D-Day Bombers, originally published for the 60th anniversary of D-Day, and re-issued for the 75th anniversary. Thousands of Dick’s Bomber Command colleagues were killed attacking invasion targets in preparation for the Normandy landings. Thousands more would die in support of the breakout from the beachhead and liberation of Normandy and beyond.
Let’s hope that unlike previous occasions, they are not forgotten by our mainstream media during the forthcoming 80th anniversary comemmorations, and receive at least some recognition.
At the beginning of July 1944 Commander-in-Chief of Bomber Command Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris wrote ‘There are 10,500 aircrew in my operational squadrons. In three months we have lost over half that number. They have a right that their story should be adequately told, and it is a military necessity that it should be.’