MARTLESHAM HEATH AVIATION SOCIETY
Our meeting on Friday 2nd November was a joint illustrated talk. In the first half our chairman, Martyn Cook, explained the aviation history of Martlesham. How, during the Great War until the outbreak of the second world war RAF Martlesham was second in importance only to the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough. This was because it was home to the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment, where all aircraft, both military and civil were evaluated.
Martyn went on to describe the part RAF Martlesham played during WW2. It was one of 11 Group. the ring of airfields surrounding London that played such an enormous role in the Battle of Britain. The arrival of the Americans in the autumn of 1943 and the various post war roles in Blind Landing development and other lanes of aviation development were all explained by Martyn.
In the second half, our Publicity secretary, Howard King talked about the development of gliders and the last years of Martlesham airfield, when it was used by the ATC for gliding and before it closed, in 1963..
A popular evening of much interest to many Martlesham residents who attended. A vote of thanks was given by our president, Richard Barker.
Our chairman, Martyn Cook, (right), who delivered the the Aviation History of Martlesham.
Howard King far left, who gave a talk about gliding at Martlesham
This year we as we celebrate the 100th year of the RAF we also remember those in died in times of conflict during the last 100 years. Both World Wars were terrible events in our history. On Sunday we will see the ceremony held every year on the second Sunday in November to remember all those who served their country during all conflicts.
I have since January been arranging for 3 squadrons of the RAF to be remembered, No's 71, 121 and 133. These Squadrons were flown by American pilots but were in the RAF. A wreath is being carried at both the ceremony in London and a wreath is being laid at the ceremony at Martlesham Heath. It has been quite a task but happily with the help of the RAF at Northolt one wreath is being carried for us by an ex serving member of the RAF Regiment in honour of the men who served in the RAF yet came of their own free will to join the conflict from the USA. It was a criminal offence in the USA to fight for another country, of the 250 men who joined from the USA 78 were lost or killed in combat and the wreath is in honour not only of these men but all who served to maintain the aircraft that they flew.
At the Control Tower museum we welcomed a Remembrance Day visit from some of the children from nearby Gorselands primary school on Friday 9th November. Two children gave readings and there was a one minutes silence followed by a wreath laying at the foot of the Control Tower Museum. The wreath will be taken to our Remembrance Day service and parade on the Barrack Square at 3pm on Sunday 11th November