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Officers of No 19 (Fighter) Squadron at Duxford, 1928.

RAF Duxford’s Operations Record Book entry for 26 March 1928:

26.3.28 Flight Lieut Montgomery Moore to R.A.F. Station, North Weald at 1000 hrs. Returning to Duxford 1600 hrs same date. Duty: Handing over Secret & Confidential Books of No. 29 (F) Squadron.

 

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Officers of No 19 (Fighter) Squadron at Duxford, 1928.

RAF Duxford’s Operations Record Book entries for 20 March 1928:

20.3.1928 R.A.F. Duxford box R.A.F. Shrewsbury in the R.A.F. Boxing Junior Team Championships Semi-final. Result Duxford 12 points. Shrewsbury 6 points. Boxing took place at Duxford.

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RAF Duxford’s Operations Record Book entries for 19 March 1928:

19.3.1928 Flight Lieutenant O.L. Griffin, Accountant Officer, ceases to be attached to H.Q. A.D.G.B, Uxbridge, on posting to H.Q. Wessex Bombing Area, Andover.

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Wreckage of Gloster Grebe Mark II, J7293, which crashed in March 1928 killing the pilot, Sergeant Trillick

As we get closer to opening Historic Duxford to our visitors on Thursday 28 March, we look back to life at RAF Duxford as it was in March 1928, 80 years ago. This snapshot of life is taken from RAF Duxford’s Operations Record Book (ORB), a daily diary which was completed by every squadron and station in the RAF and which lists all of the main events that happened on each day.

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Jack ‘Farmer’ Lawson (centre)

Jack ‘Farmer’ Lawson (centre)

On this most romantic of days, we look at the occasions when cupid’s arrow has struck amongst the men and women working and living at RAF Duxford and the bitter-sweet consequences of love during times of peace and conflict.

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John Milne

We were saddened to hear that John Milne, one of 19 Squadron’s ground crew fitters, died recently.

John arrived at RAF Duxford on 11 March 1940 and served here during the build-up to the Battle of Britain. He was allocated to ‘A’ Flight, which was commanded by Flight Lieutenant Brian Lane, who was later promoted to Squadron Leader and Officer Commanding 19 Squadron. John was serving with ‘A’ Flight when Douglas Bader joined its ranks.

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No 611 (City of Liverpool) Squadron Auxiliary Air Force at RAF Duxford

On this day we remember all of the men and women who lost their lives while serving at RAF Duxford.

From the Historic Duxford team.

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On the Saturday of The Duxford Air Show, IWM Duxford was treated to a visit from a very special guest. Nancy Stannard, nee Bateman was a WAAF who served at RAF Duxford between 1939 and 1941. She worked in the Operations Room as a teleprinter operator.

I had been in touch with Nancy and her family for a while and we had arranged for her to come back to IWM Duxford, selecting September in the hope that the weather would not be too bad. As it was we were treated to glorious sunshine.

It was a great to be able to host Nancy on a return visit to Duxford. The place looked very different, particularly due to all the air show hustle and bustle, but there were some areas, such as the Operations Room that were still very familiar to Nancy.

Over a well-deserved cup of tea, Nancy told me some of her memories of RAF Duxford, the place she says she remembers best out of all the places she served as a WAAF. Nancy was one of the very first WAAFs to arrive at RAF Duxford and she remembers the station not being quite ready for them. So much so that she and the other women, who had arrived with her, were given airmen’s greatcoats to wear as they didn’t have any made for women!

Nancy also said she vividly remembers going to dances in the hangar, dancing to tunes like In the Mood.

Having had a lovely chat with Nancy and really getting to know what RAF Duxford was like for her during the early years of the Second World War, I asked her if she was happy to be interviewed in the commentary box at the air show. Although slightly nervous, Nancy rose to the challenge and gave a wonderful interview. It was so good in fact, it was replayed on Sunday making Nancy’s audience over 33,000 people.

Having worked her very hard, I finally let her and her family relax and watch the air show. It was a great pleasure to meet Nancy and to hear her tales of RAF Duxford. Every time I interview a veteran, the historic site where I work every day takes on a new little detail. I doubt I shall walk through the Operations Room now without thinking about Nancy and the number of times she would have walked down that very same corridor.

A great day spent with one of Duxford’s people.

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