On December 13th 2017 Bomber Command Commemorative Association – Victoria held a Christmas luncheon at the Toorak Services Club.
From left Paul Dipnall, chairman, Gerald McPherson, Arthur Atkins DFC, Bill Rudd, Jack Bell, Jan Dimmick, vice-chair.
Hosted by Club president Mike Fogarty the luncheon was the idea of our vice-chair Jan Dimmick where a small number of World War 2 veterans and their partners/carers were invited to join us to recognise their service and to celebrate the end of the year.
Among those present were two centenarians and one who was about to have his 100th birthday, it was a remarkable gathering.
Centenarian Arthur Atkins DFC served in the RAAF during the war as a pilot of a Lancaster of 625 Squadron. He flew a tour of 31 operational sorties and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Jack Bell who turns 100 on December 20th 2017 was a wireless operator who was shot down in a Bristol Bombay North Africa. He was badly injured in the crash and spent the rest of the war as a prisoner, first of the Italians and then the Germans.
While in an Italian prison camp Jack met Army private Bill Rudd who was also serving in North Africa when he was captured in 1941.
Gerald McPherson was a tail gunner on Lancasters with 186 Squadron and served a tour of 38 operational sorties.
It was our privilege to hold this event to thank these brave men.