About The Victoria Cross Print Display
Things you may like to know.
In 364,514 operational sorties flown by RAF Bomber Command aircrew in WWII, hundreds of medals for gallantry were awarded – among them 24 Victoria Crosses. Here is the story of one:
Just 21, piloting a Lancaster of 61 Squadron, Bill Reid flew a raid to Düsseldorf on the night of 3 November 1943. On route his windscreen was shattered by fire from a Messerschmitt Bf 110; gun turrets and cockpit were badly damaged. Saying nothing of his multiple injuries, Reid flew on but his Lancaster was attacked again by an Fw190. His navigator was killed and wireless operator fatally wounded. Reid was wounded again, as was the flight engineer, and the Lancaster’s starboard tailplane shot away. Yet Reid carried on, released his bombs right over the target, only then setting course for home. Despite his wounds and loss of blood, Reid managed to land his plane, the undercarriage collapsing on touchdown. His wireless operator died but the rest of the crew survived. Bill Reid was awarded the Victoria Cross
Some years after he passed away in 2009, Bill Reid’s original VC medal was sold at auction for £384,000. A replica of his VC together with Bill’s original autograph is included in this commemorative Print Display.