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RAF’s 300 mile cycling challenge to honour World War 2 heroes


5/28/2024 9:47:57 AM

Charities & Wellbeing

3 mins read

SEVEN RAF cyclists cycled nearly 300 miles from the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln to a memorial near Amsterdam to commemorate the anniversary of a downed World War 2 bomber crew’s death, with each cyclist wearing a jersey that represents one of those that lost their lives. 
The trip, which was organised by the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln, culminated in a service at Castricum-an-Zee in Holland where a memorial stands at the location their bodies were recovered after washing up on the shore. 
The flight crew was led by Sqn Ldr Melvin “Dinghy” Young and played a central part in the IBCC’s ‘Men of the Dams’ art installation which featured silhouettes of the 53 men who lost their lives on the iconic Dambusters raid in 1943.  
Station Commander of RAF Digby, Wing Commander Neil Hallett said: “The history of the Dambusters’ raid is a proud part of our RAF heritage. The strong connection between RAF Digby, a former Battle of Britain site and Wing Commander Guy Gibson, Officer Commanding 617 Squadron makes this commemorative endeavour, in its 81st year, even more special. 
Nicky van der Drift, chief executive of the International Bomber Command Centre and organiser of the challenge, said: “On 16 May 1943, nineteen Lancaster aircraft from RAF’s 617 Squadron undertook a daring attack at the heart of German’s industrial complex.  
“While it was a mostly successful operation, of the 133 men who took part in it, 53 of those had to sacrifice their lives in its completion. The cyclists who took on this challenge did a remarkable thing to add to and appreciate the Dambusters’ memories, recognising their organisations, heritage and history, and we’re very proud to have worked with them.” 
The International Bomber Command Centre is open from 9:30am-5pm Tuesday to Sunday, with last entry to the Exhibition at 4pm.
For more information about the centre, or to book tickets and donate, please visit internationalbcc.co.uk

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