Raydon Wings

 

 

 

Raydon Wings are the operators and organizers of air shows and gatherings at the former WWII USAAF airfield in Suffolk.  The airfield was built by the Americans during 1942 and into 1943, with the first fighter group arriving in the December. The airfield remained operational until September 1945 when the last Mustangs departed.  It had been the home to the 357th, 358th and 353rd fighter groups flying both P-51 Mustangs and P-47 Thunderbolts.  But on 25th August 2007 the sight and sound of a Mustang flying over Raydon was going to be seen and heard again.

 

 

 

 

It must have been difficult for the organizers and volunteers of the last gathering which took place on Saturday 25th August 2007: the weather during the week running up to the Saturday was more characteristic of a bad November, with strong winds, driving rain and days when it barely got light all day.  It would have been hard battling with these elements while putting up the marquees and fences, and hoping that all the efforts would not be in vain.  As this was probably the worst summer on record – the Saturday was likely to be the same.  But, by late Friday afternoon, the weather settled down and we were treated to some evening sunshine: everyone was hoping this was a sign for the day to follow.

 

 

The stars & stripes fly's again over Raydon

 

 

Saturday dawned to a misty start but by early morning it cleared to reveal a perfect blue sky with hardly a cloud in sight and a light wind of no significance.  The stage was set for what promised to be a memorable day.  The military vehicles, classic cars and aircraft started to arrive and the invited guests were able to enjoy the day wandering around looking at the displays, or by just sitting in the late summer sunshine having lunch and a cool drink.  In the afternoon the crowd was treated to an air display from some of the visiting aircraft including a thrilling display by a Mustang wearing the markings of “Janie” a Mustang based at Raydon during 1944 flown at the time by Bill Price who named it after his sister.

 

 

The marquee of the Raydon Airfield Preservation Society (RAPS)

 

 

Guests looking at the displays around the RAPS marquee

 

 

The original sign that once hung over the door of the airfield pub

 

 

BSA motorcycle complete with riding gloves

 

 

The line-up of some of the military vehicles

 

 

One of the classic car lines

 

 

Members of the Raydon & District Model Aircraft Club with their aeroplanes

 

 

Some of the light aircraft that flew in

 

 

Guest taking the opportunity to admire the warbirds at close quarters

 

 

Peter Teichman's Spitfire PR XI

 

 

T6 Harvard "Fools Rush In"

 

 

Cockpit view of Stearman N4712V

 

 

Stearman N4712V resting by the wind-sock

 

 

 

Maurice Hammond in Mustang P-51 "Janie" preparing to depart with the Stearman starting to roll

 

 

Mustang P-51 "Janie" with a very lucky passenger in the back seat waiting for start-up  More

 

 

After the display, the crowd started to trickle away and the vehicles and aeroplanes headed for home.  After they had gone the sun finally set on what had been a very special and unforgettable day.

 

All of these pictures were taken on a Sony DSC-W17 Camera.

 

 

Review of the 2011 Gathering

 

 

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© 2007-2017 Michael Anderson LRPS

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