The plight of boys starving and undernourished in the workhouses of 18th century England was made famous by this line in Charles Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist. It certainly was a different time back then to the one experienced by most of us today in our own upbringing. Vic Henderson a young Aussie navigator flying in Great Britain with Bomber Command in the Second World War however can certainly relate to the heartache of knowing people are suffering without food and supplies.
The momentous events of the Allied campaign in Europe; D-Day, the Dam Busters Raid and Operation Market Garden, the raid into Arnhem land designed to bring a rapid end to the war which many of us know as “A Bridge too Far” would be familiar and stand out as heroic activities.
Vic Henderson today is a quiet unassuming gentlemen and if you are at one of the many activities run by the sub-branch take a moment to say hello and chat with Vic and you will immediatley form the same opinion of this charming WWII veteran. While Vic certainly did his “bit” flying bombing missions over the hostile skies of Germany and has many memories of their dreaded Messherschmidt ME109 fighter plane, it is the missions dropping food supplies to the Dutch towards the end of the war which mean the most to him
As the Allies pushed ahead with Operation Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge developed in the Ardennes forest, the people of Holland were starving due to the Germans allocating all resources to their own people and war effort. It was in this dark moment of the war that Vic took part in humanitarian “bombing” missions, dropping supplies to the Dutch to sustain them until the day they were able to be liberated.
On our website you will find a collection of videos and photos from ANZAC Day this year and among them an extraordinary interview with Vic, recounting his memories from that time
“Lest We Forget”