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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 March 2008, 11:05 GMT
Airman calls for bomber memorial
Memorial stone
A Bomber Command plaque is located at Lincoln Cathedral
A former prisoner of war has called for a monument to Bomber Command airmen who died in World War II.

A total of 55,000 air crew lost their lives in the air raids, many of whom were from RAF stations in Lincolnshire.

RAF Flight Lieutenant John Nichol, who was shot down and tortured by Iraqis in 1991, said a national memorial was needed to honour the war heros.

He is supporting a campaign by the Bomber Command Association to build a 2m memorial in London or Lincolnshire.

Firebomb attacks

Flight Lieutenant Nicol was a navigator on a Tornado during the first Gulf War when he was shot down and captured.

They took the war to the heart of Germany when nobody else could
RAF Flight Lieutenant John Nichol

"It was a dreadful experience for seven weeks - but some of the Bomber Command guys were prisoners of war for four or five years.

"My experience pales into insignificance compared to the sacrifice they made."

"I think it is incredibly important to recognise the sacrifice of the men of Bomber Command during the Second World War - they had one of the most dangerous jobs of all the formed military units with a casualty rate of over 50%," Mr Nicol said.

"They went out night after night putting their lives on the line.

"They took the war to the heart of Germany when nobody else could.

"Bomber Command was fighting the war in Germany when nobody else was."

A memorial was unveiled at Lincoln Cathedral to honour Bomber Command in 2006, but the Peace Pledge Union said at the time that commemorating the deaths of large numbers of people was not appropriate in the modern age.

The bombing raids included one of Britain's most controversial actions of the war, the firebombing of cities such as Dresden, which many critics of the memorial regard as a crime against humanity.



SEE ALSO
1991: Tornado down
09 Jan 03 |  17
Bombing crews unveil war memorial
27 Aug 06 |  Lincolnshire
Pacifists oppose bomber memorial
25 Aug 06 |  Lincolnshire
'Bomber county' to get memorial
24 Aug 06 |  Lincolnshire
Veterans call for bomber memorial
19 Nov 05 |  Lincolnshire

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