|by Bill Bawden, PRO|
20 October 2009
A dozen from the Woking Branch joined a number of AirCrew Association members from other branches in a visit to Royal Air Force Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, the country's largest RAF base.
The visitors were welcomed by the station commander, Group Captain Jon Ager, and given a full day's hospitality including conducted tours of all three squadrons based there. They were shown over the Tristars of 216 Squadron and the VC10s of 101 Squadron which carry out both long-range troop transport and air-to-air refuelling tanker operations, and briefed on the work of 99 Squadron whose C17 Globemaster heavylift aircraft are engaged in the transportation of helicopters, armoured vehicles and other large items to and from the Afghanistan war zone.
|Sqn Ldr Jimmy James in 216Sqn TriStar cockpit||Tony Rest and Jimmy James on the flight line|
Aviation Archaeology and Filming
The subsequent meeting at Fairoaks Aerodrome welcomed guest speaker Simon Parry who was one of the makers of the TV documentary 'Last of the Dambusters' shown last year on Channel Five. This followed the story of George 'Johnny' Johnson, the bomb-aimer of the 617 Squadron Lancaster that carried out the attack on the Sorpe Dam. His aircraft returned safely from this operation but it was lost, together with another crew, later in 1943 over northern France.
Simon described the search for this last, until then, untraced Dambuster bomber and the successful excavation of identifiable parts of 'T-Tommy'. This will be the subject of a new documentary film.
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