The inevitable pressures at the start of a new teaching year mean I can’t offer a great deal of reportage on my trip down to Duxford yesterday with Bev, suffice to say it was an astonishing and remarkable tribute to Fighter Command and their victory over the Luftwaffe in 1940, which became simply known as the ‘Battle of Britain’.
It was my first time to Duxford and I will obviously be going again, when there aren’t the crowds of an event.
The day was about Fighter Command, Spitfires and Hurricanes. I felt a bit defensive, feeling a little like the only representative of Bomber Command – but I probably wasn’t. I have often tried to explain to people the nature of a Squadron and perhaps its similarity between following one, rather than another football team. I am not sure the analogy between Fighter and Bomber Command, but I did feel a little as if I was on another’s patch.
Nevertheless, it was breathtaking to listen to the Merlins rip the air apart and even more lump in the throat inducing to watch 20 piston engined fighter aircraft from, literally another century, ‘ploughing the field’
Bev and I were not alone. With us, we bought the Pilot’s Wings and War Medal of Sgt. Philip Aubrey Thomas ‘Pat’ Reid, Pilot.
Pat Read, too late for the Battle of Britain, was killed on the the 3rd of March 1943, age 22, whilst instructing with a trainee at No. 7 (P) A.F.U. Shortly after takeoff, the aircraft they were in, lost power and crashed. Both were killed instantly.
Sgt. Philip Aubrey Thomas ‘Pat’ Read, RAFVR 1380251, was my Uncle.