The D-Day Anniversary Air Show at IWM Duxford (Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 May) honours the Airborne Forces past and present. It offers visitors a unique opportunity to meet with serving soldiers from today’s airborne forces alongside living history groups who will bring D-Day airborne history to life.
The highly-skilled soldiers of the Airborne Forces form the core of the British Army’s high-readiness force and can be deployed at short notice to anywhere in the world.
At The D-Day Anniversary Air Show, you’ll be able to meet and chat with members of various divisions of the Airborne Forces and explore their vehicles, see their equipment and find out about their weapons and capabilities. Enjoy a rare insight into the world of the contemporary Airborne Forces and see how their diverse abilities are applied in missions across the globe.
Major General Adrian Freer OBE (retd), Chair of the Trustees of the Airborne Assault Museum, based at IWM Duxford, said: “The Airborne Assault Museum is delighted that IWM Duxford has asked The Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces to contribute to their commemoration of the 70th anniversary of D-Day.”
“I am delighted to see our Regular and Reserve soldiers displaying capabilities and recruitment opportunities which highlight the tremendously varied roles on offer…”
Captain Alexander Scates RLC, SO3 Recruitment Plans (Operation Fortify), 49 (East) Brigade Recruiting Group said: “The combined Force Elements form 16 Air Assault Brigade, 49 (East) Brigade and the Recruiting Partnership Project for delivering the cutting edge in modern British Army equipment. Roled for operating in the most austere environments and on deployment to contingency operations, it is very satisfying to see our Regular and Reserve soldiers displaying
capabilities and recruitment opportunities at the very fitting D-Day Anniversary Air Show. In my view, this highlights the tremendously varied roles on offer throughout the organisation and takes us one step closer towards building a more readily deployable and capable Army in the run up to 2020.”
At The D-Day Anniversary Air Show you’ll meet:
Members of the 6 Regiment Army Air Corps, ground crew experts who provide close support to Army aviation operations. Working with both the Apache and Lynx helicopters, they are responsible for the arming and refueling of assets. They also provide specialist helicopter-handling teams to assist with providing in-mission support. 6 Regiment Army Air Corps will present an Apache attack helicopter with 30mm cannon on static display.
216 (Parachute) Signal Squadron, who provide Command Support to the headquarters of 16 Air Assault Brigade, in order to enable the Commander and his staff to command and control the Brigade effectively. Deploying in the Air Assault role across the globe, these experts in communications rigorously ensure management of the battlefield, no matter what the circumstances. At The D-Day Anniversary Air Show, you’ll be able to see the Signal Squadron’s parachute equipment, communications equipment and high-mobility quad bike.
16 Medical Regiment, who provide dedicated medical support to 16 Air Assault Brigade. They are called upon to support the complete spectrum of air assault operations, including air mobile and parachute deployments. In addition to the regular squadrons, an Army Reserve squadron, 144 Para Med Squadron, is fully integrated with the Regiment. Its members deploy regularly on operations and exercises in support of the Brigade. At IWM Duxford, you’ll be able to see a
deployable surgical facility used by the Air Assault Task Force.
7 Royal Horse Artillery, a rapidly deployable Force Element which provides the airborne gunners for 16 Air Assault Brigade-led operations. Operating at a high state of readiness, they specialise in the air manoeuvre of light guns, across the battlefield, that they then bring to bear on enemy forces. On display will be a 105mm light gun and Pinzguar vehicle together with target acquisition equipment used to identify and target enemy forces at range.
Personnel from 51 (Parachute) Squadron, 23 Engineer Regiment (Air Assault) who provide close and general engineer support to facilitate 16 Air Assault Brigade on deployed operations. The Regiment is held at a very high state of readiness and is called upon to support deployed infrastructure and to alter the make-up of the battlefield to maintain the initiative in the face of adversity.
The 23 Engineer Regiment will present a light-wheeled tractor and manoeuvre course, which demonstrates the capability of its plant equipment. A dive tank, complete with diver, will show the Royal Engineer dive capability for underwater structural surveying and demolitions. A valon lane will demonstrate the regiment’s counter-improvised explosive device with a range of metallic devices.
156 Provost Company of the Royal Military Police has exclusive investigative and policing skills that are used to police the force and provide support to host nation police forces on deployed operations. They’ll be bringing a marked police car to IWM Duxford, which you’ll be welcome to explore and sit in.
The Band of the Parachute Regiment will perform rousing tunes at 10.30am and midday. The Band, currently based in Colchester, supports not only The Parachute Regiment but also the Army, as required, around the world. It recently supported troops on Operation Herrick in Afghanistan and music training with the Afghanistan National Army.
4 Battalion of the Parachute Regiment is the Reserve element of the Parachute Regiment. It provides the capability to deploy and bolster 2 or 3 PARA as part of the Army’s highest-readiness force, the Air Manoeuvre Task Force in the most demanding circumstances. With soldiers held at five days’ notice to deploy by any means including parachute insertion they are ready and trained to provide the spearhead for contingency operations throughout the world.
Members of 4 Battalion will have a display of parachute equipment, including assault and support weapons systems, consisting of vehicle-mounted and portable general purpose machine guns, rifles and mortars. Alongside this will be the supports weapons vehicle, known as The Jackal.
Generally known as The Steelbacks, 3 Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment is an Army Reserve Battalion. The Royal Anglian Regiment is one of the most operationally experienced in the Army today. It specialises as Light Role Infantry and has undertaken complex operations in contemporary operating environments, such as in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Cyprus and Iraq.
3 Battalion will showcase a variety of small and man portable arms, including the 81mm mortar, and will highlight its role in Operation Herrick with the Foxhound armoured vehicle.
217 Field Squadron (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) was born out of the Royal Engineers’ Bomb Disposal Companies during the Second World War, to deal with an increasing amount of unexploded ordnance. Today, 217 Explosive Ordnance Disposal use the most up-to-date equipment to conduct the safe search for, and disposal of, ordnance, including shells and mines secreted on the battlefield. At The D-Day Anniversary Air Show, you’ll be able to see Search and Explosive Ordnance Disposal equipment used on the frontline in Afghanistan, alongside examples of enemy bombs which have been made safe.
170 Engineer Group is at the forefront of infrastructure delivery on operations. Its specialist nature requires highly-trained engineer soldiers. Its roles range from theatre-entry expeditionary infrastructure to maintenance and decommissioning. Personnel from the 170 Engineers Group will display an armoured, and highly mobile, HUSKY protected vehicle.
151 Transport Regiment of the Royal Logistics Corps is London’s only logistics unit. Utilising a fleet of specialised support vehicles, the Regiment plays a vital role in providing and distributing tonnes of battle-winning ammunition, fuel, rations and material across the battlefield, including to the front line. The Regiment will have a range of support vehicles on display at IWM Duxford, including six-tonne transport vehicles and demountable rack offload pickup systems used to rapidly distribute supplies in hostile environments. It will display the Ridgeback, a protected mobility command vehicle used on combat logistic patrols in Afghanistan to keep frontline troops safely equipped with supplies.
The Parachute Regiment will also bring its recruiting section to The D-Day Anniversary Air Show. You’ll be able to chat to members of the Parachute Regiment about what life is like in the Regiment and see soldiers exhibiting the equipment they use on a daily basis.
Providing a historic contrast to the contemporary airborne forces presence at The D-Day Anniversary Air Show will be a number of living history groups, demonstrating the significant contribution made to the D-Day Landings by airborne forces in 1944.
The British Airborne Platoon will represent men of the 2nd (Airborne) Battalion Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, alongside the 7th (Somerset Light Infantry) Battalion Parachute Regiment and the Glider Pilot Regiment.
