Sussex

Bomber Command monument airlifted to Beachy Head

  • 26 June 2012
  • From the section Sussex
Media captionThe granite monument is being installed on the headland which would have been one of the last sights many airmen saw

A six-tonne memorial to the men who died serving with Bomber Command has been airlifted to Beachy Head by an RAF Chinook helicopter.

More than 55,000 men from Bomber Command were lost during World War II.

The granite monument is being installed on the headland which would have been one of the last sights many airmen saw as they flew out over East Sussex.

The project has been organised by 90-year-old Joseph Williams, a gunner on a Lancaster bomber which was shot down.

Mr Williams, who joined the RAF in 1944 aged 21, started the campaign for the memorial in 2008. Eastbourne Borough Council granted planning permission in February 2011.

'Saw them die'

He said: "When you fly with people in danger you are very proud to be one of them.

"We saw them die, we saw them make their sacrifice and they died terrible deaths.

"You don't treat that lightly - you remember it all your life."

Thousands of people signed a petition in support of the monument, including the broadcaster David Dimbleby, whose father was a war correspondent.

The helicopter, which left RAF Odiham in Hampshire, airlifted the two-piece memorial and a crane being used to erect the monument.

More on this story

Around the BBC

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites