The squadron, along with friends and colleagues from 867 Denny Squadron – RAF Air Cadets & 1333 Grangemouth Spitfire Squadron Royal Air Force Air Cadets returned yesterday from a very busy but successful trip around the southeast of England, visiting the historic locations used or erected afterwards to commemorate the Battle of Britain in 1940 or the famous “Dambusters” raid of May 1943.
Staying for two nights at RAFC Cranwell, the trip visited attractions in the Lincolnshire area including the International Bomber Command Centre, the 617 Squadron Dam Busters Memorial in Woodhall Spa and the Imperial War Museum in Duxford before moving base to RAF Halton for six nights.
Using RAF Halton as their base, the cadets spent a lot of time on the bus transferring to attractions including, Dover Castle, the command base for “Operation Dynamo”, the rescue from Dunkirk. Caple-le-Ferne and the Battle of Britain Memorial. To All Saints Church in Staplehurst, Kent to lay a wreath on the grave of Flt Lt Freddie Rushmore. Flt Lt Rushmore flew with 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron RAuxAF, now based in Edinburgh.
Squeezing in a cheeky day in London allowed the cadets to visit the Palace of Westminster, The London Eye, to lay a wreath at both The Battle of Britain Memorial on Victoria Embankment and The Bomber Command Memorial in Hyde Park and still have time for a late lunch in The Royal Air Force Club, a wonderful opportunity for the cadets to visit a place steeped in RAF history. Thursday saw us back on the road to beautiful Bentley Priory Museum, home of Air Chief Marshall Sir Hugh Dowding and fighter command during The Battle of Britain and on to Uxbridge Bunker, 11 Group control centre, the busiest of all the control centres used in The Battle of Britain. Friday saw the trip spend the day at Thorp Park to allow them to unwind after a very stressful, hot and busy 8 days.
A once in a lifetime opportunity for the cadets to learn about the history and the sacrifices made by previous generations that allow us to enjoy the freedom we all too often, take for granted.
A huge big thank you to all the various local charities that contributed in any way, your generosity allowed this trip to happen. To the staff that pulled this trip together, sought sponsorship, made the bookings and for giving up their time to assist in the running and supervision of the trip, without any of you this trip would not have been possible.