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Opened in January 2018, the International Bomber Command Centre was established to preserve the stories and experiences of the thousands of British and Allied servicemen and women who served during the war, as well as the civilians affected by the bombing campaign.
The International Bomber Command Centre is a charity institution supervised by the Lincolnshire Bomber Command Memorial Trust. The centre includes a spacious historical exhibition, library, and research facilities. Outside the main building are the Peace Garden and the Memorial Spire, made of corten steel. The dimensions of the Spire correspond to the dimensions of the wings of an Avro Lancaster bomber – the principal combat aircraft used by the Bomber Command. The Spire is surrounded by walls listing the names of nearly 60,000 airmen who died during the bombing campaign, a poignant testimony to the price paid by those who fought in the skies over Europe.
The Centre is working with the University of Lincoln to create a Digital Archive preserving and documenting oral testimonies, photographs and personal effects of former airmen and civilians affected by bombings. These collections are available online without any charge.
As the bombing campaign has often been criticized from a moral standpoint, the enormous sacrifice of the bomber crews who fought against Nazi tyranny needs to be recognized. Merging this with the aim to also preserve the experiences of the victims of air raids may be an important step towards reconciliation and renewal of peace efforts.
The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre was opened to the public in 1998 on an original WWII airfield in Lincolnshire, England. The centrepiece of the museum is the Avro Lancaster NX611 ‘Just Jane’, one of three working Lancasters worldwide. Other aircraft, military vehicles and a large private collection of wartime photographs are on display in the museum exhibitions.