Background: Commonwealth: Canadian: Australian: New Zealand Bomber Command
The itinerary has been especially prepared and researched to cover areas in the UK where the Canadian Bomber squadrons of *No. 6 Group RCAF, (*formed on 25 October 1942 with 8 squadrons) was made up of *Article XV squadrons (*which were Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand air force squadrons formed from graduates of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan) during World War II.
A significant number of personnel from the RAF, RAAF, RNZAF and other allied forces were also attached to 6 Group during the war. The Australian RAAF Bomber Command squadrons (Royal Australian Air Force - 458, 460, 462, 463, 464, 466, 467 Squadrons) and the RNZAF (Royal New Zealand Air Force) - 6 'New Zealand' RAF Squadrons Nos. 485–489 and No. 75 Squadron – which flew more sorties than any other RAF heavy bomber unit, suffered more casualties than any other squadron, and dropped the second-largest weight of bombs - will also be part of the background of this special tour.
Of interest here also is 487 RNZAF Squadron, equipped with the brilliant new Mosquito aircraft (the 'Wooden Wonder') as an integral part of both the high-profile attack on Amiens prison to free Resistance fighters and also the audacious attack on Gestapo HQ in Copenhagen. (*As many of these RNZAF bases were in the Norfolk and Essex area, which is not in our main itinerary we intend to incorporate/integrate day visits to these areas into the main itinerary if required. (Note that many/much of the bases are now gone and only remnants of the bases remain.)
Some of the old Bomber Command airfields & areas we will plan to visit are North Yorkshire for the Canadian No. 6 bases and Lincolnshire area for several RAAF bases, (e.g. Scampton & Waddington etc.) The tour will visit the areas where these young men set off on their various missions, many never to return. A total of 814 aircraft destroyed and approximately 4,203 airmen were killed with Canadian No. 6 Bomber Command Group in WW2.
Of the 55,000 aircrew who 'failed to return' or were 'missing air operations' during World War II, 3486 were Australians serving in Bomber Command. These men represented 20% of all Australian service personnel 'killed in action' in all theatres of WW2, with RAAF 460 Squadron dropping the greatest tonnage of bombs and flying the most Lancaster sorties during the war, with 589 Australians killed serving 460 Squadron .. alone. There were also many RACF, RAAF and RNZAF men and women attached to other RAF Squadrons and establishments in various other locations in the UK.
Our tour will also - wherever possible - take a flexible itinerary approach to try and include areas that participants have a special connection to or with, such as family members who flew from that base or area in the war. Whilst we cannot guarantee we can include each individual tour participants special request for this, we will endeavour to do all possible to facilitate this service. We also will provide – as part of the tour – a *FULL Family History research dossier on each client's family member(s). (*Wherever possible).
*Note that we *may* change the various days itinerary whilst touring the old Bomber Command airfield areas – either prior to departure or whilst on tour - but only with the full agreement of all tour participants.