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Battle of Britain Day

80 years ago today the battle reached its height and was decisive in Germany calling off the planned invasion of Britain.

Only one of the brave aircrew still alive now, a different breed who we owe everything to.
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  • 80 years ago today the battle reached its height and was decisive in Germany calling off the planned invasion of Britain.

    Only one of the brave aircrew still alive now, a different breed who we owe everything to.
    Absolute heroes, one and all. I watched 'The Antiques Roadshow' on Sunday filmed in Biggen Hill (not sure if it was an old or new one) but the people of that generation who took up the fight are so admirable in their willingness to fight for a common good.
    It make me ashamed that some people today are so selfish and self interested that wearing a mask is too much for them or they can't follow rules to help everyone else, even in a pandemic! Is this not a common goal for the good of the many? (People with medical exemptions excluded from my wrath.) How as a society have we allowed this to happen? 
    Total respect and gratitude from me to the few and the many who made victory possible.
    And the people pretending they have medical problems to avoid wearing masks? The equivalent of spivs IMHO.  
  • Remembering Hugh 'Stuffy' Dowding. His leadership was key to the outcome of the battle in the skies and, in all likelihood, the outcome of the war.
  • It's incredible to me that so many people many my sons age (19) gave so much, I don't know if I could, I'm at Duxford today and I'll post a couple of snaps. 
  • great post D M, may we never forget

    and many thanks to the many overseas pilots who took part .. reputedly some of the most aggressive and daredevil were Polish,.. there is a memorial to them in Ruislip, not far from the Uxbridge bunker that was the control centre for Dowding and his staff

     https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/the-polish-pilots-who-flew-in-the-battle-of-britain

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Britain_Bunker


  • We have a daily reminder of the bravery of the pilots who flew, and beauty of the planes they used, when the spitfires go over Eynsford a number of times every day. Love the sound of the engine.
  • edited September 15
    We have a daily reminder of the bravery of the pilots who flew, and beauty of the planes they used, when the spitfires go over Eynsford a number of times every day. Love the sound of the engine.
    Yeah you always see them fly over there and Brands Hatch. I was at the Shoreham Aircraft Museum last year and the guy there told us not to go in yet but wait outside as the Spit was flying over. The pilot had called him while he was at Biggin Hill and said he’d be over in 10 minutes.

    I always get a lump in my throat when I see one fly over. 

    Top of my bucket list is to go up in one of the 2 seaters.
  • We have a daily reminder of the bravery of the pilots who flew, and beauty of the planes they used, when the spitfires go over Eynsford a number of times every day. Love the sound of the engine.
    Same here, I am in Mereworth and they go over at least twice a day, sometimes more.
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  • We have a daily reminder of the bravery of the pilots who flew, and beauty of the planes they used, when the spitfires go over Eynsford a number of times every day. Love the sound of the engine.
    And over Otford too. I think they copy the route of the geese who seem to use my mum's house as a navigational point at the start and end of the day. 
  • We have a daily reminder of the bravery of the pilots who flew, and beauty of the planes they used, when the spitfires go over Eynsford a number of times every day. Love the sound of the engine.
    And over Otford too. I think they copy the route of the geese who seem to use my mum's house as a navigational point at the start and end of the day. 
    Had both the spitfire and the geese today! Wonderful sights.
  • Apparently this is the last Victor left anywhere,  this one is being restored to air worthiness. 
  • We have a daily reminder of the bravery of the pilots who flew, and beauty of the planes they used, when the spitfires go over Eynsford a number of times every day. Love the sound of the engine.
    There is something unique about the sound of that Merlin engine isn't there?

    Despite my age I can assure you I'm post war. For those who experienced it it must be so evocative


  • Next time we debut a youngster in the first team at eighteen years of age and comment about how they "lack experience" it is worth remembering that kids that age were put into the cockpit of a ++++++++ Spitfire at the same age with as @RodneyCharltonTrotta says minimal amounts of training.

    Absolutely incredible.
  • Very lucky to have gone up in a 2 seater Spitfire from Port Solent last year, flew over IOW and surrounding area, the noise, smell and adrenalin rush was to behold, had a smile on my face for a good few weeks.  
  • edited September 17
    This programme on BBC1 with Ewan McGregor and his brother Colin (ex RAF)is insightful.

    Some of them only had a handful of hours training before battle flying. Remarkable men and women.

    Different breed.  

