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IWM Battle of Britain Airshow 2019 - celebrating 50 years since the 1969 classic movie!

2019-08-15

This year’s Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show will celebrate 50 years since the 1969 classic starring Michael Caine. If you've never been to this expansive airshow, put it on your list, this year will be a very special one where you may participate.

* Allpsitfirepilots.org editorial note: We'll be there. Our senior editor, Kevin Charles, son of Spitfire Pilot Alan Charles (see entry on this site) will be on hand to capture and report on the flights and goings on. If you are going to be there, send us a note, we'd be glad to forward that on to Kevin who will be on hand with a few special give-aways for our readers.

Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show
Saturday 21 – Sunday 22 September 2019
Tickets from £35; kids go free*

September’s Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show will include displays from an array of original Second World War aircraft, including P-51 Mustangs and P-47 Thunderbolts, and will culminate in a mass flypast of 19 Spitfires, including a Mk. XVIII Spitfire. Four Búchon fighter jets with Luftwaffe markings, which starred in the 1969 Battle of Britain film, will take flight. There will also be a Battle ... read more ...

September 2019 Visit - meet up for Pub Night(s)!

2019-07-21

My trip to England is finally set. After an attempt in 2016 was held up by injury, I (founder / developer of this site) am finally heading over to visit England for a brief visit, combining a cycle trip along the South Downs Way (National Park) from Winchester to Eastbourne (Sept 10-14) followed by a visit to the Battle of Britain memorial at Capel-le-Ferne on Battle of Britain Day Sept 15 -- where there will be a flypast.

NOTE: The trust runs the Capel-le-Ferne site without any government support, so donations or online purchases are always welcome by them, along with your visit (the site is free to visit). I will look forward to that visit and learning more. You can find their info / site description here.

I hope to send out some local press along the way to invite anyone's contributions to the site, and host a few pub nights (Sept 11th Dolphin in Chichester, frequented by Tangmere airmen at the time) and a second pub night near Biggin Hill (Croydon area) on Sept 16 for Londoners.

If you think you'd like to meet up, please let me know *use the contact us below or add ... read more ...

Spitfires at D-Day

2019-06-05

Along with the C-47 Dakotas, the Spitfire played a key role in the D-Day invasions on June 5 and 6th 1944, where according to www.thesun.co.uk article ...

"A total of 55 Spitfire squadrons strafed and bombed Nazi defences on the Normandy coast during Operation Overlord — the largest seaborne invasion in history. The planes' mission began the day before the troops arrived in their landing craft on the morning of June 6."

The enemy airforce in the skies was largely depleted, so apart from ground attack, a watch still had to be kept for enemy fighters. An eyewitness account as provided by RCAF online news and "The Memory Project" gives a bird's (Spitfire's) eye view of the action closer to D-Day landings ..

Ivor Williams, a Spitfire pilot with 443 Squadron, assisted in patrolling Juno Beach on D-Day, warding off enemy fighters and providing cover for ships. “I flew the last patrol at night on June the 5th [1944], and we were, in the south of England, and in five minutes we were over the [English] Channel,” he told The Memory Project in an interview that is available on their website. “It was the most fantastic sight that ... read more ...

75th year Anniversary C-47 Dakota flyover

2019-06-05

Aviation fans who are lucky enough to be along the route flown by 34 Dakotas on June 5, 2019 (Duxford-Maidstone-Portsmouth-Caen France) will hear the sounds and get the feel of what 800 Dakota C-47 transports that carried over 24,000 paratroopers over to France was like in June 1944. The mission laid the groundwork for the June 6 invasion that changed the course of the war.

Comments welcome (below) from anyone who attended related events or who viewed the fly-overs. About 250 parachutists, in full Allied uniforms, will be dropped into Sannerville, near Caen, on June 5th 2019, where thousands of British paratroopers landed under cover of darkness in June 6, 1944.

More information on the Dakota and the 'Daks Over Normandy' event are available at daksovernormandy.com, along with another excellent article by the sun on the D-Day D-Day Dakotas and the airborne troops that touched down.

The June 5 (Daks Over Normandy) celebrations were attended by dignitaries, veterans, and the public in Portsmouth as well as in France where the following video shows a re-enactment with hundreds of paratroopers which can be seen on youtube here.

Kurt read more ...

How is this site doing with Spitfire Pilot and Aircraft Enthusiasts

2019-05-16

The numbers just in (actually we can query them anytime -- but it's time for an update). This last 30 days (mid-May, mid-June 2019), 1,853 unique visitors used the site, compared to about 1,000 for last year's same 30 day period in 2018. That's getting close to doubling the traffic each year, and, I am happy that relatives and enthusiasts are using the site and it's features to post otherwise lost to the attics information from around the world.

And which countries use the site most? No surprise it's the UK in #1 as usual (50%), followed by (distantly) the Americans and Canadians and Australians. The polish, Belgians, Cazechs, France, Itally are all in there. The top 10 are no surprise and tend to follow the same order (ratios) as pilots who served from those allied countries. Occasionally one country will surge, the interest being a particular aircraft or pilot.

