Link to Bomber Command site, including Statistics.
Another excellent link to Bomber Command sites.
Please switch on your speakers.(Recording courtesy of BBC Archives).
Early in 1942 I was posted onto operations. I first had to undergo a short course on Oxfords. On completion, I was posted to a Wellington Operational Training unit at RAF Wellesbourne - Mountford, where my Wing Comander Flying was the late Air Commodore Hughie Edwards V.C. and my instuctor was Squadron Leader Peter Cairnes D.F.C At the end of this course Squadron Leader Cairnes informed me that I was to carry out an operation as captain with my own crew, consisting of the grand lot of S.N.C.O.s that I had been training with (3 Canadians: Nav. Sgt. John Patterson; W.O.P. Sgt. Frank Linklater; Bomb Aimer Sgt. D. Hall - 1 Rhodesian: Rear Gunner Sgt. Ken Wilman - and 2 Brits: Engineer Sgt. Frank Gissing and Mid Upper Gunner Sgt. Collins). [My son, Peter, who was now over a year old, also accompanied me on every flight in a photo that I carried inside my flight jacket]. This operation was to be carried out from a different aerodrome - RAF Pershaw, near Stratford-on-Avon. My Wellington was moved to RAF Pershaw and we were briefed for the operation; the very first One-Thousand Bomber raid. It was on the German city of
Cologne and was to give the enemy a taste of the suffering imposed on our own cities - London, Coventry, Liverpool, Southampton, Bristol, Plymouth, etc. It was carried out satisfactorily and we returned safely, although we did nearly collide with another aircraft over the target as we were running in to release our bomb load.