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Forces War Records Blog

BOMBER COMMAND 'SNUBBED' AS MOD REJECTS MUSEUM PLAN

THE heroes of Bomber Command have been dealt an "incredible snub" after top brass refused to back a museum in their honour, it was claimed last night.

Campaigners had plans to develop the unit's last remaining airfield, RAF Bicester in Oxfordshire, into an education centre so the bravery of the 125,000 Second World War airmen could live on. But instead the 350-acre site will now be turned into a business park - and possibly housing - after the Ministry of Defence agreed a £3.2million sale with a rival bidder. Last night Dean Overton, chairman of Bomber Command Heritage Centre, said: "It looks as if this has been lost to the nation - it's an incredible snub. "There is a great longing to learn more about the brave men of Bomber Command from across the world but it's gone. A confidentiality agreement with the MoD restricted what we could say to the public and our supporters. "This effectively killed off our ability to raise larger sums needed to acquire the site despite the MoD having done little with it for years." RAF Bicester, which has been vandalised and strewn with graffiti, has 19 Grade II listed buildings. Mr Overton said campaigners had wanted to create a "valuable resource for today and a legacy for future generations". The plan was backed by local Tory MP Tony Baldry and council planners who said the site had "tourist attraction written all over it". An MoD spokesman said: "We engaged fully with all parties interested in buying the site and chose the plan which offers best value for money for the taxpayer. Much of the airfield is protected and the successful bidders plan to preserve the site and create an aviation and motoring heritage centre." Bomber Command received no official recognition for its wartime heroism for almost 70 years until the Daily Express successfully campaigned for a memorial in Green Park, central London. And last month surviving heroes received a golden clasp, worn on the ribbon of their campaign medal. Source: Express Via: Forces War records blogs.  
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