This Saturday (the 17th August), exactly 70 years after RAF Bomber Command aircrews carried out the famous Peenemünde raid, a seven-man 'crew' will carry out a sponsored walk in memory of the 243 men who lost their lives in the famous raid.
Representing a seven-man Bomber Command bomber crew, the team will carry out the sponsored 20 mile walk from the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede to the Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park.
The courageous raid involved 596 aircraft, manned by over 4,000 airmen, and the target was the German V-weapon research station at Peenemünde. It proved one of the most significant and dramatic attacks carried out by RAF aircrews during the Second World War. The devastating bombardment seriously delayed Nazi V2 rocket development.
Headed up by historian Steve Darlow, of Fighting High Publishing, the group is raising funds for the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, in support of the Bomber Command Memorial, in Green Park London.
Steve, who's grandfather served with the RAF Bomber Command as a pilot during the Second World War, said: "I was looking for a way to commemorate what I consider to be one of the most, if not the most important, Bomber Command operation of the Second World War. The attack proved a to be a significant success, seriously disrupting German secret weapon development but sadly there were many casualties.
In that one night we lost over forty bombers and sadly 243 brave young men were killed.
"I also wanted to raise funds for the long overdue Bomber Command Memorial, for which the RAF Benevolent Fund has taken guardianship. A fundraising walk came to mind and the notion of conducting the walk overnight, matching the operational hours of the crews, began to develop."
The other people taking part in the walk are Martin Wintermeyer who served for 16 years as a navigator with the RAF; Tiny Russell who joined the RAF in 1987 and served as an Assistant Air Traffic Controller with the Harrier Force; Air Cadet Michael Wintermeyer; Hayden McEwen who has served in both the New Zealand Army as infantry and military police, and in the RAF Police for over 15 years; Steve Temple who joined the RAF in 1982 and served for 15 years in the RAF Regiment and ex-RAF personnel Howard Warburton.
The team will be joined by a Bomber Command veteran involved in the original Peenemünde Raid, Flight Lieutenant George Dunn DFC. Mr Dunn, will be there as the walker set off and greet them at the Bomber Command Memorial in time for breakfast.
The walk, approximately 20 miles, will start on Saturday 17 August 1943 at 8.28 p.m. (exactly the time when the first aircraft took off from the raid - a No. 90 Squadron Stirling). The aim is to arrive at the Bomber Command Memorial at 5.53 a.m. on Sunday 18th August (exactly the time the last aircraft landed - a No. 419 Squadron Halifax).
To sponsor this event please visit Steve Darlow's JustGiving donation page.
Or Text PNMD70 £5 to 70070 to donate £5.