Military History Tours On Tour - Bomber Command (RAAF in the UK) 1 July 2012
Duxford Air Show Day. Really a special day for those who are interested in aircraft as besides the flying exhibits there is the Museum display which is very substantial indeed. The flying legends of the pre war period and those in action during the war are seen in the air and many of the iconic aircraft of the cold war period are on display.
We were fortunate to see 11 spitfires taking off together from the grass strip, a wonderful sight and with their Merlin engines roaring we were taken back to their defence of London during the Battle of Britain.
The B17, Mississippi Belle climbed ever so slowly into the sky and did a few low passes over the airstrip, this was the type of aircraft that the Americans flew as they conducted their daytime bombing raids over Germany. We saw many planes in action from that campaign including a Lightning, Kittyhawks, a Junkers, Mustangs and ME109s.
There were also many aircraft used by the Americans in the Pacific War flying today including Bearcats, Skyraiders, a Catalina, Corsairs and Sea Furies. The Sea Fury was the fastest piston driven plane and continued to fly into the jet age where it operated against the Chinese Migs during the Korean War, very successfully. Its speed was most impressive as it dived over the airfield.
This day there was a 25 knot wind blowing, very cold indeed and this wind made the appearance of the German Storch all the more impressive as it did look like a stork as it actually hovered into the wing like a bird preparing to land. This type of plane was used by Rommel in the Western Desert and allowed him to go forward to view the proposed battle areas but only required a very small area to land and into the wind, hardly any space to lift off. Also as the same time, one of my favourites, the Lysander, famous as it was the aircraft used to drop the agents into occupied Europe. Tomorrow we head north into Lincoln and Dambuster country.