Sussex Aircrew Association (Previously Mid-Sussex Branch Aircrew Association)

Following dissolution of the Association at National level our committee has been setting up the formation of the new branch as a Company limited by Guarantee. This is mainly for legal and insurance reasons but the aims of the branch are exactly the same as the original Association.

We have a healthy membership of approximately 60 with a good percentage of 'veterans' but it has been decided to allow non military professional flight deck aircrew, both active and retired, from civil airlines to join, hopefully increasing the membership.

The branch continues to meet on the 1st Tuesday of each month and normally a speaker is present to talk, not only on aviation, but other interesting subjects. In December, for instance, we have a talk by Brian Baker on Harrier Operations. Monthly pub lunches remain popular

The Branch had a very successful visit to RAF Odiham and Farnborough during the summer, arranged by our Chairman, Bob Osborne. One of our members, Malcolm Burwood, also organised a 4 day outing in October to Weymouth, RNAS Yeovilton and Dorset which was much enjoyed by about 20 members.

The daughter of a mid upper gunner on Lancasters approached the Branch asking if we could tell her anything about her father, an Air Gunner, Sgt. Reg Collins, who was reported Missing in Action with 156 Squadron on 3rd January 1944. Our Chairman did much research and presented his findings at the monthly pub lunch in September to a very emotional attendance of members and the family.

Our Bomber Command Veterans continue to visit aviation and related functions signing books, prints and artefacts for a small charge, the proceeds of which go to the Bomber Command Memorial Fund.

Regrettably and sadly Ray Troughton, our Membership Secretary and stalwart member , died suddenly on 29th October. The funeral took place at Clayton Church on 11th November with many of our members attending.

If any ex military or civil aircrew in the Sussex area wish to join our branch please contact Yvonne Aldridge by email on: yvonne.aldridge@hotmail.com

Joe Overy