Eagle Squadrons memorial

Gainsborough news
Gainsborough news

AVIATION Heritage Lincolnshire will hold a series of events to commemorate Lincolnshire’s connections with the United States Air Force (USAF).

The Eagle Squadrons - 71, 121 and 133 - were all within fighter command, manned by Americans but commanded by a Royal Air Force Squadron Leader.

All three squadrons were based, at one time or another, at RAF Kirton in Lindsey.

After Pearl Harbour the Eagle Squadron pilots were regarded as highly respected combat experienced pilots.

Subsequently the squadrons were transferred from the Royal Air Force to the American Air Force as the 334th, 335th and 336th Fighter Squadrons, which are still in existence at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina.

The date of the transfer was 29th September 1942. So, 70 years to the day, on Saturday 29th September 2012, the town of Kirton will unveil a memorial to the Eagle Squadrons at 3pm. USAF representatives from Seymour Johnson AFB will also attend.

The day before, a talk will take place in Kirton in Lindsey Town Hall by Dr Roy Heidicker, the Eagle Squadron historian from Seymour Johnson AFB.

Tickets for the 7.30pm talk must be pre-booked. Call Phil Bonner on 01529 308135, or Debbie Roberts on 01529 308172 or e-mail phil@aviationheritagelincolnshire.com

On Saturday, after the memorial unveiling, the Kirton in Lindsey Society holds a 40s/50s dance in the town hall with the RAF’s Shades of Blue Band.

Tickets are £20 and include a pie and pea supper. It starts at 7.30pm and tickets are available from Lynne Duffin on 01526 649094 or Martin Hollingsworth on 01652 648435 or e-mail lynneduffin905@btinternet.com