The ‘wings’, denoting that he was a pilot, were on a uniform that was left at Coningsby after Wing Commander Guy Gibson VC was killed in action in 1944. They will be on display at an exhibition in Lincoln, ‘Bastion in the Air: A Century of Valour’ that features Gibson’s Victoria Cross medal won for leading the Dambusters mission in 1943. The event will also showcase other artefacts from RAF personnel decorated for gallantry.
Gibson began World War Two at RAF Scampton with 83 Squadron, and commanded his first squadron, 106, at Coningsby before returning to Scampton to form 617 Squadron, ‘The Dambusters’, in early 1943. He was serving again at Coningsby in 1944 when he lost his life.
‘Guy Gibson flew most of his operations from Lincolnshire, at Scampton and here at Coningsby. It’s a huge honour and privilege to be asked to carry his wings with me as I fly over Lincoln today’
Dave Harrigan, Aviation Heritage Manager at Lincolnshire County Council, added: "This is a fantastic opportunity to again highlight Lincolnshire's vital contribution to the defence of our country through the bravery of such incredible individuals. It is very appropriate and gratifying that RAF Coningsby agreed to fly the wings as a tribute to Gibson and all of the other people that we are celebrating in this exhibition.”
The exhibition opens at The Collection in Lincoln on 25 January and runs until 15 March.