This large-scale display will depict the embarkation camp set up at RAF Tarrant Rushden prior to the ‘coup de main’ operation to capture the Caen Canal and River Orne bridges on the night of 5-6 June 1944. Re-enactors will represent men of the units preparing their equipment and receiving their final briefing, at which the identity of their intended target is revealed.
The CHALK Glider Pilot Regiment Living History Group will present a display signifying the eve of D-Day, centred around the Glider Pilot Regiment’s involvement in the attack on the Merville Gun Battery. They will display briefing models, maps, aerial photographs, weapons and equipment that were used to carry out this vital operation.
The 1939-45 Living History Society will display a field camp prior to D-Day alongside its 1940s pub, The Wheatsheaf, which is unfortunately out of bounds to the wartime troops who are confined to their airfield prior to the commencement of operations.
The society also represents elements of the 6th Airborne Divisional Force, who undertook vital roles on D-Day in operations at the Orne Bridgehead at Pegasus Bridge, and later in the Normandy campaign. These include the 317 Field Security Section, who undertook intelligence and security operations; the 2 Forward Observation Unit, who were responsible for artillery spotting in the field; 195 Field Ambulance, a fully-equipped field surgery; the Glosters, who were
the battlefield replacements for the 6th Airborne Division; 249 Forward Convoy, who were battlefield engineers and 1 SBS, who were Polish soldiers, on standby as reinforcements, to be dropped into the battlefield by parachute.
Fully kitted out in Second World War uniforms, members of the living history groups will explain the operations carried out by the units they represent. They’ll chat about their equipment and uniforms.
Our afternoon flying display will feature fighter, bomber and transport aircraft types that would have been seen over the beaches of France. It will culminate with a display of five Douglas C-47 Skytrains, representing the aircraft which were used to transport paratroopers over the channel for their drop into Normandy.
In honour of that mission, the world-renowned Red Devils, the Parachute Regiment Freefall Team, will carry out a parachute jump as part of the finale to our flying display.
The Red Devils is comprised of serving soldiers from The Parachute Regiment’s three battalions; 1, 2 and 3 Para.
The D-Day Anniversary Air Show is a rare opportunity to meet and mingle with members of the Airborne Forces. Discover the Forces’ Second World War history and how that heritage continues to inspire the Airborne Forces in their contemporary mission today.
Air show tickets and hospitality passes are now on sale and can be purchased online at iwm.org.uk
The recommended last booking date for overseas postal delivery is Friday 9 May. The off-sale date (and last date for UK postal delivery) is Tuesday 13 May.
Purchase your tickets in advance and receive one free child ticket with every adult ticket purchased. You’ll also enjoy 10% off ‘on the day’ ticket prices.
Advance ticket prices:
Adult (16 or over) £24.75
Child (5 to 15 years) £16.30
VIP Packages for The D-Day Anniversary Air Show
Enjoy a very special air show experience with our range of hospitality passes which offer the best seats in the house at The D-Day Anniversary Air Show (Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 May).
Gold Pass offers relaxed entertaining at its best. Enjoy a first-rate view of the flying action and access to our hospitality marquee, which will cater for all your refreshment needs. Choose a delicious dish from our in-house Gourmet Deli Bar or bring your own picnic lunch and relax in comfort as you enjoy the afternoon’s flying display.
Gold Pass prices:
Adult one day Gold Pass £80
Adult one day Gold Pass with meal £108
Adult two day Gold Pass £140
Adult two day Gold Pass with meal £196
Silver Pass has been created specifically with families in mind. Enjoy all the atmosphere and activities that the air show has to offer, with the convenience of the Silver Pass marquee. There will also be activities in the Silver Pass marquee to entertain all the family and a refreshment point selling drinks and snacks.
Silver Pass prices:
Adult one day Silver Pass £55
Child one day Silver Pass £20
Family one day Silver Pass £120
Adult two day Silver Pass £100
Child two day Silver Pass £35
Family two day Silver Pass £230