Since the Victoria Cross was first instituted on 29th January, 1856, the medal has been awarded 1,357 times, the most recent was gazetted on 22nd March, 2013, posthumously to L/Cpl J T D Ashworth for his gallantry in Afghanistan.
Being the youngest of Britain's military services, it is understandable that few VCs have been awarded to airmen of the RFC, RNAS, RAF and FAA. In fact, just 51 'aerial' VCs have been awarded between 1915 and 1946 and out of this small number, 23 have been won by men from Bomber Command, or credited with flying bomber aircraft, during the Second World War.
The range of actions within the book begins with the fruitless Battle of France in May 1940 through to the final stages of bomber offensive over Germany, in February 1945. Several actions came about through volunteering, while others were simply caught up in the melee of unpredictable events which hang over any operation in a bomber from the moment it lifts from the runway to the point it returns.
This book will serve as an inspiration to those who are used to thinking of the citation, 'For Valour'. as referring to an action based only on land and sea. Bomber Command's catch phrase, 'Press on Regardless'. was never better exemplified than in the extraordinary bravery of the men whose stories are told here.