One of Queenstown’s oldest war veterans says travelling to London’s Bomber Command Memorial unveiling will help give him closure.
Jock Boyd, 92, is one of 32 Royal New Zealand Air Force veterans flying to England this week for the dedication at Green Park on June 28.
“It means a lot to go back and dedicate that memorial,” he says.
Two days later Boyd will attend the 70th anniversary of his No.75 Squadron base at Mepal, near Cambridge.
“I’m looking forward to meeting up with other veterans. It’ll be a sort of final round-up,” Boyd says.
Boyd was a wireless operator and air gunner with Bomber Command, which ran bombing missions over Germany during World War II.
“When you see the results of the concentration camps, it makes you feel you were justified in giving the Germans a taste of their own bloody medicine,” Boyd says.
Of about 125,000 Bomber Command aircrew, 55,573 were killed – including 1851 out of about 6000 New Zealanders.
Boyd also served in Coastal Command, including a posting in Iceland, and worked on radar maintenance.
On Victory in Europe Day, 1945, he says: “I drank a lot of whisky.”
Boyd was to be posted to Burma, with Japan still in the war – but it ended after the atomic bomb was dropped.
Before flying out this week, he and wife Jean celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.