Hurricane Heralds Air Tattoo

09 June 2010

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Hurricane Heralds Air Tattoo

THE ONLY airworthy Battle of Britain Hurricane still in existence flew in to RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire today for the media launch of this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo.

Hurricane R4118, together with its Battle of Britain pilot Wg Cdr Bob Foster, DFC

At the event, the RAF will be staging its flagship public commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, and the Hurricane R4118, together with its Battle of Britain pilot Wg Cdr Bob Foster, DFC, played a starring role at today’s media event.

After watching the iconic wartime aircraft touch down, Wg Cdr Foster said: “It’s wonderful to see her flying again. I first saw R4118 nearly 70 years ago, in August 1940. After October 1940, when she was badly shot up, I didn’t see her again until she was brought back to England as something of a wreck in 2001. Now she’s restored to flying condition and it’s just wonderful, and very nostalgic, to see her in action.

“I’d love to have another go in her,” he added, “but I doubt they’d let me!”

Wg Cdr Foster joined the RAF in 1939 and was posted to 605 Squadron. During the Battle of Britain he flew Hurricane R4118 on several missions, including one in which he damaged two JU-88s and shared one kill.

He also saw action in the Pacific arena, helping defend the Darwin area of Northern Australia from Japanese attack throughout 1943, and being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1944. Returning to the UK he took up an RAF public relations assignment, being sent to Normandy within three weeks of the D-Day invasion, and eventually was one of the first RAF officers to enter Paris with the liberating French army, taking part in General de Gaulle’s triumphant procession down the Champs-Elysees.

His Hurricane was sent to India as a training aircraft in 1943 where it remained until being discovered and returned to England in 2001.

· This year’s Air Tattoo takes place from July 17 to 18 at RAF Fairford, when more than 160,000 visitors are expected to view around 300 aircraft from across the world.

· The event is staged in support of its parent charity, the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust, which provides financial support to a wide variety of RAF-related projects and initiatives within the RAF family. Since 2005 it has gifted over £1.3 million to worthy causes.

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