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News Archive for August, 2014

Veterans Signing Day – Sunday 17th August 2014

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

A strong turnout by RAF (and Navy!) veterans at the Museum ensured an enjoyable day for them and the many visitors who kindly supported the event to help raise a good sum, both for Museum projects and the RAF Bomber Command Memorial Maintenance Fund. The mix of aircraft types flown, the squadrons served in, differing aircrew roles and the veterans extraordinary individual experiences made for an amazingly interesting occasion.

Huge and special thanks firstly to the veterans for attending and also to those who ‘chauffeured’ them; a ‘Mention in Dispatches’ goes to the cadets of 1579 Erith Squadron Air Training Corps and their ‘CO’ Flight Lieutenant Andrew Kelleher for helping out so well on the day. Many thanks also goes to the ‘legion’ of Museum volunteers who helped out on a long day in various roles in the Museum, Tearoom and kitchen.

To round off the afternoon a Spitfire from the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar flew over the Museum – perfect!

For those who could not be there on the day, we have a number of commemorative prints available, costing just £67.50 + £2.50P&P. Each print is individually signed by all the veterans who were present.

You can order one by calling us on 01959 524416.

Lancasters up close

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Many thanks to our old friends at the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, who as a special favour allowed us up close to the two Lancs when they made a stopover at Biggin Hill. It was a smashing afternoon for the club. The sound of 8 Merlin engines all running smoothly takes your breath away!

Remembering Bob Foster

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Another recent sad loss to the numbers of ‘surviving Few’ is that of Wing Commander Bob Foster DFC who passed away in late July 2014 aged 94. Bob very kindly came to Shoreham in 2013 and was a very popular visitor. He flew Hawker Hurricane fighters with 605 Squadron during the Battle of Britain achieving several successes against the Luftwaffe. Bob later achieved greater success in combat against the Japanese when based with 54 Squadron in Northern Australia and he downed a Mitsubishi ‘Dinah’ on 26th February 1943, the first recorded ‘kill’ by a Spitfire over a ‘Jap’ aircraft. Attaining ‘ace’ status over Australia, Bob was awarded a well deserved Distinguished Flying Cross.

He left the RAF in 1946 and returned to his pre-war job with Shell-Mex and BP working as a marketing executive until his retirement in 1975. Latterly Chairman of the Battle of Britain Fighter Association, Bob will be much missed.

Spring/Summer 2014 Gazette

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

The latest edition of ‘Friends of The Few’ has gone out to Museum Club members. Contents include:

  • Memorial news – plans for two further pilot memorials
  • Museum and Membership News
  • A young Kiwi pilot’s last letter
  • Too many “Goodbyes” – remembering many veterans
  • Fundraising signing events
  • Remembering one of the fallen ‘Few’ – P/O John Bailey
  • ‘Red’ Tobin’ – As American as a bowl of Cornflakes
  • Remembering the Great War
  • Appeal against closure of the ‘Firepower’ museum