Museums support medals decision
Les Munro wanted to auction his medals to raise funds for maintaining the memorial.
MOTAT, the Auckland War Memorial Museum, the Air Force Museum in Christchurch and the Otago Museum are working together to support WWII Bomber Command veteran Les Munro to determine if there is a way that his personal wishes can be fulfilled while retaining his precious WWII medals and memorabilia in their public collections within New Zealand.
The museums respect the decision Mr Munro has made, to offer his medals for auction to raise funds for the upkeep of the Bomber Command Memorial in London, and have been discussing a number of options to achieve the best outcome for all.
Leading these discussions is Michael Frawley, MOTAT CEO, who says, “We have a deep admiration for Mr Munro’s altruistic aims and we hope to work with him to realise these. Our primary goal is that Mr Munro is fully supported throughout this process, whatever the outcome may be.
“The huge contribution Mr Munro, his colleagues and the entire Bomber Command made to WWII cannot be emphasised enough and our museums will continue to highlight their valour, commitment and sacrifice.”
Les Munro is the last surviving pilot to have taken part in the famous 617 Squadron Operation Chastise, popularly called the Dam Busters raid, in May 1943. The museums are supported by organisations such as the RSA and NZ Bomber Command Association.
As Aviation News goes to press, Mr Munro has accepted Lord Ashcroft’s to donate £75,000 to the RAF Benevolent Fund. In addition, auctioneer Dix Noonan Webb has elected to waive all its fees and out of pocket
expenses on the understanding that MOTAT, where the medals will go on display, makes a further donation of £10,000 to the charity.
- Report by John King, photograph supplied by Adrian Brooks/BNPS/Imagewise.
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