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70th Anniversary at Duxford — Remembering the Mighty Eighth

4 June 2013

70th Anniversary at Duxford — Remembering the Mighty Eighth

Alex Horrox photo of the Red Arrows fly past with xxx at the Duxford Spring Airshow 2013

Alex Horrox photo of the Red Arrows fly past with the Eagle Squadron tucked neatly behind the lead aircraft at the Duxford Spring Airshow 2013

The famous Duxford Airfield in Cambridgeshire UK has been a nexus of aviation since 1918 and is now home to the Imperial War Museum Collection, The Fighter Collection, The Old Flying Machine Company, The Aircraft Restoration Company, Historic Aircraft Collection, B-17 Preservation Society as well as more — if that can be believed! Home to many airshows it annually hosts one each spring and the last, on 26 May, was even more special than the norm as it celebrated the arrival of the Eighth Air Force, the “Mighty Eighth”, seven decades ago.

Nick Horrox (part of the cadre in The People’s Mosquito Project which has often been written of in this blog) attended as did a relative. The weather was excellent and the show attended with more historic aircraft from the U.S. than usual to honor the 70th anniversary as well as all those who perished while serving in the Mighty Eighth during World War II. Nick relates that the airshow opened not with the roar of powerful engines but with a moment of silence which he says was poignant indeed.

Nick’s son, Alex Horrox, provided his image of a Red Arrow fly past, in their tight V-formation but with a diamond formation of Allied fighter aircraft (P-47G Thunderbolt “Snafu”, P-51C Mustang “Princess Elizabeth”, Spitfire Mk Ia and a Hurricane Mk X — which are the newly formed “Eagle Squadron”) tucked neatly within the crook of the V. The piloting skill of tight formation flying with dissimilar aircraft must have been a sight to experience!

Also attending the airshow as well as visiting the Imperial War Museum at Duxford was Michael Dowman who also kindly provided the images below:

Imperial War Museum at Duxford — photo by Michael Dowman 2013

Imperial War Museum at Duxford — photo by Michael Dowman 2013

IWP at DUxfors P&W engine to the Douglas Dakota / C-47 Skytrain photo by Micjael Dowman 2013

IWP at Duxford exhibit showing the  P&W engine to the Douglas Dakota / C-47 Skytrain — photo by Michael Dowman 2013

Reenactors with a Thompson 0.45" caliber machine gun "Tommy Gun" and Browning 0.50"

Reenactors showing a Thompson 0.45″ caliber machine gun “Tommy Gun” and Browning 0.50″ machine gun — photo by Michael Dowman 2013

One can only wonder what the 75th anniversary show will be like 🙂

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Our thanks to Michael Dowman, Nick and Alex Horrox for providing the excellent and timely material for this post.

Nick Horrox also advises us to read the article written by Gareth Stringer for Global Aviation Resource — it is full of excellent information as well as wonderful photos

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. 6 June 2013 08:53

    Great piece Joe. A great day had by all and a fitting tribute to the Mighty Eighth’s arrival in the UK in WW2. IWM Duxford’s American Air Museum featured in your pictures is a fantastic exhibition and well worth a visit if anyone is heading UKways this summer.

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      7 June 2013 22:26

      Nick, thanks so much for the insight which inspired the post as well as Alex’s fine image. I’ve learned about the new Eagle Squadron form you, as well, and Alex’s shot of them in flying in formation will be used again in a post about them within a week or so. Joe

  2. 6 June 2013 08:57

    Reblogged this on The People's Mosquito.

  3. 8 June 2013 01:14

    Thanks Joe for your great support over the past months on your excellent blog! The articles are always interesting and of particular note for the enthusiast.

    The People’s Mosquito project will be launching fund raising this summer in our quest to get more Mosquito’s flying, After all Jerry can’t have all the fun to himself can he? 🙂

    More to follow from us but check in at http://www.peoplesmosquito.org.uk and if you or any of the readers want to approach me / ask questions just us our contact page.

    We are a very open organisation and doing this for the love of aviation!

    Thank you again Sir!

    Kind regards John Lilley
    Project Lead

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      8 June 2013 23:22

      John, thanks so much. It is a pleasure to support The People’s Mosquito (TPM) project since the Mossie is so woefully underrepresented among today’s flying WW II aircraft and your organization aims to rectify that condition. We shall have to keep up with the news, as always, regarding the future fund raising launch — as well as talk with you at you convenience. Joe

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