THE MAN who kept alive the memory of Bomber Command’s heroic 158 Squadron has been awarded the MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.
Herbert Nevil “Bluey” Mottershead, DFC, president of the Lissett based 158 Squadron for the past 40 years, received the award for his voluntary services to the association.
“It is an honour and it is great for the Squadron,” said the former bomber pilot who flew with 158 Squadron from Lissett in 1943, and will celebrate his 90th birthday later this month.
“Bluey” or “Mr 158 Squadron” as he is known, has served the association both as secretary and latterly as its president, during which time it has flourished to become the largest of any of those formed by Bomber Command Squadrons and has around 400 members worldwide.
During the war Lissett aerodrome was brought into service between 1943 and was operational until 1946.
During that time a staggering 851 men and women stationed there lost their lives.
Each year, for almost all of the past 40 years, the association has held an annual reunion during the first weekend of September.
Traditionally this is at Bridlington’s Expanse Hotel on Saturday followed by a memorial service at the tiny church of St James of Compostella in Lissett village where there is also a memorial stone.
In 2009 a striking new memorial to the 158 squadron, created by artist Peter Naylor of Beverley was unveiled at the airfield and dedicated by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.
“Bluey”, who lives in Ashbourne in Derbyshire, said he was already working on this year’s reunion.