Wednesday, 5 July 2017

RAF Duxford the Return

My return to RAF Duxford took place around 20 years after the last, it was a day out for my Wife & I where we took a flight in a classic plane. The first thing you see when getting to the carpark is this Hawker Hurricane Gate Guardian. RAF Duxford was involved with the Battle of Britain before  being handed to the USAF. It is now in the hands of the Imperial War Museum and well worth a visit. After starting this blog I have decided to show it in two parts as there is so much to see

It's not the only thing Guarding either

One of the first planes I spotted was this two seater spitfire taxing out near the old WWII Ops tower
The tail of the Spitfire with a tiger Moth taking off

We were there for a reason and while we waited we went into a nearby Hangar to look at the planes

and the first plane was a Sopwith Camel

Above the tail fin with the makers name on it

On the left Ferocious Frankie a World War II Mustang

Couple of Battle of Britain planes, the Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire two of mu all time favourite planes

One of two Hawker Fury's in the Hanger

The second Hawker Fury in the hanger at Duxford

Though this was an interesting one I think its a Grumman Avenger

It has the name Lt George Bush on the side

On the left a Fairey Gannet from the Royal Navy

Sure this is an old Navy Sea Vixen

Recognised this as a one man submarine but was lost on make

Then I saw this board telling you about it you can read more about the Biber 
and the story of how it ended up here

I think this was a deck gun of a submarine

Might look a little odd but the object on the right is the remains of HMS X7 midget Submarine

You can read about the X  class submarines
in the link and see what they were like inside

Ex Navy Helicopter

A restored Coastal Motor Boat
 You can see the engine end of a torpedo in the foreground 

This if I remember is part of a Mitsubishi Zero

and part of a Bristol Blenheim that is being restored at Duxford
I came out of the Hangar and had to get a photo of this PBY  or Consolidated PBY Catalina
which I remember from my last visit. After this we had a tour of the Battle of Britain hangar so here are a some of the photos from it.

We came in a side door and saw this spotlight and Anti Aircraft first

  Then this Spitfire Mk1A which was based at RAF Duxford in 1939 before the battle of Britain. While on patrol over Dunkirk it shot down a Junkers JU67 Stuka and then got shot down. The pilot crash landed near Calis and was captured. The Spitfire gradually sunk in the sand and recovered in 1986 being returned to the UK in 2007 and restored by the  Recanati-Kaplin Family in memory of Simon Jeremy Marsh. The spitfire was gifted to Duxford

 Left a German Messerschmitt BF 109 that had been shot down and crashed in the fields of Kent

This truck is what was used to launch the Barrage Balloons 

Above and Anti Aircraft Gun 

Hawker Hurricane with Captain Winko 

I think he was a joke in the war 

Another view of the crashed 109
This one ended up being sent around on display going to the us and eventaly ending up in a scrap yard in Canada where it was decovered and bought for restoration. it is now on perminat display in Duxford

A V1 flying bomb on its launch ramp. the rest of the ramp is on display outside somwhere

Not sure why this World War 0ne plane is in the Battle of Britain Hangar but I'll find out next time

This was a bit of a passion for me searching out remaining pillboxes. The one on the left is a Pop up one from an airfield the right is an Allen Williams Turret the second is a Pickett-Hamilton fort
That was the first two hangars we visited. We went in another two after this but  I will bring them in the next instalment with Part 2
 I'll finish this part with another view of the PBY Catalina


  1. Looking forward to Part II, Bill. I've visited Duxford several times, but not since I started the ABAB project and my photos aren't good enough. It's a brilliant place - huge and so much to see. You need a whole day and it's a long way from the frozen north. Love your shots.

    1. Got admit we went there for a flight in a plane so missed out on visiting the Land Museum and the US airforce Museum but I did get to drive a tank there

  2. That classic aviation is just fabulous. Reminds me of a moment during the Battle of Britain when Göring was stomping back and forth in front of Adolph Galland's wing, berating them for not having beaten the UK yet. At one point he stuck his face in Galland's and screamed: "What will it take to win this battle?"

    "Spitfires," Galland said.

    Apparently it didn't go down well.

    Thanks for the great post!

    Rusty Ring: Reflections of an Old-Timey Hermit