War veterans have paid tribute to the ‘Bomber boys’ who lost their lives during operations.
The Wings museum in Balcombe held a fundraising event to honour the fallen on Saturday September 15, raising £874 for the RAF Benevolent fund.
Veterans of RAF Bomber Command arrived to witness an original 1943 Rolls Royce Merlin XX Halifax engine in action after it was restored after recovery from a bog in Germany in 2010.
Daniel Hunt, museum curator said: “The event was a huge success and there are already plans to do another next spring.
“It was a huge honour having the veterans and we hope in some small way we have kept alive the memory of the 55,573 airman that gave their lives during World War Two.
“The efforts of Bomber Command undoubtedly made a huge contribution to the success of D-Day on the June 6, 1944, and later dropped food to the starving Dutch people during Operation Manna. “
The Halifax engine was excavated by German authorities in 2010 before being returned to England.
This engine known as the “Bomber Command Memorial Merlin” is now a living tribute to all bomber crews who were lost during operations.
A spokesman for the museum said: “What an amazing day we had yesterday with the bomber boys and the first run of our merlin engine from Halifax bomber JD150. The engine run was made extra special as the engine was started by George Dunn DFC, before the engine run commenced Mr Dunn read out the names of the crew from JD150 that sadly lost there lives the night the aircraft crashed.”