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Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire - Press Release

Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire - Press Release

The Eagle Squadrons of Kirton in Lindsey

To commemorate Lincolnshire's connections with the United States Air Force (USAF) Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire (AHL) has instigated a series of aviation events connected to the Eagle Squadrons of the USAF.

Before the events of Pearl Harbour the United States of America was a neutral country, but this did not prevent 9,000 Americans joining either the Royal Canadian Air Force or the Royal Air Force in defiance of their government's policies.

Within Fighter Command three unique squadrons were formed, each manned by these Americans but commanded by a Royal Air Force Squadron Leader. These squadrons were 71 Squadron, 121 Squadron and 133 Squadron and they became known as 'The Eagle Squadrons'. Uniquely all three squadrons were based at one time or another at RAF Kirton in Lindsey, just north of Lincoln.

After Pearl Harbour the Eagle Squadron pilots were no longer an embarrassment to America, but 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.

70 years to the day, Saturday 29th September 2012, the town of Kirton in Lindsey will be unveiling a memorial to the Eagle Squadrons at 3.00 pm. USAF representatives from Seymour Johnson AFB will be in attendance.

The memorial unveiling will be preceded by a talk in the Kirton in Lindsey Town Hall on the evening of Friday 28th September by Dr Roy Heidicker, the Eagle Squadron Historian from Seymour Johnson AFB.

The Town Hall Kirton in Lindsey North Lincs DN21 4LZ

Tickets for the talk, which begins at 7.30 pm, cost 5 and must be pre-booked. Tickets can be obtained from Phil Bonner on 01529 308135, or Debbie Roberts on 01529 308172 or e-mail phil@aviationheritagelincolnshire.com

Following the memorial unveiling on the Saturday, the Kirton in Lindsey Society will be putting on a 40s/50s Dance in the Town Hall with the RAF's Shades of Blue Band in aid of the RAF Benevolent Fund. Tickets cost 20 and include a Pie & Peas Supper. The dance starts at 7.30 pm and tickets are available from Lynne Duffin on 01526 649094 or Martin Hollingsworth on 01652 648435 or e-mail lynneduffin905@btinternet.com

Updates about this and other events being organised by AHL can be found on their website at www.aviationheritagelincolnshire.com

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire Vb AB910, wearing the markings of the RAF's No.133 (Eagle) Squadron. The photograph is included by the kind permission of the Officer Commanding Designate, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Sqn Ldr Duncan Mason.

AVIATION TOP 100 - www.avitop.com Avitop.com

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