…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.
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.
John Henry Meller…
On leaving the RAF in 1950 John joined the Metropolitan Police becoming a Detective Inspector at Scotland Yard. He was involved in cases such as the Kray twins, the Great Train Robbery and many major Post Office and Treasury Department frauds.
At 95 John is currently occupied writing his second book ‘On the Beat with Only One Shoe’ with the help of his daughter and co-author Caroline.
...is John's daughter and co-author.
After qualifying with an Airline Pilot Transport Licence (ATPL), Caroline flew commercially for 20 years, finishing her career as an Airline Captain for British Regional Airlines at Cardiff Airport. Caroline says she only became an Airline Pilot because her father John forgot to pick her up from college one day – but that’s a whole other story!
She now works full time along with her daughter Stephanie running their own Livery Stables from their small holding in South Wales.