Iconic Lancaster bomber set to fly over Hastings

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

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THE SKIES over Hastings will be filled with the sounds of the world’s most iconic bombers in June to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

The only working Lancaster bomber in the UK will be joined by a Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane for a breathtaking aerial display on Saturday, June 7.

Roger Crouch, who has teamed up with Chris Yates, from Global Special Events, to bring the display to town, said: “The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is always a special display as it commemorates a generation that gave so much.

“The display will last from 16 to 18 minutes and exact times on the day have yet to be finalised.

“We plan to create a great atmosphere on the day with entertainment for people, with things such as military vehicles on display and flag-waving.

“The BBMF always an emotional display and I am very proud to be able to bring the flight to Hastings.

“As with the Red Arrows in 2012 and the Vulcan coming last year, these events cost money so I offer my sincere thanks to the businesses that support these wonderful displays.”

Mr Crouch said there was a good chance Flight Lieutenant Antony Parkinson, MBE, who is known as ‘Parky’ and originally from Hastings, will be heading the aerial display in June.

He is operations officer for the flight and has also flown with the Red Arrows. He also flew the F16 for three years with the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

The BBMF is a Royal Air Force flight which provides an aerial display group comprising an Avro Lancaster, a Supermarine Spitfire and a Hawker Hurricane.

The aircraft are regularly seen at events commemorating the Second World War and upon British State occasions, notably Trooping the Colour, celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s 80th birthday in 2006, as well as the wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Kate Middleton in 2011 and at air displays throughout the United Kingdom and Europe.

The flight is administratively part of No. 1 Group RAF, flying out of RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.

Although usually seen flying in a formation of three, the Lancaster flanked by a fighter on each wing, the BBMF comprises a total of 12 aircraft.

The Normandy landings, codenamed Operation Neptune, were the landing operations of the Allied invasion of Normandy, in Operation Overlord, during the Second World War.

The landings started on Tuesday, June 6, 1944 (D-Day), beginning at 6.30am. The landings were conducted in two phases: an airborne assault landing of 24,000 British, US and Canadian airborne troops shortly after midnight, and an amphibious landing of Allied infantry and armoured divisions on the coast of France starting at 6.30am.

The landings took place along a 50-mile stretch of the Normandy coast divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword.