The Combined Ops Show this year commemorates the 100th Anniversary of the start of World War 1, the 75th Anniversary of the outbreak of World War 2 and the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day landings at the Headcorn Aerodrome, Ashford, Kent.
The First World War
Combined Ops will be commemorating the start of the First World War with demonstrations of WW1 weapons and equipment by re-enactors representing British and German soldiers of the period, as part of the multi-period living history. In addition they will take part in a recreation of a First World War battle, which will include a replica WW1 British Mark IV tank.
World War 2 and the D-Day Landings
From early 1944 until September of that year, Headcorn Aerodrome (then known as RAF Lashenden) was the operational base for RAF, Canadian Air Force and US Army Air Force fighter and fighter bomber aircraft which were flying from there in support of Allied landings in Normandy on D-Day and afterwards.
The Aerodrome still retains many of its wartime features, including the Mess Hall, various hangers and support buildings, as well as an almost unique example of the Hamilton retractable airfield defence gun turrets. All these can be seen on the aerodrome during the show, as well as the Lashenden Airwarfare Museum, which houses one of the very few surviving examples of the V1 Flying Bomb.
In the air, the show will feature the Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft of the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, who will be putting on their amazing display on both days. All these types of aircraft featured during the D-Day operations and of course the Hurricane was the principal RAF fighter plane at the start of WW2. The wartime role of RAF Lashenden will be particularly commemorated with flying displays by a USAAF P15 Mustang of the type which operated from the aerodrome in 1944, as well as other period military and civil aircraft.
On the ground the show will be host to numerous WW2 military vehicles, including tanks and other armoured vehicles, of both the Allied and German armies. There will be battle re-enactments of the D-Day Normandy fighting, and a 1940s village will recreate the atmosphere of civilian life throughout the war, such as having to cope with German bombing and food rationing. Displays will demonstrate 1940s cooking, clothing, hairstyling, firefighting, farming, etc.
A host of stalls will be offering, amongst other things, wartime uniforms and equipment, civilian clothes and visitors can Jitterbug and Jive to the famous wartime songs and music in the bar marquee.
Visit www.combinedops.co.uk as tickets can be pre-booked at a discounted price (and to avoid disappointment as may sell out) also for more general information.