Monday, 15 December 2014

Bomber Command Veteran recognised as daughter presented with campaign medals

Pic with Flt Lt Mike Barton, Cllr Susan Loudon,
Kenneth Talbot and June Talbot
A special presentation ceremony was held on Friday, 12th December to honour the contribution and sacrifice of Sgt Gerard Joseph Talbot.

Alongside Deputy Mayor of Wigan, Cllr Susan Loudon we presented Sgt Talbot’s daughter, June Talbot with four campaign medals awarded to Sgt Talbot for his service with 99 Squadron during WWII (part of the famous Bomber Command) in the presence of Flt Lt Mike Barton, Sergeant Mike Bevan and Chief Technician Andrew ‘Ruby’ Murray of 99 Squadron who had travelled to Wigan from RAF Brize Norton to honour Sgt Talbot.

Sgt Talbot's younger brother Kenneth was also in attendance.

Sgt Talbot’s family had never received his campaign medals and this led me to make representation to the MOD on behalf of Mrs Talbot following a conversation with Mr David Williams of the local Royal British Legion Branch in March 2013. Following due process the campaign medals were issued to my office in November 2014.

The medals awarded were are as follows:

1939-45 Star
War Medal 1939-45
Aircrew Europe Star
Bomber Command Clasp

Sgt Talbot was a rear gunner with 99 Squadron and the crew of the Wellington Bomber were lost without trace on the return from a sortie to Berlin on 9th May 1941.

On 8 September 1939, No 99 Squadron entered WWII with the first of many leaflet-dropping missions over Germany. The first bombing raids were launched on 17 April 1940 during the German invasion of Norway. European bombing operations continued until January 1942.

I am pleased to have played a small part in securing Sgt Talbot’s campaign medals for his daughter, June and I know that she is very proud of her father and his service to his country.

It was a long time to wait, but I know that today means a lot to the family and to today’s 99 Squadron who made the journey from RAF Brize Norton to honour and commemorate their fallen comrade.

Granada Reports ran the remarkable story of Sgt Talbot on its Friday bulletin. You can view the video here.

Sgt Gerard Joseph Talbot, aged 22 was killed in action returning from a sortie to Berlin on 9th May 1941. Sgt Talbot was part of the 99 Squadron of Bomber Command and was a rear gunner flying on the famous Wellington Bomber.

The son of Joseph and Elizabeth Talbot he left a wife, Belinda Park Talbot of Wigan. He was born on 28th April 1919.

Sgt Talbot is remembered with honour at the Runnymede Memorial in Surrey. The Air Forces Memorial commemorates by name over 20,000 airmen who were lost in the Second World War during operations from bases in the United Kingdom and North and Western Europe, and who have no known graves. They served in Bomber, Fighter, Coastal, Transport, Flying Training and Maintenance Commands, and came from all parts of the Commonwealth.

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