A SPECIAL open day was held at Tangmere Military Aviation Museum to mark the 75th anniversary of the day when the Luftwaffe attacked Tangmere during the Battle of Britain.
The event was open throughout the day on Sunday but there was an evocative narration and audio presentation given at 1pm, the precise time of the attack, which brought to life the raid on that fateful day.
The tribute included a superb Spitfire flying display over Tangmere and the pilot, Matt Jones from the Boultbee Flight Academy at Goodwood, later visited the museum to meet the hundreds of people watching the thrilling aerial spectacle.
An authentic plotting table explained how everything was controlled and monitored during the 1940 air raid on Tangmere.
Education officer Pete Pitman gave three well-attended talks on Tangmere under Attack and Rosemary Coxon involved visitors in war poetry readings.
Pete Cross from Havant’s Angel Radio provided plenty of music from the period during the warm and sunny day.
There were more than 1,000 visitors on the day and plenty of stalls, entertainment and aviation-related games for the children.
Re-enactors brought added relevance, including an Auxiliary Fire Service engine, brought by owner Barrie Lambeth, who dressed as an AFS fireman, and Alan Johns, an ARP warden.
Airframe fitter Reg Thompson, who was at Tangmere on August 16, 1940, and Joe Roddis from Selsey, who took part in the Battle of Britain while serving with No 234 Squadron, were special guests.
With his rows of medals, Joe modestly told of his involvement in the ground crew maintaining the iconic Spitfires. He met Tangmere’s president, Air Marshal Sir Dusty Miller, who was a flying instructor on the Jet Provost and later flew the Hunter, Jaguar and Tornado, becoming a weapons instructor on both the Hunter and Jaguar aircraft and commandor of No 17 Squadron, flying the Tornado.
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