The King will Visit The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

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King Charles III arriving at Church of Christ the Cornerstone attend a reception for members of the local community and organisations during his visit to Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, to celebrate its new status as a city, awarded as part of the late Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee celebrations, February, 2023.
King Charles III arriving at Church of Christ the Cornerstone attend a reception for members of the local community and organisations during his visit to Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, to celebrate its new status as a city, awarded as part of the late Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee celebrations, February, 2023.

HIS MAJESTY THE KING WILL VISIT THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN MEMORIAL FLIGHT, LINCOLNSHIRE

Monday 24th July 2023

To commemorate the 80th anniversary of Operation Chastise, His Majesty The King will visit the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (B.B.M.F) and meet staff and World War Two veterans.

On arrival at the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (B.B.M.F), His Majesty will be received by Group Captain Billy Cooper, Station Commander at R.A.F. Coningsby and Group Captain Lewis Cunningham, Commander Hawk/Display at R.A.F. Coningsby.

In the hangar, His Majesty will be joined by the Officer Commanding B.B.M.F, Squadron Leader Mark Sugden, for a tour of the aircrafts that will be displayed and hear about their roles and operations during World War Two.

The Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight was founded at a formal ceremony held at RAF Biggin Hill, the Battle of Britain airfield in Kent, on 11th July 1957. The initial complement of aircraft was three PR Mk XIX Spitfires and the RAF’s last airworthy Hurricane, LF363. (Three of these four aircraft still serve with the BBMF today.)

In 1969, it was renamed the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and was formally established as a fully funded unit. The BBMF has continued to grow and now maintains and operates ten historic and irreplaceable Second World War era aircraft; an Avro Lancaster, a C-47 Dakota, six Spitfires, two Hurricanes and, in addition, flies two 1952 de Havilland Chipmunk T10 training aircraft.

His Majesty will also have an opportunity to meet B.B.M.F staff and World War Two veterans to commemorate the 80th anniversary of Operation Chastise, commonly known as the Dambusters Raid. The Operation was against German dams and carried out on the night of 16th and 17th May 1943 by 617 Squadron RAF Bomber Command, later called the Dam Busters.

Some of the veterans His Majesty will meet include Flt Sgt Henry Townsley DFM, who will turn 103 on Thursday 27th July. Flt Sgt Townsley served as a Lancaster Flight Engineer during the Second World War. His Majesty will also be introduced to 102-year-old WO Frank Tolley, who volunteered to join Bomber Command after seeing the destruction German air raids had caused in Coventry, and 101-year-old RAF Medical Officer Dr James Burt, who joined the RAF shortly after graduating from St Andrews and is one of the RAF’s oldest surviving medics from World War Two.

After signing a visitor book and joining a group photo in front of the Avro Lancaster, His Majesty will meet the 29 Squadron in front of Typhoons. 29 Squadron took part in the recent flypast for Trooping the Colour and made up the ‘CR’ formation.

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