Mention the Red Arrows Royal Air Force aerobatic team and heads turn. The very name is enough to raise the temperature.
The Red Arrows are much anticipated regulars each year at the Bournemouth Air Festival and have just completed 3 days there again. The event is the largest the team attend in the UK and the wonderful weather this year saw the crowds turning out in force.
On Saturday 1st September as noon approached, with anticipation rising the commentator, Red 10 in the group introduced the Team to the crowds strung out along the East and West Cliffs and in the beach area. Precisely as the seconds ticked over to 12pm – the Red Arrows, smoke trailing behind them burst low over the crowds to begin their spectacular display.
For 20 minutes, the Red Arrows commanded the skies with their world famous display.
BOMBER COMMAND VETERANS
Veterans of conflicts long ago are still remembered with pride and at least one managed to attend at the age of 95 years. I was privileged to meet George Dunn, DFC, who was signing books commemorating the work of Bomber Command.
George Dunn DFC.
George Dunn, DFC took part in 45 sorties over Berlin flying in Mosquitoes and another 30 in Wellingtons over other German targets. He also flew on a mission to the V1 rocket factory at Peenemunde. During his distinguished service George flew Mosquitoes, Spitfires, Hurricanes and Mustangs.
As he signed copies of the books commemorating the work of Bomber Command, the questions about his part in World War Two, came thick and fast. He looked hale and fit and certainly was enjoying the fine sunshine and was clearly happy to be there.
Jo Lancaster, DFC.
Unfortunately Jo Lancaster, who is almost a centenarian, was unable to attend the signing session in person. His illustrious career spanned action over Berlin, Settin ( now Szczecin ) on the Baltic, Cologne and Brest. He took part in the first 1,000 bomber raid in May 1942. Hel also flew Lancaster bombers.
Jo became a test pilot and became the first pilot to eject in an emergency from a British aircraft when the Armstrong Whitworth flying wing developed a fault over Warwickshire in 1949. He also played a significant part in the flight testing of Lancaster, Avro York, Meteor, Javelin, Hunters and Shackleton aircraft.
photographs & words : Tony Knight photography & MEDIA
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