15 September 2020 14:50
TODAY marks the 80th anniversary of The Battle of Britain, a major air campaign fought in the skies over Britain in 1940 and Airmen from Powys made a significant and gallant contribution to eventual victory. Pilot Officer Hamar joined No 151 Squadron in March 1939 at RAF North Weald, flying Hurricanes. Air Commodore Adrian Williams, Wales' most senior RAF Officer, said: "In this 80th year commemoration of the Battle, we remember the 'Welsh Few', 67 men from all corners of Wales, who served with distinction in the air and made a significant and gallant contribution to the Battle of Britain. We remember too, the vital part played by RAF bases in Wales in supplying pilots and aircraft in that desperate struggle during the long hot Summer of 1940. "That role played by the RAF in Wales in protecting the skies above Britain continues today.
Battle of Britain 80th anniversary: What celebrations are taking place and is there a flyover? A variety of tributes and commemorations will take place across the UK to mark the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain on Tuesday, despite limitations caused by the coronavirus crisis. Special exhibitions from the Imperial War Museum, a radar-based lightshow and the addition of several new "unusual" sites to the National Heritage List, will all celebrate the contributions of those involved. Though the battle took place between July and October 1940, September 15 saw the British Royal Air Force (RAF) gain a decisive victory over the Luftwaffe. Some 1,120 Luftwaffe aircraft were sent to attack London but were repelled by just 630 RAF fighters and two days later Hitler postponed his plans to invade Britain.
A special radar tribute highlighting the achievements of women and other "unsung heroes" will form the centre point of celebrations run by the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund (RAFBF). The lightshow will take place at two sites, RAF Bawdsey, a former radar station in Suffolk, and RAF Buchan in Scotland and will feature archive footage and photography to "bring to life" the stories of those who served on the ground during the Battle of Britain. "Bringing attention to those men and women, and particularly women, who served during the Battle of Britain is important for us this year," said Chris Elliot, controller of the fund. Also added to the National Heritage List by the DCMS are a rare Chain Home radar defence tower in Essex, and a war memorial to commemorate civilians in Dorset who lost their lives during the war. Heritage Minister Nigel Huddleston said: "The Battle of Britain affected every corner of our nation and it is right that, as we mark its 80th anniversary, we protect the sites, memorials and buildings paying tribute to those who fought and those who lost their lives." Former Red Arrows pilots will fly Spitfires and Hurricanes over the south east England, visiting the main RAF control centres during campaign.
The skies above the north-east have been transformed into an emotive lightshow to mark the 80th anniversary of Battle of Britain Day. September 15, 1940 was the day when RAF Fighter Command claimed what proved to be a decisive victory over the German Luftwaffe, who had been bombing towns and cities including Aberdeen. The RAF Benevolent Fund highlighted the work carried out by those working in positions such as engineers, armourers, air traffic controllers and radar operators. It featured archive footage, photography and stories of all of those who played a key role in the Battle of Britain, including female radar operative case studies and imagery of the former Chain Home radar network. Air Vice-Marshal Chris Elliot, Controller of the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, said: "We often talk of 'The Few', the fighter pilots who took to the skies during the Battle of Britain. "Particularly, the women who were behind the scenes, as radar operatives, filter room attendants serving in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force or members of the Royal Observer Corps." The last surviving member of 'The Few', Battle of Britain pilot John 'Paddy' Hemingway, said radar was key during the dogfight. The 101-year-old said: "In reality, the system worked so well that the time from a blip on the radar to a squadron in the air to meet it was six minutes, and the climb rates of the Hurricanes and Spitfires put the fighters at 15,000 feet within six minutes of leaving the ground. The Battle of Britain lasted from July 10 1940 until October 31 1940 with more than 3,000 fighter pilots taking to the skies. The role Lincolnshire air bases played in The Battle of Britain will be recalled at commemorations to mark the 80th anniversary of the battle. Chairman Graham Malster said bases in northern Lincolnshire played a key role in the decisive air battle between Britain and the Nazis. Today marks Battle of Britain Day and comrades will gather in Cleethorpes at the weekend to commemorate the bravery of their fellow airmen. Radar stations at RAF Stenigot on the Lincolnshire Wolds, at RAF Humberston and Spitfire squadrons at Kirton Lindsey played key roles in the battle and were targets for German crews. The Luftwaffe outnumbered the RAF but the radar stations at Stenigot and Humberston were vital links in the system of advance warning of where and when German aircraft were approaching. At the beginning of the Battle of Britain, the RAF had 1,963 aircraft while the Luftwaffe had 2,550. After the Battle of Britain, Winston Churchill said: "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few." Graham said: "Lincolnshire's radar stations played an important role."