I think this is post No 4,000 so it's a bit different.... This winter is the 60th Anniversary of Bomber Command's 'Battle of Berlin' : winter '43/'44. A battle which the German Nachtjagd and the weather conclusively won, the RAF losing 625 bombers and 2,690 aircrew killed. One of the squadrons to suffer the highest losses was 97(PFF), operating from Bourn, Cambs and yesterday I made a small pilgrimage up to the old airfield. As I drove up the A1, the weather closed in, with light mist and drizzle turning to sleet and snow flurries from low cloud. But in a way, this was fitting because on the night of 16/17 December 1943 ( 'Black Thursday' ) 97 lost five Lancasters around Bourn, all crashing in the fog trying to find their base. As I stopped the car on the remains of an old dispersal, the rain dripped onto the windscreen and even getting out of the car was a miserable prospect - what must it have been like to live in Nissen huts here ? Nearly all the buildings have gone - even the respirator store, still here when I last visited in the Summer, has now vanished - but the perimeter track and runways are still used for light aircraft flying. No flying today, though - so I walk through the open gate to the end of runway 07/25, its' full 1,960 yards still intact, to take some photos through the drizzle and to ponder on the 60 Lancasters and 24 Mosquitoes which left this runway, never to make it back 'home'. Back near the car, the area where the briefing rooms, flight offices and other admin functions once stood, is now thick with trees and brambles. I push through the dripping undergrowth and stumble over pathetic heaps of rubble, brick and concrete. Something white is sticking from the ground by a tree root : I pull and twist and half of an old NAAFI dinner plate appears,cracked and caked with earth. I bring it home as a souvenir of RAF Bourn. The last thought goes to a veteran, not of 97 but of 44 further up the road in Lincolnshire. From Martin Middlebrook's 'The Berlin Raids' , Pilot Officer John Chatterton : - 'The Battle of Berlin that winter was my tour. My mind is full of night takeoffs, climbing through cloud, icing, Berlin flak - the sheer length and breadth of it - not of night fighters; we never saw one of those....no sitting on the grass or playing cricket with the groundcrew for us. We waited in the dark and cold and rain - that was our tour.'