Sunday, 11 June 2017

Mossie for East Kirkby!

New Home for De Havilland Mosquito HJ711 Following many years residence at its current home of the Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, Tony Agar plans to move his de Havilland Mosquito NF.II HJ711 to a new home at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre. The move will be taking place by November, and planning for the move is already underway. Information on the move, including, for those who would like to be present to welcome HJ711 to her new home, when it will take place will be found on the HJ711 Facebook group at on the website at or on the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre website at closer to the move date.

More at

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

73 years ago my uncle landed...

An extract from the memoirs of my uncle, 7941218 Trooper Jones R, Driver/Mechanic in 'B' Squadron, 24th Lancers who was involved in the D-Day landings - 

"We went from Milford to a holding camp at Winchester where we fed by the Americans but had the chance to explore one of England's oldest cities. After one false start we went to Southampton and embarked in a whale of a ship called the "John I. Jones", an American owned and manned ship. Ours was the last tank to board. The food was American and strange to my tastes, things like peaches and meat, a spoonful of potatoes and a little bread. Gallons of coffee. They were very kind to us for the four days we were on board.One day the heavy guns of the Navy were enough to deafen anyone and the air was filled with aircraft in their thousands going back and forth. By two o'clock the ship had gone as near the shore as she could and we waited while a large raft came alongside and started loading. The lorries first of all, then the tanks. We drove slowly on to the barge in case it capsized. The raft was so long the helmsman had great difficulty in keeping it heading for the shore, but land was slowly getting nearer. The co-driver and I were sealed in and eventually the order came "Start up, Taff" and into the water we went and slowly drove on to dry land. I believe our tank was the first of our regiment to land. We landed at 6.30 on June 6th. Our D-Day had arrived!What was the reaction? Fear certainly with the heart pounding away. The bodies floating in the sea were proof that this was no child's play, but you had to hide your fears and listen carefully to the tank commander's directions as we were still under seal and could see very little ourselves. The vision through the periscope was minimal and we had to rely on someone who could see what was going on. I saw a row of men coming to meet us with their hands on their heads - these were the first POWs for me to see. We went out of the village into a large field to wait for the regiment to assemble. In the next field a cow lay feet up to show that everything was endangered here."

This day 73 years ago...

Image courtesy Niven Family
73 years ago S/L John Niven DFC*, OC 485 (NZ) Squadron, spent the day flying Spitfire MkIXB MK862 on "Beachhead Patrol" - his logbook entries for the day...

05.35 First day fighters on patrol. Cloud over coast 7/10 1500' & hazy. Our troops approaching shore for first landing. Warships bombarding shore & Le Havre. Patrolled out to sea. No flak, no Huns.
10.35 Weather improved slightly. Landings made in St.Aubin area. Transports & tanks ashore. Heavy shelling from ships. Patrolled 1-6000'. No air activity.
18.50 Weather over beaches very clear with high cloud. Masses of bombers heading inland. Many gliders on ground near Bavent. Terrific bombing SE Caen. (Badly knocked about) On way home passed glider train stretching from Le Havre - 10 m. S Worthing.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Bronco poppy

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Bronco serendipity...

While reading one of the latest posts in the Duxford Diary 2017, I happened to look up the OV10 Bronco Demo Teams website to read about the poppy livery it is wearing this year. A couple of minutes later it flew over just to the west of the house!

Too slow to get a shot on it's first flypast but managed to catch it as it flew back to DX at 1743hrs…

Monday, 15 May 2017

1940? What Ho Wingco!….

Something evocative about stepping out through the front door of the Officers Mess at Duxford after your lunch to hear (then glimpse) a Spitfire doing a low level 'beat up' of the airfield followed by a victory roll...

Not sure which Spitfire it was but PV202 was parked up at the M11 end (with NH341) and looked like she had recently been up…

Thursday, 11 May 2017

NH341 - another two seater to 'notch up'?

For it's brief time on 411(Grizzly Bear) Sqn RCAF, from 22 June 1944 to 2 July 1944, I've possibly viewed the gun camera footage of Spitfire LFIXe, now converted to a T9, NH341 G-CICK - in particular while being flown by Flt Lt Trainor :-

On 28/6/44 at 1300hrs flying Spitfire attacking an Me109 and at 2000hrs attacking Fw190 (pilot recorded as "Trainor")

On 29/6/44 at 1630hrs attacking ground targets and Me109 (this clip is allocated to "F/Lt Rainor" 411 Sqn, though is probably an error by the person making up title card) 

On 30/6/44 at 2130hrs attacking an Me109.

Having viewed the footage of MJ627 bagging a 109 prior to my flight, maybe I need to add NH341 to my 'logbook'...

Sunday, 23 April 2017

The real deal...

