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Updated: 7th January 2019 09:46

Bomber Command honoured for first time in London

Airmen who were part of the WWII Bomber Command are, for the first time, being formally honoured today in London.

Memorial will feature metal from Nanton Bomber Command Museum plane

A national memorial was dedicated to the airmen of Bomber Command today in London. 2:48

Airmen who were part of the WWII Bomber Command are, for the first time, being formally honoured today in London.

A memorial, to be dedicated by the Queen, will pay tribute to the tens of thousands of airmen who were killed 70 years ago as part of the controversial RAF Bomber Command.

The memorial has a special connection to this province.

Aluminum ingots, or blocks, have been melted down from a Halifax aircraft recovered from the bottom of a Belgian swamp. The bodies of three Canadians were still in it.

The ingots have been stored in the air museum in Nanton, Alta., for years.

A load of ingots will be pressed into sheets to cover the new memorial.

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Military historians have long said Bomber Command airmen have not received the recognition they deserve.

Ten thousand Canadian airmen were killed in the command, many just teenagers.

"I think a lot of vets felt left out," says Bob Evans, the curator of Nanton’s Bomber Command Museum of Canada.

The Bomber Command's legacy is a controversial one. They flattened German cities, killing, by some estimates, more than a half a million German civilians.

"It was just what you had to do," says 89-year-old Bill Hume.

Hume says at the end of the war he was waved off.

"Well, they just called you up and they said there's your paper, you got a suit and 20 pounds and you were on your way. Tata, thank you."

The tail gunner says he isn't one for war stories.

He says he's pleased there's a new memorial, but that's it.

"It's gone, it's past memories, don't you think so?"

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