Hornchurch air cadets enable war hero pay respects at Bomber Command

�He may have had one of the most dangerous jobs of the Second World War but brave Jim Fisher was “happy and emotional” to be reunited with the iconic aircraft in which he flew many terrifying missions – possibly for the last time.

And it was all thanks to the fundraising efforts of kind-hearted Havering air cadets.

Mr Fisher, 86, was a Lancaster bomber rear gunner, known as “tail-end Charlie”, during raids on Nazi Germany in which more than half of those who flew never came back.


Strapped into a freezing perspex bubble at the back of the bomber, his lonely task was to defend the rear of the plane from enemy fighters.

Sadly due to ill-health the former Flight Sergeant from Brentwood was unable to commemorate his fallen friends at the unveiling of the first official memorial to Bomber Command during the summer.

But on Saturday the boys and girls of 452 (Hornchurch) Squadron RAF air cadets made good on their promise to take him when he was better.

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The group raised more than �200 so Jim and wife Rene, could travel by taxi from the pair’s Cleves Avenue home to lay a wreath at the seven-crew statue in Green Park, West London.

But not before escorting the former undertaker to RAF Museum in Hendon, where he was reunited with the craft he calls “the old girl”.

PO Vince Ferguson, the squadron adjutant, said: “It will probably be the last time he sees a Lancaster bomber up close. Jim and his generation gave everything for our freedom and the cadets were giving something back. I was really proud of them.

“Jim proved to be an attraction himself with many asking him about his service and the Lancaster plane.

“The trip took a more solemn tone at the memorial. The Last Post was played. It was a highly emotional day – happy and emotional – and there were tears all round.”

The cadets took part in a sponsored run and swim to pay the �200 needed for the Fishers trip.