Military History Tours On Tour - Bomber Command (RAAF in the UK) 15 July 2013
This was a very busy day with some relentless timings to enable us to move many miles north while keeping pre arranged meetings.
It was very appreciated to yet again be able to visit the operational base at Syerston and to have an RAF Pilot Officer as our host and to take around the airfield in our coach, we are the only tour that is able to be hosted in such a way. This airfield had many Squadrons pass through but 106 Squadron was special for us as Jim Eglinton's cousin had flown from here.
We then moved on to Coningsby to be guided through the main hanger of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight by an excellent Guide, Norman. We were privileged to walk amongst the Hurricanes and Spitfires at really quarter while they were being maintained following their flights at Duxford on the previous day. The Lancaster stood out on the tarmac close by ready for its time in the maintenance bay, surely we were blessed to be there. We thank all those at Coningsby for their continued efforts to ensure those heritage aircraft remain in the air.
It was most moving for Peter and Norma Pope and Linda and John Herilhy to be at East Kirkby to see the aircraft parts that have been recovered from the crash of Peter's brother, 19 years old Roderick, piloting a Lancaster who crashed near Cambridge. At East Kirkby there was a movie for the BBC being shot and part of that shoot necessitated the Lancaster to be taxying with some veterans aboard. What a moment, how lucky were we.
WE then set off for our accommodation, the Petwood Hotel, home of the Dambusters. This was the Officers Mess for 617 Squadron and tomorrow we will see where the Squadron left from to attack the dams. A magnificent country home now a hotel set in 30 hectares on manicured lawns and gardens.