What's next, well, one of our first posters, John Bendixson, the son of PRU pilot John Bendixson has been sending tons of information to me on photographic reconnaissance pilots and aircraft, and, by the way, about 100 of his Dad's images of strategic sites over France and Germany (should ... read more ...

See the Pilots who flew Serial JF692

2018-08-15

One thing that's been impressive over the years, is to see the pilot roster filled in for certain Spitfires. A user can enter Spitfire serials on a pilot's page, and, when this done for many pilots, the history fills in. Some of our users tend to focus squadron by squadron, airforce (e.g. "desert airforce") or campaign / date range. When that happens, we start to see particular aircraft patterns. For example, have a look at Spitfire JF692.

You can see a long list of 92 squadron pilots who flew this aircraft. As I've mentioned before, it's often important to a relative we've been in touch with to find out more about squadron or wing mates, other airmen that a father or grand-father may have flown with. By researching their stories, they are researching common experiences their own father / grand-father / uncle may have experienced in battle or just day to day life. By reading the list of other's that flew the same Spitfire, then linking to those pilot pages from the aircraft page, stories start to tie together. Of course it's a bit ad-hoc, one user from South Africa (SAAF) could fill in some detail, another in Canada ... read more ...

Would you buy a T-shirt (design option two)

2018-05-25

Can you help by providing feedback on this t-shirt design?

I hope you are enjoying this site, many enthusiasts are adding pilots on a regular basis, but we have some super-contributors at present (just look at recent pilot postings to see who they are) adding a considerable number of pilots each week and in many cases, linking up the to the aircraft they flew by serial. How many pilots on the site? You can count them using the bottom of the pilots page. There are currently 205 pages of 10 pilots per page (so some quick math says 2,050) and counting each week. Not only that, users can visit a page and add more information, such as a picture, or a comment.

Which brings us to the next topic - keeping this site going. As a developer, I was fortunate to be able to code this site up *using Laravel, a great framework for custom development and relating different types of information*. The site was my pleasure to create, to honour the pilots and also experiment with a form of digital curation, i.e. asking those with imagery and information (eg. family member) to post pilot info while it is still ... read more ...

Would you buy a T-shirt to support this Site?

2018-05-25

Can you help by providing feedback on this t-shirt design?

I hope you are enjoying this site, many enthusiasts are adding pilots on a regular basis, but we have some super-contributors at present (just look at recent pilot postings to see who they are) adding a considerable number of pilots each week and in many cases, linking up the to the aircraft they flew by serial. How many pilots on the site? You can count them using the bottom of the pilots page. There are currently 205 pages of 10 pilots per page (so some quick math says 2,050) and counting each week. Not only that, users can visit a page and add more information, such as a picture, or a comment.

Which brings us to the next topic - keeping this site going. As a developer, I was fortunate to be able to code this site up *using Laravel, a great framework for custom development and relating different types of information*. The site was my pleasure to create, to honour the pilots and also experiment with a form of digital curation, i.e. asking those with imagery and information (eg. family member) to post pilot info while it is still ... read more ...

Save Tangmere Tower

2018-04-13

Most aviation and WWII Hurricane and Spitfire enthusiasts know about RAF Tangmere, a famous WWII Battle of Britain station known not only for sending up fighters to defend England, but also as a jump off point for Special Ops (SOE) missions. Google will of course turn up lots of information on Tangmere, with famous pilots Douglas Bader and Johnnie Johnson (who later led 127 Wing of RCAF) amoungst the many who flew from or served there. I was even recently able to find youtube high-def drone video footage showing the current tower in detail as well as the surrounding area.

As I researched a possible cycle route last winter along the Kent coastline, and having read the fantastic novel "Wings Over Summer" by RAF Group Captain Ron Powell putting Tangmere into a first person narrative, I came across the current Tangmere tower online only to find it was virtually in ruins. How many ghosts wander nearby or keep watch from the derelict tower, I was captivated by the imagery and at once thrilled that it still existed, as if it was a best kept secret that shouldn't be.

With the runways turned back to farmers fields, and with encroaching development, ... read more ...

RAF 100 Years Celebrations 2018

2018-04-01

Many of know or at least may have heard that the RAF celebrates it's 100 year centenary in 2018. In fact, the official anniversary is today, April 1, which also happens to be Easter Sunday. If you are a UK resident or visitor this spring or summer 2018, there are many celebrations and events to take part-in; some with flying displays, some strictly planted on (or in) the ground. The RAF has protected the skies of Britain for 100 years and continues to do so, perhaps it's finest moment was the Battle of Britain where the Spitfire and Hurricane were the RAF's answer.

Here's a wonderful link to help you sort through the RAF 100 events, and, if you feel there are some must-see events, particularly those with a Spitfire flypast, don't hesitate to add a comment and / or use the contact us at the bottom of this page.

RAF 100 what's on.

... and for those who want to read about a couple of former Spitfire pilots who are themselves as old as the RAF one of which who took to the skies on April 1, check this link out.

Kurt read more ...