WAR HEROES RETURN TO THEIR OLD VILLAGE BASE
Things may not have gone entirely according to plan, but the 49 Squadron Association’s 68th reunion will be one to look back on with pleasure.
The first break with their carefully-worked out schedule came when guests and members arrived at the old Fiskerton airfield in their coach.
They found that the weather just wasn’t good enough for everyone to pile out for the wreath-laying ceremony.
So, with a couple of minutes’ respectful silence on the bus, a handful of hardy representatives, led by association secretary Tom Gatfield, braved the rain and stepped out to lay the wreath.
And the weather was responsible for putting a damper on another highlight of the day as well.
The Lancaster bomber from the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight had been due to fly over the group at Fiskerton, after a trip to the Trafalgar celebrations on the Solent. But the weather grounded the veteran aircraft and it missed out on both the Solent trip and the Fiskerton flypast.
Undaunted, Tom spoke for his 40 or so members and their dozen or so partners, when he told me: “It’s been a wonderful day.”
This year the association’s annual event commemorated the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.
Members came from many parts of the country, from the south coast to Manchester, and from North Wales to Norfolk, to see old friends they hadn’t met for a long time, and to recall their days in uniform.
There was a church service in Fiskerton, where a number of local people joined the visitors, and thoughts were of the nation’s darkest hours in 1943 when aircraft flew out of Fiskerton on their way to bomb Berlin.
Later the squadron moved to Fulbeck and after the war, to Waddington.
The reunion celebrations continued with a banquet at the Petwood Hotel in Woodhall Spa last night, and conclude today with a visit to RAF Scampton where members and their guests hope to see the Red Arrows in action.
Many of them will begin making their way home tomorrow, looking forward to the next time when they will be together again in Lincolnshire.