Plymouth Bomber Command veteran says clasp is not worth metal it's on.
A VETERAN of Bomber Command has decried the clasp honour being awarded to the World War Two 'bomber boys' as an "insult".
Ivor Foster, from Plymstock, has called on surviving veterans and MPs to support him in a last-ditch fight for a medal.
Now his battle is being backed by MP Gary Streeter, who has pledged to go back to the Government and continue the fight for a medal.
Mr Foster, a father of two, flew in 16 bombing raids between 1944 and 1945 as a mid-upper gunner in a Lancaster plane – aged just 19.
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For the last few years he has been fighting for a Bomber Command medal, even lobbying Mr Streeter.
But after the Government announced a clasp to affix to the 1939 to 1945 Star, the former Warrant Officer says he is "disgusted".
"For them to offer us a clasp is an insult," the 87-year-old said.
"All the old 'Bomber Boys' are disgusted to think it's a clasp.
"The Arctic Convoys boys get a medal, and rightly so, but why don't we?
"I think I speak for a lot of us in saying they can keep the clasp.
"It's not worth the metal it's on."
Mr Streeter, said he was "disappointed" that veterans were unhappy.
"When the Government announced the clasp, I thought it was good news for the veterans of Bomber Command but I am disappointed that some veterans are dissatisfied," he said.
"There's no point us doing this if we don't have the veterans with us so I will go back to the Government immediately and ask for the medal."
Mr Foster said his seven-man crew were "like brothers". On one occasion, their Lancaster was hit by shrapnel from an enemy shell which sliced through the plane and its rear turret.
They dropped bombs, sometimes weighing 4,000lbs, on the Rhine town of Gelsenkirchen and the Ruhr Valley at the height of Bomber Command's war.
In a book written by Mr Foster's pilot, Philip Gray, the raids were described as the journey to "hell and back".
But Winston Churchill "snubbed" them in what has been referred to as a political move following the heavy bombing and civilian casualties in Dresden.
In his post-war speech, the then PM highlighted the vital contributions of every service but Bomber Command.
Of those 125,000 carrying out the bomber offensive, almost half died.
"What people forget is we gave up our youth; there's no two ways about it," Mr Foster added.
"We were only boys and we were flying these planes."
Mr Foster is now appealing to MPs and Bomber Command veterans to meet in Plymouth in the hope others will follow the lead in a last-ditch attempt to get a medal for the Bomber Boys.
"There is already a die cast for the medal so there's no cost for that.
"If this [meeting] happens in one city it could happen in other cities."
Mr Foster received a letter from Mr Streeter on Friday informing him of the clasp and how he can apply for it.
But the former police sergeant added: "I'm extremely disappointed in the way our Government is treating us.
"I think it's diabolical that people who want it are even forced to apply for it."
Mr Foster said the one raid that stood out the most was the dispatch of 1,050 bombers to Essen, Germany, on March 11, 1945.
He said it was the "most wonderful" sight to see so many aircraft flying in formation off Portsmouth.
To qualify for the Bomber Command Clasp veterans must already have received the 1939 to 1945 Star with the additional requirement to have flown at least one operational sortie with a Bomber Command unit.
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