North Herts Aircrew Association

Posted by: ACA Webmaster

North Herts Aircrew Association - 02/05/12 03:34 PM

We are still operating as a Branch but now call ourselves ‘The North Herts Aircrew Association’. Although we still have approximately 40 Members and Associates, we have ceased to hold our regular monthly formal meetings which rarely attracted more than 6 members. We hold a monthly lunchtime get together which usually attracts about 20 members (euphemistically known as our (‘Naafi Break’). I distribute a monthly newsletter which keeps the members in touch and advises them if there are any other occasional meetings or visits.

Our base as such, due to the kind hospitality of the landlord, is ‘The Orange Tree’ in Baldock.

We shall be taking our Stand and Standard to the Vets Day at the RAF Museum on Wednesday 16th May 2012. This being sited next to the free Refreshments Bar and provides a useful point of contact for all fellow members. We look forward to seeing many friends from other Branches on that day.

As I am sure you are aware, if you are attending you need to register with the museum (see ACA Website NEWS).

Associate members from the Branch (one of whom's father took part in the raid) are making what has become an annual visit to the ‘Mailly le Camp’ Reunion which commemorates the Raid on the night of 3/4th May 1944. The RAF dispatched 332 bombers from 28 squadrons, to destroy the German 21st Panzer Division at Mailly-le-Camp, 85 miles east of Paris.

In the target area, in the space of little more than one hour, forty-two Lancasters, one ECM Halifax and a Mosquito were shot down. In later years survivors described the raid as the most terrifying night of their life.

More than 300 airmen failed to return that night, of whom 258 were killed; most of those killed are buried in the cemeteries of villages surrounding Mailly-le-camp.

On each anniversary of the raid, the local citizens including many school children and young people, the French Army, and representatives of the Resistance - many of whom assisted RAF evaders - attend a series of services organised by the French "L'Association Mailly 3/4 mai 1944", which culminates in a military parade on the French Army base at the memorial erected by L'Association Mailly.