VE Day, 1945 – Victory at the Pathfinders

Bennett, second from right, with other senior officers at RAF Wyton on VE Day, together with members of the visiting Russian contingent


To: The Path Finder Force

From: Air Vice-Marshal D C T Bennett, CB, CBE, DSO

Great Britain and the Commonwealth have made a contribution to the civilised world so magnificent that history alone will be able to appreciate it fully. Through disaster and triumph, sometimes supported and sometimes alone, the British races have steadfastly and energetically over many long years flung their forces against the international criminals. They have fought the war from end to end without a moment’s respite, in all theatres, and with all arms — land, sea and air.

Bomber Command’s share in this great effort has been a major one. You, each one of you, have made that possible. The Path Finder Force has shouldered great responsibility. It has led Bomber Command, the greatest striking force ever known. That we have been successful can be seen in the far-reaching results which the Bomber offensive has achieved. That is the greatest reward the Path Finder Force ever hopes to receive, for those results have benefited all law-abiding peoples.

Whilst you have been hard at work through these vital years, I have not interrupted you, as I would like to have done, with messages of praise and congratulation. You were too busy; but now that your great contribution to the world has been made, I want to thank you each man and woman of you personally and to congratulate you on your unrelenting spirit and energy and on the results you have achieved.

Happiness to you all — always. Keep Pressing On along the Path of Peace.


Headquarters, Path Finder Force, European V-Day, 1945