The Boy With Only One Shoe:
An illustrated memoir of wartime life with Bomber Command
by John Henry Meller
55,573 .... is the number of Royal Air Force Bomber Command aircrew who lost their lives during World War 2. That's more than the total who serve in Britain's RAF today.
With a terrifying 46% combat attrition rate, an Avro Lancaster Bomber was one of the most dangerous places to be during the conflict. Yet no one was enlisted to become aircrew: all were volunteers. So, at a time when Britain stood resolute in its fight against tyranny and oppression, young men from across the globe did just that.
At just 18 years old, John Henry Meller was one such man.
The ordeals and sacrifices endured by John and his generation were crucial to the success of the Allied nations.
In the words of Winston Churchill, Great Britain's wartime leader:
"Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands ...... Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and the Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, "This was their finest hour."
As few remain to bear witness to that time, John - together with daughter Caroline Brownbill - have chosen to document his vivid recollections of wartime life.
Join him as he shares what it was like to crew a Lancaster over Europe, during the darkest days of the War.
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