75 years on from what is perhaps regarded as the RAF’s most important aerial battle, RAF Air Cadets from across Trent Wing turned out in force at several Battle of Britain parades and services across Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.
Trent Wing is located in the heart of ‘Bomber County’ that supported 69 flying units in Lincolnshire alone during World War 2, predominantly the home for Bomber aircraft, but also home to multiple Fighter squadrons. The number of bases has naturally decreased, and the aircraft have changed, apart from those found at RAF Coningsby with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. Cadets of the wing are fortunate to see the Spitfires and Hurricanes of the BBMF regularly, a lasting reminder of the efforts of the fighter pilots and ground crews who became known as ‘The Few’.
Each year cadets from across the Wing take to collecting for the Royal Air Forces Association Wings appeal and parade across the towns and cities with personnel from the Royal Air Force and many veterans, in this the 75th anniversary year, there was no exception.
Cadets from 119 (Scunthorpe) Squadron’s Band, began the commemorations by playing at the RAF Digby Battle of Britain Reception, with several squadrons taking to town centres last week to raise money for the RAFA Wings appeal. On Battle of Britain Sunday cadets from 204 (City of Lincoln) Sqn, 1237 (North Hykeham) Sqn, 2222 (Brigg) Sqn, 195 (Grimsby) Sqn, took to the cobbled streets surrounding Lincoln’s famous Cathedral to parade with veterans and service personnel.
In Boston, Boston Squadron were joined by 47F (Grantham) squadron on parade and in Retford, Group Captain Nigel Gorman, Central and East Regions, Commandant took the salute as cadets and staff from 1403 (Retford), 331 (Chesterfield), 203 (Gainsborough) and 119 (Scunthorpe) paraded with other squadrons from North Region, through the town.
1228DF Mablethorpe took part in a Church Parade and service at Sutton on Sea, with several other events being supported also. Many of those taking part in the parades would have been of a similar age to those fighting the conflict and Trent wing is proud to have played a small part in commemorating the sacrifice made by not only the personnel of the RAF, but also the 15 other nations who took part in the battle known as the RAF’s Finest Hour, 75 years ago.