They Were All Young Men

Celebrating the memory of the pilots and aircrew on all sides of the conflict of WW2

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  • 1. Episode One - RAF Hawkinge - Kent Battle of Britain Museum

    It is right and proper that episode one is recorded at the very heart of the Battle of Britain at a museum in the village of Hawkinge near Folkestone in Kent in the UK.This was recorded with Dave Brocklehurst Chairman and curator - and recorded especially on the 42nd anniversary of the opening of the current site at Hawkinge.Run and managed by Dave Brocklehurst MBE the museum is the world's largest museum of Battle of Britain exhibits, with planes, uniforms, uniforms, militaria and crashed and recovered engines, spars, fuselage and artifacts from over 700 recovered planes from both sides Allied and Axis forces.Lovingly and compassionately built with a dedication many museums will fail to match, Hawkinge Battle of Britain Museum is of course in the heart of the actual original RAF Hawkinge first line airfield at the heart of the Battle of Britain.If you listen and visit please say you heard this show. It is a fantastic site suitable for all the family - you will hear my son William also saying how much he enjoyed his visit.Also take time prior to the visit to visit the Commonwealth War Graves section of Hawkinge Cemetery and visit the graves of young men on both sides who gave their lives for our futures.

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  • 2. Episode Two - Flying Officer Arthur Steel of RAF Coastal Command 1942-5 (retired)

    This is a historic and very celebratory episode celebrating the life and achievements of Britain's oldest remaining member of RAF Coastal Command 254 Squadron, Flying Officer Arthur Steel who graciously has given time to speak to the podcast about his time in RAF Coastal Command where he flew in his strike squadron across the North Sea at targets and conveys between here and Norway, and his time working in the Intelligence section of the RAF.Arthur joins us on the show, now aged 106 years old from his room overlooking the sunlit sands of Weston Super Mare, a stones throw from the site once occupied by the Bristol aviation works where his Bristol Beaufighter he flew in 254 Squadron was built. A very proud, humble and more genuine man you would struggle to ever meet. I am grateful to Arthur, and his daughter Sheila and the staff of the Care Home where Arthur now lives for their assistance and love in making sure we got to make this show a possibility.This is for Sheila and her siblings and Arthur's grandchildren and also in loving memory of Flt.Lt Tony.W.Adams and the crews of all the other members of Coastal Command who gave their lives for the greater good.BackgroundOn the 20th July 1944 he and his crew member and pilot Flt Lt Anthony (Tony) Adams (service number 86654) were flying on a mission to Norway as part of a squadron active sortie when their plane, a Bristol Beaufighter TFX NE225 developed engine failure in the port engine. Tony attempted to wrestle control of the failing plane and unable to maintain altitude or elevation, the plane descended into a fast vertical dive. Hitting the North Sea and disintegrating on impact, an impact now known to have happened at 320mph.This was one of the rarest occasions in RAF operational history where a crew member in a plane hitting the water at such an incline and also velocity, survived.Arthur, awakening underwater, injured and trapped in the wreckage managed to pull himself free and make his way to the surface with very serious injuries.He was later picked up by a Grimsby based trawler whose captain was awarded the MBE and the crew mate who jumped into the sea with a rope tied round his waist to rescue Arthur given the National Humane Association award for bravery.Arthur survived, with seven months in hospital and able to rejoin but not in a flying capacity saw out WW2 first in an Intelligence role and then working to resettle and help returning airmen coming from theatres of war across the globe.Sadly Tony Adams died and his body was never recovered and he is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial along with his illustrious comrades. Arthur talks lovingly and with pride about Tony and his guilt at having survived the crash when Tony was not so fortunate. The poignancy is raw.This is Arthur's story in his own words. Aged 106. Recorded on the 28th April 2024 in Weston Super Mare, UK. The last of the few. This is a piece of history and we are proud that we can bring it to you.A longer unabridged version is also available for download on request. All content is copyright Voxiferi Broadcasting.