A former RAF airman who flew several bombing missions over Germany during the 2nd World War, has hit out at the Ministry of Defence after a decision was made not to award him a special clasp designed for those who served with bomber command.
88-year-old Jack Webster from New Costessy near Norwich was on a Lancaster crew but has been told he did not serve enough days to qualify for the clasp.
"It seems mean and petty to me," said Jack. "I flew on five raids over Germany, but even if I had only been on one that would surely have been enough to get one."
Earlier this year, the Government launched the clasp for those who had taken part in the air offensive during the Second World War, but stopped short of awarding a medal, as campaigners had been calling for.
Bomber Command suffered the highest casualty rate of the British Armed Forces in the Second World War, losing 55,573 of the 125,000 who served. But the MOD has attached certain criteria to who receives the clasp.
In a statement, it says:
"The Bomber Command Clasp is granted to the aircrew of Bomber Command who served for at least sixty days, or completed a tour of operations, on a Bomber Command operational unit and flew at least one operational sortie on a Bomber Command operational unit from the 3 September 1939 to the 8 May 1945 inclusive. This applies to Servicemen after they have met the minimum qualification for the 1939-45 Star, which in many cases, though not exclusively, is sixty days."
Jack Webster is taking the matter up with his MP in the hope there may be a change of heart.
"Nobody would want it if they were not entitled to it. It is just a small clasp but it is important to me because I have got nothing else that shows I served with air crew." he added.