This is the day when we celebrate the victory by the RAF over the Luftwaffe in 1940. Germany was trying to wear down the RAF in preparation of an invasion. Goring continually told Hitler that his air force was getting the better of the RAF and that the RAF was losing the battle and thus would not be a threat. The truth was that, although they were struggling to get pilots trained to cover the losses being suffered, the factories were making more planes than the number being shot down. When the Germans lost a plane, they also lost the pilot because he landed in “enemy” territory. When the RAF lost a pilot, generally, he was able to parachute down and rejoin the fight in a replacement plane the same day. The full story can be read HERE on the BBC web site.
Anyway, there was a fly past arranged comprising 40 Spitfires and Hurricanes, all flying off from Goodwood Racecourse airfield and dispersing around the South East of England to fly over the towns that were hit by the Luftwaffe bombers during the period. Three of the Spitfires involved flew over Colchester, on over Ipswich and landed at Bentwaters (the old USAF base near Woodbridge). I was invited on a trip to Felixstowe by my wife and mother-in-law this afternoon. I politely declined and was on our balcony at 14.55 expecting the fly over around 15.00. Suddenly I heard the sound of Rolls Royce Merlin engines (an unmistakeable sound) and three Spitfires flew over the Wet Dock down near Gasworks Quay.
I had chosen not to use my big lens as, given the restricted area of view, it is sometimes difficult to locate something at its maximum zoom so I kept to my trusty Tamron at its longest setting – the equivalent on my DSLR of 300mm). This was so that I got a good quality image and would be able to track the planes as they went over. I managed to get four images whilst still leaving me time to see the planes with my eyes rather then through a lens.
After all of that introduction, here is the best of the shots, suitably enlarged and spruced up of course.
How privileged was I to see such a gathering!