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The Hon Dan Tehan MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC

4 June 2017

75th anniversary of Bomber Command

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan said Australians would pause and reflect on the service and sacrifice of the men who served in Bomber Command as a commemorative service is held today to mark the 75th anniversary of the operation commencing.

Mr Tehan said more than 10,000 Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) personnel served with Bomber Command and almost 3,500 were killed.

The crews from Australia flew missions from Great Britain bombing targets in enemy-occupied countries during the Second World War.

“The standard tour for Bomber Command crews was 30 operations and the chances of survival averaged about 40 per cent,” Mr Tehan said

“Bombing operations carried extraordinarily high casualty rates and more than 55,000 bomber crew lost their lives.

“These men went into action knowing the odds were against them surviving a tour but they still did their duty in service of our country.

“Today we will honour that service and sacrifice and as a nation we will never forget.”

A commemorative service will be held today at the Bomber Command Memorial at the Australian War Memorial at 11am.

The Bomber Command memorial unveiled at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra in 2005 commemorates the service and sacrifice of the RAAF air and ground crew who served and died with Bomber Command during the Second World War.

Media enquiries:

Minister Tehan’s Office: Byron Vale, 0428 262 894
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 4546). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.