IWM Duxford Battle of Britain Airshow

2022-08-10 will be at the show again for the full two days covering the events, aircraft, people and the special finale featuring the stirring sound and sight of many Spitfires as they take to the skies. Our chief editor and lead researcher Kevin Charles will be on hand, stop by and say hello.

Here is the full description for the upcoming event scheduled for Sept 10 and 11, it's going to be a good one, and we hope to see you there.

One of a kind Second World War aircraft to fly in historic flypast at IWM Duxford’s Battle of Britain Air Show

The world’s only two-seater Hurricane and airworthy Bristol Blenheim will join the famous flying finale of warbirds at this year’s IWM Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show. With plenty of Spitfires and Hurricanes confirmed to take flight and a showground packed full of historical and 1940s entertainment, this annual event pays tribute to those who defeated the German Luftwaffe for control of the skies over Britain at a site where real history happened.

Other must-see aerial displays over the weekend include the much-loved Boeing B17 ‘Sally B’, the last airworthy Flying Fortress in Europe; a visiting ... read more ...

Mysteries and Complete Pilot Stories Feature Added


We've added a new feature or two for our two chief editors to help identify both 'great reads' and 'unsolved' (and then solved) mysteries.

Any reader can visit the Pilots page and click one of these, i.e. to check out what we consider 'complete' pilot bios, with a good read, i.e. a description of this pilot's exploits, accompanied by images, and, squadron and aircraft serial identifiers. We'll update these time to time, so check back for some great reads. Or contact us (bottom of this site has link for that) to let us know about a great read you think we should add to the list.

We thought this would be a useful feature since many of our pilot entries get started with stubs of information, then, get filled in over time. Often by family members with new information, then backed up with research by editor Kevin Charles, son of Spitfire Pilot Alan Charles. Kevin seems to be taken with great stretches of research and deep dives into the online ORBs during lengthy cricket matches.

Another new feature is the 'mystery' (and solved) buttons. From time to time we'll identify a pilot bio/page as having an unanswered question. Perhaps you ... read more ...

Stocky Edwards Passes Away at 100 May 14, 2022


Taken from CTV News, see link below ...

Funeral services were held Friday morning for Second World War fighter ace James "Stocky" Edwards in Courtenay, B.C.

Edwards was a decorated Canadian fighter pilot who died on May 14 in his home just three weeks shy of his 101st birthday, with his wife, Toni, and close friends by his side.

Prior to the service at Christ the King Catholic Church, Edwards' daughter, Dorothy Edwards, shared some of her memories of her father with the media.

"It's a really sad day. He's my dad and he's not here now, but he was a hero when we needed heroes and now we need them again," she said.

Dorothy called her father an inspiration and noted that the funeral was being attended by many military personnel and friends who also admired him.

Edwards was active in various charities and outdoor activities right up until his death.

"I think that he passed happily knowing that he did everything he could," said Edwards.

"Almost all [his interests] had the outdoors in common and the environment," she said. "He was a hunter and a fisherman and a painter. He had a whole lot ... read more ...

A Grandson Continues the Udpates


The grandson of (Gil) G. M. Haase (154 Squadron) has been steadily adding imagery and Spitfire serials flown by his Grandfather. F/O Hasse was born in New Zealand, and, initially trained in Canada and served with RAF and RCAF before joining his compatriots in the RNZAF.

If you visit the pilot page for (Gil) G. M. Haase, you will see a nice collection of images, and, that's the kind of content we prize on this site especially the ones never published before.

On top of that Rhys (Grandson) has his Grandad's log book and has been slowly adding each and every aircraft flown. That list is now quite long and each is linked to the particular aircraft page. Rhys has also added pics for some of those serials as well. Thanks Rhys, and note that if anyone else makes changes to the pilot page, Rhys is a follower and will get a notification. This is one way relatives can get updated when others add new and interesting content.

In other news for the site, if you've checked out the Spitfires section (top nav) you will see hundreds of Spitfire images added to their associated listings. Thanks largely to Neil ... read more ...

DollyAnna (Dame Vera Lynn patron) Spitfire and Research


Editor's note: Our chief editor Kevin Charles has been assisting the Dollyanna Spitfire project by helping track down hundreds of pilots who flew in Spitfires for which parts have been recovered to create the Dollyanna Spitfire Memorial. A project that couldn't align better with the objectives of, where we seek to memorialize all Spitfire pilots via the contributions of family members, enthusiasts, and our editors.

The Dollyanna memorial (Dame Vera Lynn patron) Spitfire

A project embarked upon some 27 years ago by Andy Barton was to build a MkII Spitfire in various sheds and the garage in his back garden within a Sussex seaside town is nothing less than a task of titanic proportions.

Over the years Andy has tirelessly spent hours building this project. There are many spitfire projects ongoing around the globe, what makes the ‘Dollyanna’ unique, is the fact that all the parts used uses are from original wartime flown and crashed spitfires accompanied by the pilot’s history with provenance confirmed spitfire serial number so making the DollyAnna almost a kind of a museum to the spitfire.

