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Tributes paid to Bomber Command veteran Gordon Mellor

Staff and trustees at the RAF Benevolent Fund were saddened to hear about the passing of Bomber Command veteran Gordon Mellor.

Mr Mellor was among a group of RAF veterans who campaigned tirelessly to see a lasting memorial built to the brave men of Bomber Command, determined that their legacy would never be forgotten.

Following years of fundraising the Bomber Command Memorial was officially opened in London's Green Park by Her Majesty The Queen in 2012.

Gordon Mellor

Gordon flew as a navigator during the Second World War and was flying in a Halifax bomber when he had a close encounter with the enemy, and was forced to jump from his burning plane.

He and his crew mates had been called upon to target the German city of Aachen but were anticipating bad weather to ground the mission. It was given the go ahead nonetheless and they set off. Once over Aachen the skies cleared and the crew were treated to an extraordinary Northern Lights display.

Sadly shortly after their bombs were dropped, flying in between the low level and high level flak, the Halifax was targeted by an Me10. The pilot took out the rear gunner and his cannon fire set light to the engines, leaving the crew no option but to bail out.

Just five of the eight-man crew survived the crash. Gordon landed in a tree and was smuggled back to London along various evasion lines, arriving on his birthday, 1 November. Four others were taken captive.

Speaking of the Bomber Command Memorial, Mr Mellor said: "The Memorial recognises the input of the youth of our country and our Allies in times of emergency. It is a symbol not only of the casualties, which were very high, but of all who took part.

"The war was thrust upon them. They didn't have a say in it. At the end of the war the armchair people came out and were quite derogatory about the effort of Bomber Command. The balance is being put right."

Gordon will be remembered by the Fund as a wonderful supporter, giving up his time to go along to book signings at air shows and attend Bomber Command Memorial events. Our thoughts are with Mr Mellor's family at this time.

If you would like to learn more, visit the Bomber Command Memorial website.

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