On Wednesday 8 September 2010, No 41 (Reserve) Squadron based at Royal Air Force Coningsby, Lincolnshire, hosted veterans, family and friends of personnel who served with the Squadron during World War Two.
In 1940 the Squadron fought with distinction during the Battle of Britain; ending the battle as one of the most successful units. To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the battle the squadron have marked up their aircraft with tail codes that represent aircraft and pilots from the battle and other periods in WW2. Because of the interest in the tail codes the unit decided to host an event where families could see the aircraft and meet the personnel of the squadron.
During the day the guests were treated to a tour of the world renowned Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, and saw some practice aircraft displays, including a Spitfire flown by Squadron Leader Ian Smith, Officer Commanding BBMF and who is also a former member of 41 Squadron.
After a lunch in the Officers Mess, the guests had an opportunity to view the aircraft and equipment of today’s squadron as well as records and artefacts from the history.
Following a group photograph there was a presentation by the squadron historian, Mr Steve Brew, who gave a briefing on the career of each of the pilots represented by the aircraft. To round the day off a member of each family was presented with a framed print from the squadron, containing a biography of their relative.
Mr Steve Brew, the squadron historian, whose research had made the day possible said, "This is what it has all been for, what has made all the hard work worthwhile, to see all of these people here today”
Officer Commanding 41 Sqn, Wing Commander Rich Davies said, "I had two objectives; to enable our guests to celebrate the lives of their family members and for the current squadron to learn something of their predecessors. I'm delighted that both of these hopes have been fulfilled during what has been a wonderful and at times a very moving day".
Raina Spencer, visiting from Australia, is the daughter of Squadron Leader Terry Spencer who flew with the squadron in 1944/5. Raina said, “It has been superb and at times very emotional, a very special day”
Photographs: Top (Mr Peter Hale, who flew with the Squadron in 1944/45)
Middle (Wing Commander Rich Davies Officer Commanding 41 (R) Squadron with Mr Steve Brew, Squadron Historian)
Both SAC Andy Seaward
Bottom (The daughters of Sqn Ldr Terry Spencer, Cara, (left) Raina (middle) presented with a framed biography of their father by OC 41 Wg Cdr Rich Davies)
SAC Sally Raimondo