We had thought that perhaps last year’s reunion would be the last, but members really wanted us to continue! So we are delighted to say that this will take place once again at Elvington’s Yorkshire Air Museum the weekend of 15th /16th September with extra-special features.
We are very excited that the famed Vulcan pilot, Squadron Leader Martin Withers DFC will be our after-dinner speaker. Martin graduated in law but fell in love with flying at university. The highlight of his distinguished career with the RAF was when, as Chief Pilot and Operations Director of VTST he and his crew of Vulcan XH558 “Black 1,” carried out the longest bombing raid in British history (an 8,000 mile, 16 hour flight from their base at Ascension Island), successfully and significantly attacking Port Stanley runway in the 1982 Falklands war.
Tours of the museum are offered on Saturday afternoon, and a unique offer to visit the interior of “Friday the Thirteenth,” the fully restored Handley Page Halifax and the only one in the UK. The Halifax tour is limited to 12 participants at a special price of £10 each (veterans free). (more…)
On November 20th, York’s daily paper, the Press, published a feature about our squadron at Elvington. You can access the article here.
It was a wonderful weekend of friendship and remembrance. A good turn-out of friends and families of 77 squadron with 50 booked in for dinner at the air museum. We were thrilled that three veterans were able to be with us, all now of course in their nineties: Bill Ballantyne, pilot, Tom Nash, w/op and AG and Jeff Strain, radar technician.
We were sorry that Ted Matthews was not fit enough to travel ( sadly he passed away November 16th), but David and Liz were there on his behalf. Our President, Bill Foote has made a great recovery from his stroke but was still unable to be with us. Bill Ball, who has usually been a great presence here has moved away to be with his family. We missed him and Flo and their exuberance. We missed Celia and Ray Wolfe who at the last minute could not come due to ill health.
Last December, Derek Oakley passed away but we were so pleased that his family came in his memory, with a baby grandson too to carry on the family tributes.
In October last, a stalwart of all our reunions, whom many will remember, Cyril Frazer passed away. He and Derek seemed indomitable so we are specially missing them. (more…)
2017’s annual reunion is September 16th and 17th at Elvington, 77’s wartime base from October 1942 to May 1945. This could be the last reunion so let’s make it special. All are welcome. There is a dinner at the air museum on Saturday evening, preceded by a short ceremony at the memorial. At the dinner we will show the new film we have made about the squadron. On Sunday there is a special service in the village church. Email us for more information and book soon: email@example.com
From Paul Bogaert, President of the Association des Anciens et des Amis des Groupes Lourds.
Dear Rachel, Van, Veterans and Families of 77 Squadron Association,
July 1st 1916: the height of the Battle of the Somme; three months later October 1st, the creation of 77 Squadron Royal Flying Corps: Two major events for us this year of which we commemorate the hundredth anniversary.
On behalf of the “Groupes Lourds” receive our best wishes and congratulations to mark this anniversary. (more…)
The venue at the Yorkshire Air Museum for our Reunion Dinner
This year it is to be held 10th and 11th September. The Dinner will be on Saturday 10th at the Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, the squadron’s wartime base 1942-44, following a short ceremony at the gate memorial to the squadron.
STOP PRESS: We are pleased to announce that our speaker at the Reunion Dinner is Ken Cothliff. Read his story in this Evening Post article. He is the author of a book Under the Maple Leaf about Canadian volunteer aircrew including the father he never knew.