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April fool…

As most of you guessed, we haven’t really become convinced of an ancient Egyptian connection to IWM Duxford. We took advantage of April Fools’ Day to highlight a little piece of IWM Duxford’s hidden history. There really is a scarab beetle etched into the ground in front of Hangar 2: Flying Aircraft, but it didn’t originate in Africa 2,000 years ago.

The hangar that used to stand here belonged to No. 64 Squadron, and their badge features a scarab beetle. This is because the squadron spent some time in Egypt in the 1930s. They were based here from 1951 to 1961, flying Gloster Meteors, then Javelins.

The beetle was placed here by squadron personnel to show just whose territory this was!

I included a few clues in the previous post – did you spot them? It’s not really ‘64’ feet from the scarab to the hangar entrance, and the reason I included the phrase ‘firm of purpose’ is because this is a translation of the squadron motto – “Tenax propositi”.

However, it is possible to argue that the scarab is here because of a meteor – a Gloster Meteor, to be precise…

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2 comments
  1. Jock Nicol says: March 5, 20143:29 pm

    I served at Duxford on 64 Squad.May1955 to June 1957.visited I.W.M August 2008 with a Old Mate
    who served with me,he was on Holiday from Australia so we planned a reunion,Blondie Knight his Name,while wandering around we stopped at the Path leading from our old Hangar and there was the Scarab beetle etched on the Path,we made enquiries at the shop trying to find out the History
    and were put in touch with a Gentleman whos Name escapes me now.when we pointed it out to him
    he was as Vague as us but said he would get it highlighted for future ref.we took photographs which I have in my collection somewhere so it was interesting to see your bit about the Scarab Beetle and this is not April Fool.
    Regards.
    Jock Nicol Ex 64. Fighter Squadron.

    • Carl says: March 26, 20144:00 pm

      Hi Jock,

      Many thanks for this. One of the best things about our Historic Duxford project was being able to tell people about often unnoticed parts of the site, such as the 64 Sqn scarab in the path. Hopefully the next time you come you’ll be able to see how we’ve started telling RAF Duxford’s story in new ways. Are you a member of the Old Dux? There are lots of 64 Sqn members, as well as 65 Sqn and station personnel, most of whom served here in the 1950s. See here for details: http://www.olddux.org/ – I know they would love to hear from you!

      All the best,

      Carl

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