Bassingbourne Display 2006

Seven B17’s fly at Bassingbourne For Armistice Day Combined report from Graham Drury and Vince Raia

Saturday 11th of 11th at 11am, seven B17’s from LMA Members flew at the old B17 airfield at Bassingbourne, home to the 91st bomb group.

The aircraft of Dave and Andy Johnson had hatches inserted in their bomb bays to allow a Poppy drop, accompanied by the aircraft of Phil Robertshaw, Colin Hammond, Tony Nijhuis, Steve Ogden, and Dave Plummer.

The sky and the airfield was once again alive to the sound of those four engine aircraft as they circled round whilst the parade on the parade ground was taking place. It was a privilege to be able do my bit in recording the event, it gives one a great sense of passion and honour, to honour our for-fathers who gave the great sacrifice for us. On behalf of the LMA, I would personally like to thanks all the pilots who braved the strong winds to make it all possible.

To cut a very long story short, the LMA were invited by the base commander (Basingbourne is now Army) to provide a fly-past and maybe if possible a “poppy-drop” from B-17s. If people don’t realize it, R.A.F. Basingbourne was the home of the 8th US Army during the war, and was home to some of the most famous flying fortresses, including Memphis belle, Nine-o-Nine, Hells Angels and others, and this was the first time a squadron of B-17s has taken off from Basingbourne in over 60 years. Well the LMA once again proved their worth and no less than 7 B-17s were assembled and flown (almost in formation) over the watching parade, who had gathered for the armistice day parade. the sight of the 7 B-17s was just awesome, and proved to be very popular with all the visitors and the local press and television who had been invited to witness this special event.

Following the “on-mass” fly-past Dave Johnson flew a lone fly-past low and level, and on cue dropped his cargo of red poppy petals, despite technical issues and near freezing conditions.

Please click image to enlarge.

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