A war veteran who has been denied his RAF honour is having his appeal backed by his member of Parliament.
Alan Cunliffe made an application to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) for his Bomber Command clasp, which would honour his five years in the RAF during which he survived 36 missions dropping bombs on enemy targets.
But his application was denied, as MOD officials wrote: “My team have looked carefully at your application and I’m afraid to say that we unfortunately can find no evidence that your service meets the eligibility criteria for the Bomber Command Clasp.”
Mr Cunliffe says he believes his application has been turned down because he was based in Italy, rather than England.
Thanks to The Gazette’s help, Mr Cunliffe’s story has been brought to the attention of Fylde MP Mark Menzies, who has agreed to help.
Mr Menzies is understood to be writing to the MOD to see what he can do to get Mr Cunliffe’s case relooked at.
Mr Cunliffe, 90, said: “It’s nice to have this support.
“Everything is starting to point in the right direction and I think we’re starting to get somewhere. We’ll just have to wait and see now.
“It really is a shame that it’s being spoilt by all this.”
Mr Cunliffe, of Wrea Green, said it would be an honour to wear the clasp, marking the time he risked his life for his country.
But he said, with so few Bomber Command airmen left, the money could have been better spent on the existing Bomber Command Memorial in London, which has been vandalised twice this year.
He added: “Quite frankly I would have preferred that they give the money to the benevolent fund to keep the memorial clean.”
My Cunliffe joined the RAF when he was 18, and left five years later after meeting the woman who would become his wife.
He went on to become chief executive at hospitals across the North West.