BBMF – RAF Bomber Command Memorial
On Thursday 28 June, a flypast by the Lancaster of BBMF marked the unveiling of the RAF Bomber Command Memorial by Her Majesty The Queen in Green Park, London. On board the Lancaster was Sqn Ldr Ron Clark DFC, the captain of the original 100 Squadron Phantom of the Ruhr, who joined the crew to carry out a poppy drop over the unveiling and dedication ceremony. After the flight and successful poppy drop, Sqn Ldr Clarke was visibly delighted that he had been on board. It was 67 years ago when Sqn Ldr Clarke was last in a Lancaster – he led the VJ-Day commemorative fly past over London. Sqn Ldr Clarke donated his original flying jacket to the flight some time ago, amazingly after 67 years is still fitted him and he wore it on the day! OC BBMF, Sqn Ldr Ian Smith, congratulated Sqn Ldr Clarke on his trip and presented him with a bottle of vintage Taittinger champagne from all at the RAF BBMF.
The crew that flew with Sqn Ldr Clarke on the poppy drop sortie was delighted to have his company on the day. They were, left to right – Sqn Ldr Russ Russell – Navigator, MACR Brendan O’Sullivan – Flight Engineer, Flt Lt Roger Nichols – Captain, Flt Lt Loz Rushmere – Co-Pilot, Sqn Ldr Ron Clark DFC – Poppy Release Operator.
Two very poignant comments were made during the day, Sqn Ldr Russ Russell on his radio transmission to Air Traffic Control said “10 POB (people on board) with 55573 souls.”
Later as the poppies were released, Ron said “Lest We Forget” which was echoed by the rest of the crew on board.