Alongside a massed formation of 15 Spitfires, including four Mark I Spitfires, a rare formation of 1930s biplane fighters and the stunning aerobatics of the Global Stars and the Red Arrows* visitors to this weekend’s air show at IWM Duxford will hear a group of veterans tell stories of their time at RAF Duxford with 64 and 65 Squadrons, serving as pilots, navigators, medics and engineers.
Les Millgate, who served as a pilot on Gloster Meteors at RAF Duxford remembered: “From the age of probably about 5 I wanted to fly. So just about as soon as I could, at the age of 18, I volunteered for the air force. This was 1950 and that was it! So, 60 years later, here I am still talking about aircraft!”
Stan Dell, who spent three years at Duxford as a ground equipment mechanic, said: “I always walk around Duxford with great memories of happy times which directly led to the success achieved in later life.”
Veterans returning to Duxford include:
- Basil Gowling, MBE was posted to 65 Squadron at RAF Duxford from 1954 to 1956. He flew Gloster Meteors and was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service
in the Air in 1973. He was awarded the MBE in 1977.
- Les Millgate served as a pilot on Gloster Meteors with 64 Squadron from 1952 to 1958. After leaving the RAF, Les became an airline pilot.
- Mike Robins served as an Airframe Fitter at Duxford from 1958 to 1960. Mike had a distinguished RAF career, teaching at the highest level.
- Peter Clay was an engine fitter, working on the Gloster Meteors of 64 Squadron and the Hawker Hunters of 65 Squadron.
- Stan Dell was posted to Duxford, aged 18, as a Ground Equipment Mechanic on Station Flight. He was posted to 65 Squadron and spent over three years at Duxford, serving on three detachments to Cyprus.
- Mike Hursey served as a Machine Operator at RAF Duxford under National Service from 1956 to 1958.
- David Brown served at RAF Duxford from 1959 to 1961 under National Service. David was an Acting Corporal Nursing Attendant (Medic).
Veterans attending The Duxford Air Show are all members of the Old Dux Association, the veterans’ organisation for RAF Duxford. Members of the Old Dux will be chatting about their experiences serving at RAF Duxford and will take questions from visitors.
Other thrilling flying displays will include The Great War Display Team and a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 aircraft in a dogfight with two de Havilland Vampires.
The Duxford Air Show: Meet the Fighters (Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 September) is advanced tickets only. Tickets are not available to purchase on arrival at the air show. Buy online at www.iwm.org.uk
*The Global Stars display on Saturday only. The Red Arrows display on Sunday only.