When the late Dambusters pilot Les Munro sold his precious medals to help maintain the Bomber Command Memorial we were inundated with messages of thanks from all over the world, which we turned into a book of gratitude. On a recent visit to the UK, Les's son Graeme told us how deeply touched his father would have been by so many messages.
It's always an honour to visit the UK, where I know my father is held in such high regard. My wife and I were attending the annual 617 Squadron Association dinner, which is attended by Association members and this year by several of the children of crew who were on the Dams raids.
My father was delighted that his medals raised vast amounts for the Memorial and its maintenance; he always wanted something to be done to ensure it was maintained and not a financial burden for future generations.
He would have been truly humbled by all the messages of thanks, which demonstrated the level of support for all those who took part in the Dam's raids and for all the Bomber Squadrons. Being a humble man he would have said the support was for all the airmen of Bomber Command, not just him and for all of those who did not return, and their dependants.
I am touched that so many people from around the world were moved to send messages of thanks to my father and honoured that they remembered him and all of those brave men who sacrificed so much. Some of the messages will be included in a display at the Mount Maunganui Returned Servicemen's Association building in our home town, along with an image of a Lancaster, similar to the one flown by my father – another tribute he would have been overwhelmed by.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to write a message and to all those who keep the memory of the Bomber Boys alive.