Veterans of the Lissett based WW2 158 Squadron Bomber Command are returning to East Yorkshire to remember those who lost their lives in the war and those who have died since.
This year marks a special reunion as it is 70 years since the squadron arrived at the newly built airfield at Lissett. Most nights, Halifax bombers could be seen flying out over Flamborough Head for missions over occupied Europe. In the morning the bombers returned, but often a number of aircraft were missing, having been shot down with their crews killed or taken as prisoners of war.
A total 851 members of the Squadron died during the war and each year their comrades return for a memorial service at the church next to the airfield in Lissett. This year the service will be on Sunday 8 September at 11am and everyone is very welcome.
On Friday, the veterans will join with the local council at the unveiling of signs in Lissett to the stunning memorial on the edge of the airfield which lists the names of every one of the 851 squadron members who gave their lives.
On Saturday there will be the annual squadron dinner at The Expanse. Veterans will be joined by the children and grandchildren of those who served with 158 following the decision by the veterans to allow relatives to join the Association. There will be over 60 people attending the dinner.
Chairman of the 158 Squadron Association, Dr Kevin Bryett said “It will be a memorable weekend, these modest heroes gather to remember those who were killed in the war and those who have left us since. They have such amazing stories and despite being over 90 they return each year to remember those who fell,” Kevin is named after his father’s pilot who died saving his father’s life 70 years ago this year.
President Bluey Mottershead said “Every year I remember those who flew with me during the war and it is a privilege to honour them at the memorial service. I am delighted that so many children and grandchildren are now in the Association to keep the memory of the Squadron active in the generations to come.
The Memorial Service is on Sunday 8th September at 1100 at the church in Lissett. Everybody is very welcome to join us to remember those who gave their lives. It is an open air service .
Whilst most of the Bomber Command Associations have laid up their colours and disbanded the 158 Association continues to grow with second generation people joining to remember their relatives. The majority of members are from the UK, Canada and Australia which reflects the nationalities of the veterans, but we have members throughout the world but particularly in Europe where local groups have erected memorials to 158 planes at the sites we they crashed. Three new memorials were erected this year on the 70th anniversary of their crashing and more are planned for next year.