With 127 histories built into the one airframe to date, even the smallest piece the size of a 10p ... read more ...

IWM Battle of Britain Airshow 2021


These days it's not often I get up early, but at sunrise I watched as Saturday 18th September dawned with the sky painted a mixture of pastel blues and pinks, criss-crossed by brilliant white con-trails hinting at a return to post pandemic normality. As did the return of the Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show which is where I was heading at this ungodly hour in the morning.

This year’s show was certainly up to the high standard of those prior to the pandemic which caused last year’s postponement, although it felt like the attendance numbers were down from previous years, which actually gave a much more relaxed feel and space to stretch out.

The sounds of the 1940's were re-created by the Cambridge Swing Band with a bass section of Rolls Royce Merlins adding to the atmosphere although it was somewhat surreal to hear 'It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)' punctuated by pyrotechnic explosions and machine gun fire. The sights of the 1940's were provided by re-enactment groups who portrayed the smoking, tea drinking and nail biting that came with the "hours of boredom punctuated by minutes of sheer terror" which was air combat ... read more ...

National Archives UK Free Downloads - Pilot Researchers Wanted!


Due to the pandemic, the National Archives (UK) are offering free downloads of ORBs (summaries, records). This is a great time for users of this site to do extended research on pilots and squadrons.

Our senior editor, Kevin Charles, relies on this resource heavily, and he has noted that during the pandemic, a certain number of monthly downloads are available for free.

I wanted to check this out, by researching a particular pilot I had entered on the site. So the first step is to register online, and, confirm by email your registration. After that, you login and select a squadron and year range. You can then sort by date (most useful) to find the time period you are interested in, perhaps a relative of yours who was in service with a particular squadron at a particular time.

What I found fascinating were the summaries. The C.O.'s tend to describe all squadron activities. In the reports I was interested in, for 416 RCAF Squadron, I noted the records showed the sortie details whereas the summaries gave the big picture, including leaves (pilots on leave comings and goings), training, aircraft replacements and the pilot remarks on these, parties, and of course, ... read more ...



Lots of entries continue to pour in from enthusiasts and relatives of former pilots. As founder of this site 5 years ago, I am thrilled about the growing database of pilot biographies, regardless of their operational experience. And not just their war efforts (if they survived) what they went on with after the war. And their pre-war histories as well. Who were these men and women that desperately wanted to fly in order to protect the free world from tyranny. That's part of what the site is about, along with operational details, the aircraft they flew, the squadrons they belonged to and so on.

I personally would like to add more software features, to build both feature and function that users of the site (about 3,500 a month) enjoy. There is a lot more to do?

As it's two people doing the development and hosting the site, there are costs. So my question to any reading the blog, if you so choose to support the site, how would you do that, and, what other ideas or features would you like to see. Likely others would want the same.

So if you have the time, please shoot me back on email ... read more ...

Spitfires Up Close - Newly added Wide Images are Spectacular!


Any user who visits the 'Spitfire' section of the site where all 22,000+ Spitfire serials can be accessed, will notice that if the page (Spitfire) has any images in it's listing, one will be selected and placed at the top of the page, in large format. Spectacular new detail emerges with this enhancement, as the horizontal nature of the Spitfire images lend themselves to wide full screen display.

See Spitfire LA323 as an example of the new page format. To view others, click 'Spitfires' on the top navigation of the site and select any you see a thumbnail for. It is exciting to see a Spitfire with crew around it in various theatres of operation. These are precious snapshots, some of these images being liberated from attics for the very first time, just like LA323 above.

So how do Spitfire images appear. Users make use of the WIKI feature on this site to source an image, and, upload it to the Spitfire page (by serial) in question after finding it's entry on Users can also add a comment to the image (attribution/source) if required, and, other users can then comment on the image or aircraft details in general. ... read more ...

A call out to 601 Squadron enthusiasts for Pilot Pic


A contributor to the site (nephew of P/O Brian Raises) reached out to us with a request to help him find a picture of his uncle, who was killed in 1942 near Tripoli and whose aircraft was never found. If any 601 squadron enthusiasts may have some photos and can identify Brian Raises, his nephew would be very pleased.

We've pressed our senior editor (Kevin Charles) whose interest is also North African and Italian campaigns of the air war, and Kevin indicates his "finger prints" are all over the internet, but no images seem to exist, at least on an initial search.

In P/O Raises nephew's (Braham Power) words ...

"I am the last of his living relatives as both his sisters ( one of whom was my mother ) have passed and there is no one else. Here is a bit of background;

Braham ( Brian ) Raises born 22/3/1921 Melbourne Victoria.

Pre war he studied law in London, however flying was his passion so he pursued that instead, joining the RAF when war broke out. He served with

54 Squ Feb 42
127 Squ July 42 Scoring a JU87 2/9/42
601 Squ KIA 10/12/42 flying out ... read more ...