Page last updated at 20:35 GMT, Friday, 25 April 2008 21:35 UK

Luftwaffe pilot apologies to city

Willi Schludecker as a young pilot, and in 2008
Ex-Luftwaffe pilot Willi Schludecker has returned to apologise

A German pilot who dropped bombs on Bath in 1942 has told a memorial service he is sorry for what he did.

Willi Schludecker, an 87-year-old former Luftwaffe pilot said when he joined he just wanted to fly.

Herr Schludecker thanked the audience and the city for the warm reception he had received during his visit.

Chris Kilmister, who also lost his grandparents in the blitz said it had been a "very very emotional time" organising the event.

'Really welcome'

He said: "I'm very proud he's come to do this and I'm proud we are going to give him this reception.

"It's obvious he is really welcome. This service is going to go down in history. The interest is unbelievable - it's worldwide."

The Luftwaffe reputedly carried out the bombing of English cultural centres - Bath, York, Exeter and Canterbury - in revenge for the British raids on picturesque Lubeck and Rostock.

It is believed the Germans were furious the towns, which they regarded as tourism sites rather than military targets, had been wrecked.

In retaliation, officers chose attractive English destinations to bomb, after consulting the popular Baedeker holiday guidebook.




SEE ALSO
Luftwaffe pilot sorry for bombing
23 Apr 08 |  Somerset
WWII pilot to apologise to city
28 Mar 08 |  Somerset

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