ACA Woking News by Bill Bawden, PRO

26 June 2015

Taking-Off Once More .....

The Woking and District AirCrew Association’s annual Flying Evening at Fairoaks Aerodrome was a very successful event with 79 members, guests and visitors attending and 35 of them taking to the air as passengers on flights over the Surrey countryside.  Thanks are due to the organisers, aircraft owners and pilots for providing their services and to those serving the barbecue on the Flight Centre terrace to round off a splendid evening.

A good crowd enjoyed evening sunshine outside the clubhouse
Concentrating on the BBQ Alan Milton, who organised the aircraft and pilots, in his Fuji

..... and Final Landings

The Association regrets to report the recent deaths of four members with three of the funerals taking place in the space of four days.

Peter Harvey, a retired Group Captain and resident of Camberley, had been a pilot with Coastal Command.

Terry Rourke Bill Lindsay AFM Alex Noble

Terry Rourke served as a navigator with No 46 Squadron at RAF Odiham and on 99 Sqn.

Bill Lindsay, a former bomber flight engineer and holder of the Air Force Medal, was at one time seconded from the RAF to fly B45 Tornado jet bombers with the United States Air Force.  After retirement he spent two years of painstaking research in order to establish a memorial to the crew who perished when a Stirling bomber crashed near his home village of Windlesham in April 1945.  Thanks to his efforts many of the relatives of those who died were able to attend a memorial service at St John the Baptist Church and witness the unveiling of an obelisk and plaque dedicated to the crew members.

Alex Noble from Knaphill served as an observer flying operations in Wellington and Halifax aircraft with Bomber Command in World War II.  He was shot down twice and on the second occasion reported as presumed dead.  After being held as a prisoner-of-war, Alex returned home in 1945 and was able to read his own obituary notices.  In 1988 he was a founder-member of the AirCrew Association’s Woking Branch, was a driving force in its early years and became its honorary life vice-president.

All these veterans made a distinct contribution to the defence of this country and in many other ways.  The AirCrew Association salutes their service and mourns their passing.

The branch formed by Alex Noble and just six others grew into a vigorous organisation with over 170 members at its peak.  This number has inevitably fallen, but the Woking & District ACA remains a robust and companionable society drawing its members from the whole of West Surrey and the adjacent counties.

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