Commemorating Victory in Europe and showing how the war was won in the air.
IWM Duxford’s VE Day Anniversary Air Show pays tribute to the men, women and children who endured six years of conflict on the fighting fronts and the Home Front of the Second World War.
Our flying display shows how the Second World War was won in the air. Accompanied by music, speeches and audio recordings of veterans’ memories, flying aircraft show Britain preparing for war, the vital victory in the Battle of Britain, the bombing campaign, flying with the armies and navies and why Victory in Europe didn’t end the Second World War.
In a stunning spectacle, B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B will commemorate the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe and, incredibly, the aircraft’s own 70th birthday and its 40th anniversary on the air show circuit, with a poignant VE Day flying salute. IWM Duxford’s VE Day Anniversary Air Show will be the only opportunity to see the VE Day salute led by B-17 Sally B and the first time in 21 years that Sally B has led a mass formation of aircraft.
B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B will be accompanied by Second World War bomber and fighter aircraft in this special flying display: a Beechcraft Beech 18 (operated by Phil and Allie Dinnington), Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina (operated by Plane Sailing), North American P-51D Mustang (operated by the Old Flying Machine Company), North American TF-51D Mustang (operated by The Fighter Collection), North American P-51D Mustang (operated by the Norwegian Spitfire Foundation), and Curtiss P-40F Warhawk (operated by The Fighter Collection) .
Further highlights include the first air show display by the Aircraft Restoration Company’s Bristol Blenheim, following a lengthy 12-year restoration. The Blenheim will be accompanied by Supermarine Spitfire Mark I P9374, which was shot down over France exactly 75 years ago on Sunday 24 May, and Supermarine Spitfire Mark I N3200, which was shot down over France 75 years ago on Tuesday 26 May. This poignant display will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
Also flying for the first time after an extensive period of restoration is the Historic Aircraft Collection’s Hawker Fury Mark I, a superb 1930s biplane.
We’ll be commemorating the end of the conflict in Europe and the peace that followed with a spirited display of contemporary aircraft, including the Eurofighter Typhoon from 29 (R) Squadron, RAF Coningsby, the Westland Sea King Search and Rescue Demonstration by B Flight, 22 Squadron, RAF, Wattisham, and energetic aerobatics from the RV-8tors and The Red Bull Matadors.
Immerse yourself in a 1940s atmosphere as we recreate a VE Day street party in the historic heart of IWM Duxford, complete with bunting. Sing along to the wartime music and song performed on our Second World War stage. Performers include the gentleman of song Pete Wayre, vintage vocalist Nina Rae, the Red Hot Ukulele Duo and an uncanny performance by ‘George Formby’. Between live performances, you’ll hear the wartime wireless sounds of the 1940s Radio Station.
Living history groups give a glimpse into life on the Home Front, including wartime weddings, the Home Guard, wartime food and rationing, the Womens’ Auxiliary Air Force and the United States Army Air Forces.
From 10am to 2pm, our learning team will be showing the tools of victory used by the Army, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force.
They’ll show the equipment carried by a British soldier during the Second World War. You’ll be able to feel the weight of the equipment and try on Army helmets and webbing.
Moving on to the Royal Navy, you’ll learn how to tie knots and send Morse code. You’ll also be able to see Second World War naval uniforms.
We’ll have mini-RAF uniforms for children to try on and a display of original Second World War flying clothing, including goggles and life jackets.
Join us as we commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE Day and the people who made victory possible.
Tickets for the VE Day Anniversary Air Show can be purchased at the entrance to IWM Duxford on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 May.
As a mark of our gratitude and heartfelt thanks, we are offering Second World War Armed Forces and Home Front Civilian Forces veterans complimentary entry to the VE Day Anniversary Air Show. Advance booking is not required for veterans attending the VE Day Anniversary Air Show; simply arrive on the day.