Next Meeting

IN KHAKI AND BLUE – a talk by David Jacklin, July 3rd 2019 at 7pm

This talk will focus on activities at Bircham Newton one hundred years ago. It will illustrate the birth of the RAF aerodrome and its subsequent role during the final year of the First World War. The duties of the first flying unit, No. 3 Fighting School, will be introduced together with the antics of some of its larger-than-life flying instructors.

The second flying unit, No. 27 Group, a long-range bombing group in the newly-formed Independent Force, will also be described, as will its main protagonists. The Group was placed on standby to bomb Berlin with its giant Handley Page V/1500 bombers, a deadly mission that was only cancelled after the Armistice was signed.

The talk will also highlight some interesting flying adventures that occurred in the immediate post-war period involving pilots who had been on standby at Bircham Newton. One of the giant bombers dropped bombs on the Afghan capital, Kabul, in 1919, after a record-breaking first flight to the Indian subcontinent. Another was sent on an ill-fated goodwill mission to Spain, and a third was involved in an odyssey in North America.

The talk will conclude with a brief summary of the subsequent history of RAF Bircham Newton, covering the inter-war years, World War Two and beyond.

Members Free; Guests £3

Please phone or email to book as space is limited

01485518659 / 07769850965

[email protected]