    Puts our corona challenges into real perspective.
    Weren’t the pilot so humble, that what amazed me about that program, found the interviews of the remarkable 2nd world war pilots so moving. As they said they were fighting and dying for the people on the ground in the cities and in the fields, they didn’t see themselves as hero’s, just normal people who after a day work would go down the pub and have a game of darts with the locals. Such a remarkable generation.
  • Very lucky to have gone up in a 2 seater Spitfire from Port Solent last year, flew over IOW and surrounding area, the noise, smell and adrenalin rush was to behold, had a smile on my face for a good few weeks.  
    I think these two seater Spitfires came about due to the Irish air corp, in the 50’s.
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  • Apparently this is the last Victor left anywhere,  this one is being restored to air worthiness. 

    Nope - Lusty Lindy at Elvington and at Teasin' Tina Bruntingthorpe (though she'll never do this again)


    This one, XH648 is being restored for static display and will not move or taxi, last time I saw her at Duxford she was in an appalling state. Sadly XM673 at RAF Marham is about to be scrapped. That will mean that there are only 3 full airframes left.




  • Very lucky to have gone up in a 2 seater Spitfire from Port Solent last year, flew over IOW and surrounding area, the noise, smell and adrenalin rush was to behold, had a smile on my face for a good few weeks.  
    I think these two seater Spitfires came about due to the Irish air corp, in the 50’s.

    Correct! Though many of the two seaters flying now are recent conversions or virtually new aircraft. The first two seat Hurricane is at Biggin with the Heritage Hanger, for about £2k you can have a flight!
  • BDL said:
    Very lucky to have gone up in a 2 seater Spitfire from Port Solent last year, flew over IOW and surrounding area, the noise, smell and adrenalin rush was to behold, had a smile on my face for a good few weeks.  
    I think these two seater Spitfires came about due to the Irish air corp, in the 50’s.

    Correct! Though many of the two seaters flying now are recent conversions or virtually new aircraft. The first two seat Hurricane is at Biggin with the Heritage Hanger, for about £2k you can have a flight!
    I believe they’re also looking into offering simulated dog fight flights with their Messerschmitt.
  • I did a got air balloon trip from Hop Farm 3 years back and a Spitfire did a circle around us.  It was a wonderful thing to see.
  • Went to Biggin Hill air show for the 75th anniversary - what a brilliant day. As the sun set the Spitfires and (I believe) one Hurricane flew over the runway at what seemed rooftop level... not a dry eye in the house as they say.
  •  I wonder how many Lifers on here now, actually lived through the Battle of Britain.  I remember, as a small boy, the Blitz very well.   I would be yanked out of bed,  in what seemed the middle of the night, at the first sound of the sirens, and taken down the garden by my Mum, to a cold and damp air raid shelter, no sleep because of the noise of the raid going on over head.  Once the "all clear" sounded, it was back to bed to try and get some sleep, before school in the morning.  The walk to school next morning was always interesting, picking up  any pieces of shrapnel or bullet and cannon casings we could find, only to have them confiscated when we got to school.  The sound of a spitfire was a special sound, and one afternoon later on, a group of us had gone up to Keston ponds for some fishing, and general larking around, when a spitfire flew over head,.heading for Biggin Hill I suspect, doing a victory roll.   We all give him a big cheer. At the time, all great fun for us boys during those years, but thinking back, how close we might have came to being killed.  Makes you think.
    interesting that you weren't evacuated
  • edited September 17
    Apparently this is the last Victor left anywhere,  this one is being restored to air worthiness. 
    Still one just through the Main Gate (outside Station Headquarters) at RAF Marham in Norfolk. Sadly, it's getting scrapped as no buyer came forward for it. 

    One of my old bosses was a Victor pilot and he participated in 'Operation Black Black' as part of the air to air refuelling effort for the Vulcan that bombed Port (as it was then) Stanley airfield during the Falklands conflict.

    His story and presentation about the enormity and complexity of the refuelling task was fascinating.

    RAF Marham: Victor jet at base entrance to be scrapped https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-54002195
  • One of the planes I'd like flying, but my pound or two in the bucket isn't helping much. 
  • One of the planes I'd like flying, but my pound or two in the bucket isn't helping much. 
    Luckily, I got to see it operationally for a few years before it 'retired' in 1993. The 'V Force' aircraft were quite something. Amazing really how I just took it for granted when I was based at Marham! And now it's getting scrapped. 
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