RAF Elvington anniversary celebrations held

Military procession at RAF Elvington's 70th anniversary celebrations
Military procession at RAF Elvington's 70th anniversary celebrations

WAR veterans and dignitaries were welcomed by the Yorkshire Air Museum in Elvington on Sunday during a special annual Allied Air Forces Memorial Day.

The event also marked the 70th anniversary of Bomber Command base RAF Elvington, which opened in October 1942.

Crowds gathered to see a military procession which was followed by a service in the museum’s hangar to commemorate armed forces of the past, present and future.

Visitors also witnessed flypasts from a Lancaster Bomber, Spitfire and Vulcan.

As well as veterans from the original 77 Squadron, who were the first airmen to be based at RAF Elvington, the event was attended by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, and Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.

A spokesperson for the museum said: “It was a pleasure to welcome veterans, dignitaries and museum visitors to the Allied Air Forces Memorial Day Service.

“The service took place in the hangar, where guests were surrounded by aircraft, which was a fitting tribute to the men who fought and died in the fight against tyranny.”

During the service, Dr Sentamu paid tribute to the Allied Air Forces of the Second World War.

He commented: “It is wonderful to be back at Elvington to remember the important contribution and sacrifice made by Allied Air Forces during the Second World War.

“We are reminded of the heroic personal struggles of those who worked together to combat evil during this time in our history. We are in their debt. It is right that the service today remembers the brave and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

The museum created a ‘then and now’ display for the anniversary, which includes pictures of the base alive with young aircrews 70 years ago.