Veterans reunite at wartime radar test airfield

VETERANS of RAF Defford, near Pershore, will be attending their annual reunion on Saturday, July 7, at the RAF building in Croome Park.

The event, which starts at 11am, will include a flypast by a Hawker Hurricane fighter of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

From 1942, there were over 2,000 servicemen and women from the RAF, Royal Navy and American Air Forces, together with scientists and technicians, based at Defford.

They were all working at top speed, devising, installing and testing radar equipment in hundreds of different aircraft, as British scientists always managed to stay one step ahead of the enemy.

What was achieved at Defford played a key part in winning the war, and the site is now seen as being of great national historic importance.

The reunion is part of the National Trust’s 1940s Weekend at Croome Park. There will be an exhibition about the airfield and displaying some of the radar equipment developed and tested there.

In 1945, by combining American equipment and radar systems developed at Malvern and Defford, the world’s first automatic landing was achieved at Defford. Local author Bob Shaw tells the story of this and other historic aviation events in his book Top Secret Boeing, which will be on sale with a book signing.

To find out more, see deffordairfieldheritagegroup.wordpress.com, or contact dahg@springlea1.freeserve.co.uk, or phone Graham Evans on 01684 295327.

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