A new aviation documentary channel is due to launch in the autumn of 2019. Aviators Lounge aims to be a window into the world of historic aviation, featuring videos, podcasts, films and blogs. To sign up to their mailing list and be kept informed of launch progress, click on this link to Aviators Lounge TV for imminent Chocks Away!
HMS Collingwood and D-Day Veteran Frank Baugh, 95, spoke to the assembled at Bayeaux War Cemetery, on 6 June 2019, about his experience 75 years. His vivid, abiding memory was of the slaughter of soldiers he had taken to the Normandy Beaches, in his landing craft. Cut down as they left his craft. He was unable to help them. He moved his audience to tears. His achingly painful description was interrupted, for me, by the doorbell ringing.
Delivery day for a very large parcel and a jolt back to the trivialised present day reality.
The burly delivery man placed the package just inside the porch.
He said he couldn’t risk stepping inside the front door with the package, in case he tripped and injured him. Not covered by his company, he said.
Heaven help us!
What must the D-Day Veterans think of today’s Britain?
We definitely won’t see their like again. We will remember them.
A round up of news announcements for the D-Day 75 events:
President Donald Trump may attend the D-Day 75 Commemorations at Southsea and Portsmouth, along with other Heads of State including the Queen of England.
On Wednesday 5 June events will get off to a flying start with a Fly Past of 26 Royal Air Force aircraft over Southsea Common.
It is hoped that about 300 British Veterans will be able to attend to be honoured in the commemorations.
On Friday 7 June an original piece of work will be performed for the first time, ‘D-Day 75: A Musical Documentary.’
Composed by Jason Olsen of Britain, it will be performed by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, on Southsea Common.
This unique work will be a collection of memories and stories by the D-Day Veterans, as retold by them to some Portsmouth schoolchildren, and set to music by James Olsen.
Southwick Revival (Portsdown Hill) has announced an addition to their guest speaker list in the Village Marquee, former BBC war reporter Martin Bell (the Man in the White Suit).
Bell adopted this persona when he stood for election as a parliamentary MP during the height of the MPs’ expenses scandal ten years ago.
He wrote an entertaining book on the scandal, ‘A Very British Revolution.’
His latest book is called, ‘War and the Death of News: From Battlefield to Newsroom – My Fifty Years in Journalism.’ Martin will be at Southwick on Saturday 8 June.
Follow this link to book a ticket at Southwick Revival.
D-Day 75 at Daedalus, Lee-on-the-Solent (Solent Airport), has a two day event set for Saturday 8 June and Sunday 9 June.
Display teams include the wing walkers AeroSuperBatics, the Round Canopy Display Team parachutists and the Great War Display Team.
Tickets are selling very fast.
Follow this link to D-Day 75 at Daedalus for more tickets.
In Southampton a different activity is taking place.
The Maritime Archaeology Trust is working on a major project to record the names of troops who etched their names onto a wall as they waited to depart for France.
The men also scratched in the names of their home towns.
Volunteers are wanted to research the names and towns to try to record the story of those men.
The greater task will be trying to locate the Veteran survivors or their descendants.
The old wall of names needs to be preserved as time and weather has started to erode the etchings.
The Trust aims to create an online interactive 3D model.
An estimated 3.5 million troops left for France via Southampton between D-Day June 6, 1944 and the end of the war.
Of that number, two million were American.
The other 1.5 million were British and Canadian.
They left the shores of the Solent as various points along the beaches.
Any super genealogists who want to get involved, follow this link to Maritime Archaeology Trust.
Many Canadians left from places like Stokes Bay, Gosport.
Many of the British left from Hardway, Gosport, (including my uncle who could see his beloved Isle of Wight across the water and tantalisingly out of reach):
More update news will appear here as it comes in.
To commemorate the anniversary of the D-Day Landings, which took place 75 years ago on 6 June 1944, an event will take place at Solent Airport, Lee-on-the-Solent, on the weekend of 8 and 9 June, 2019.
Five years ago a similar event was staged at the same venue.
In addition to the airfield displays, the town of Lee joined in with style.
The High Street was transported back to the era.
Shops and businesses made their own creative mark on the occasion.
Re-enactors looked the part.
Jitterbug dancers and singers got everyone in the mood.
Charity stall holders all added to the atmosphere.
Here is a selection of images from that day.
This year a weekend of festivities is planned by Fareham Borough Council at the airfield, which includes static aircraft displays, music, children’s motor cycle display team, vintage cars, stalls, some flying aircraft, and much more.
Watch this space for more news.
The replica of the Black Arrow has arrived at Wight Aviation Museum (WAM), minus the red ‘nose’ cone.
This is currently being manufactured on the Isle of Wight. When completed it will make the road journey to Sandown Airport to finish the rocket assembly.
It will then be situated outside the museum as a distinctive sentinel, visible to all who arrive at the airfield.
There will be no mistaking the location of WAM amongst all the other hangars!
Go to the Notice Board for more details about organised tours from the mainland to aviation sites around the Island, including an opportunity to see the Black Arrow.
If you are already on the Isle of Wight then go to Wight Aviation Museum page for contact details of how to visit WAM.
Also on the updated Notice Board is news of events this Autumn including a fabulous photography exhibition in Freshwater, Isle of Wight. Vintage aviation images taken by Alfred Buckham are absolute gems of history, capturing a moment in time that has gone forever.
Buckham wanted to be an artist, until he saw pictures by JMW Turner. Alfred went home and destroyed his own paintings. He took up a camera instead. What he produced through his lens is of equal artistry to Turner. The SKY TRAVELLER is not to be missed.
Also listed are details about a talk by a pilot with HM Coast Guard SAR Helicopter based at Lee-on-the-Solent.
What of the big event anticipated for 2019 – D-Day 75?
News that Government funding won’t be made available for Portsmouth, to stage a major event next June around the Southsea D-Day Museum, has come as a blow to Portsmouth councillors.
If this leaves plans for Pompey somewhat up in the air, the Southwick Revival stalwarts over the Portsdown Hill are almost guaranteed to put on something even bigger and better than their D-Day 2018 weekend. They won’t be beaten.
As the lady in this photo chalked onto her blackboard propped up under the green door of her Anderson shelter, ‘Bombed out but NEVER beaten !!!’ That’s the spirit, girl!
Go to the Notice Board for a review of what Southwick 2018 did to entertain and educate the crowds.