When I posted about the last edition to the "hangar" I didn't realise that an aircraft in the same markings would be flying down under…

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Miss Pick Up

With the finer weather comes the chance of seeing more on my post nosebag saunters…

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

A Monday visit for a change...

Called in to sort out some paperwork and took a stroll around - not had the opportunity to do my post lunch saunters recently.

SM520 was getting ready to go aloft…

A RN Lynx called in for some fuel - for the last time in RN service?

Friday, 3 March 2017

2.III.17 - Two sides of "Wacky Wabbit"...

Caught the tail end of Wacky Wabbit being put through it's paces in a clear blue, late afternoon, sky over Duxford.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Duxford snapshots 16/2/17

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Tony Cooper - RIP

Just read the news about the passing of Tony Cooper. I had the privilege of meeting him at his home to present him with his gun camera film on DVD. He was thrilled to see it and sat reminiscing about his sorties and the fellow pilots as their names appeared on the title cards. He'd laid on a very nice lunch for myself and Terry Arlow and chatted away about his wartime exploits.
An absolute gentleman and I was honoured to have had the opportunity of spending a brief afternoon in his company…

RIP Sir…

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Random Revisit № 8 :: What was in Hangar 3 a decade ago?

With Duxford's occupants being in hibernation for a while longer here is a brief revisit to some photos taken ten years ago in hangar 3...

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Merry Christmas...

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Just Jane to fly?

With the BBMF Lancaster now in it's winter quarters, news from Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre that NX611 is heading towards an airworthy future -
The winter of 2016/17 will see some major works carried out on Avro Lancaster NX611 'Just Jane' to make huge steps forwards in the project to restore her to airworthy condition.
"This is the biggest news for NX611's restoration in the last 20 years"- Andrew Panton
Following the application for our A8-23 approval with the CAA we are now able to attend to some of NX611's future needs and address the long list of work we need to do to make her airworthy once more.
"The goal of "Just Jane" becoming only the third airworthy Lancaster in the world feels closer than ever before" - Andrew Panton
This winter will see a complete strip and re-paint of the aircraft which will facilitate an assessment of the aircraft's aluminium skin and permit any problems encountered to be resolved.

Could the possibility of having three Lancasters in formation become a reality at some point in the future?
Let's hope so...


Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Hangar panos

The BBMF Lancaster has some stickers applied to the fuselage since last week - Spitfire T9 PV202 was keeping PA474 company today. Again, reflection in the glass makes getting a clear shot a bit of a chore!
B-17 "Sally B" was manoeuvred into the north side of H2 for her hibernation and "Miss Pick Up" is also in there.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Another of PA474

Another shot of PA474 - taken with a wide angle lens (other photo was taken on iPhone) - bit of reflection from the light entering the Observation Room which could do with some blackout blinds on the glass doors!

Wednesday, 12 October 2016


Autumnal colours adorn the front of the Officers Mess at Duxford.

And my eye was drawn to this piece of classic Automobilia Americana…
1953 Chrysler New Yorker Town & Country Wagon

PA474 from viewing room

Took the opportunity post 'nosebag' to wander over to the "Stephenson Hangar" to check out the new resident. 

Just before heading over I caught the tail end of a spirited display by Richard Grace in the Mk XIV Spitfire MV268. Its last as a Duxford resident?...

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

HAC Sopwith Pup

While pup-sitting at the Meet The Fighters air show at Duxford had a chat with one of the HAC personnel. He made a passing comment about how it would look even better with Lord Flashheart stood next to it.
I mentioned that there were WWI aviator re-enactors 'deployed' near to the hangar base next to "The Workshop/Wing Co Joe's" and if he asked them they'd probably jump at the chance to pose next to the Pup.
Off he strolled and sometime later returned with some members of The Dawn Patrol. The 'aviator' 2nd from the right was a pretty good substitute for "Flash"!!!

Photo - Jon Higgins HAC

Friday, 16 September 2016

ML407 landing mishap...

Confirmation of The Grace Spitfire ML407 suffering a landing 'mishap' have been confirmed by Carolyn Grace with the social media post -

Here's hoping for a swift return to the air...

Sunday, 11 September 2016

A slightly sunnier Duxford...

Sunday morning broke with blue skies and the prospect of ideal air show weather after a washed out Saturday.
After a coffee to kickstart my day, a quick stroll around before going out to the flight line…

Spent the morning watching over the HAC's Sopwith Pup N6161
The upside of the previous day being washed out was that the Great War Display Team had twice the amount of pyrotechnics to get rid of during their display! There were some pretty loud bangs as a result - wonder if residents of surrounding properties were writing letters of complaint as they went off?…

Highlight of the day for myself was the 14 Spitfire flypast and subsequent tail chase - wonderful sight and sound!

Wednesday, 7 September 2016


Today and some H2 shuffling...