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Published on: 20 March 2012
A bronze wreath, which will form part of the design of the Bomber Command Memorial currently under construction in Green Park, has arrived in London today by Chinook helicopter at the RAF Museum.
The wreath, which was designed by Bomber Command veteran C J Dudley DFC in his home town of Adelaide, Australia, has travelled to the UK courtesy of the Royal Australian Air Force and the Royal Air Force. C J Dudley flew 39 sorties as a navigator flying Halifax bombers with 578 Squadron. After D-Day in June 1944, he took part in one operation where a large store of V1 flying bombs was destroyed.
The wreath was transported from Australia to the Middle East by the Royal Australian Air Force and handed over to the RAF who flew it onwards to the UK in a C17 aircraft of Number 99 Squadron, appropriately reflecting the close wartime relationship between the two Air Forces. It was delivered to the RAF Museum by a Chinook of Number 18(B) Squadron RAF - both 18(B) and 99 Squadrons flew with Bomber Command during the Second World War.
The wreath will be displayed in the Museum’s Bomber Hall from Monday 2nd April until it is installed at the Memorial in central London this summer. The Bomber Command Memorial will be Dedicated and Unveiled at a ceremony in Green Park on 28th June at an event which will be attended by veterans of Bomber Command and relatives of the 55,573 who gave their lives in Bomber Command in World War Two.
When questioned about the wreath C J Dudley DFC stated: ‘’If I had any deeper thoughts about my design it would be concerned not so much with the many thousands of young men who died, which is beyond comprehension, except for the one fine friend that I knew, but with the individual friends of my schooldays who did not return: of what they would have achieved if they had lived, and of the loving families, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, wives, children and girlfriends, who would never fully recover from their loss. I just hope that the arms of the wreath will be seen by those on earth, and those above, as reaching out in an embrace of eternal devotion. I give thanks for the quite remarkable help and guidance that has been with me all the way, including that of my wife and daughter, without whom nothing could have happened. ‘’
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