550 Squadron Association Reunion 2016
Photographs from the Association Reunion at North Killingholme 1st-3rd July 2016.
Thanks to Kathleen Robinson, Mike Leeman and others for providing the photographs.
Many thanks to all in North Killingholme who, as ever, pulled out all the stops to make the weekend run smoothly. Thanks also to all the Association members and others who turned up, from all over the UK, as well as Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, Canada and Australia to make it a wonderful weekend for all.
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Where there is a picture available in a choice of resolutions then click on the offered link rather than the thumbnail image.
NB: Most of the pictures are not particularly large (ca. 1Mb or less), but a few are larger (2Mb up to ca. 4Mb) and if you have a slow connection they may take a little while to download.
This year is the 25th Anniversary of Association Reunions (the first having taken place in RAF Hendon, London).
Grimsby Telegraph online:
25th anniversary honours those part of the Royal Air Force 550 Squadron at North Killingholme
Reunion Weekend Welcome Pack
Friday Evening, Dinner at the Ashbourne (informal)
About 20 people were able to attend the Friday evening meal. With no seating plan for the informal dinner people were able to turn up, mingle and chat.
There were a number of displays around the room, and some aircraft wreakage brought back from Jalhay after the unveiling of the memorial there in April.
Lunch at the Amethyst Hotel
As usual there was a gathering of people at the Amethyst for a lunch and drink prior to the afternoon events.
Remembrance Service in St Denys' Church
Jack Harris gave a short talk. The Association members no longer with us were remembered.
Parade to Memorial Stone
Laying of the Wreaths At the Memorial Stone
Vic Parker, Iris Freely
Veterans At the Memorial Stone
Parade Back to St Denys' Church
Lead by the Immingham Air Training Corps Band.
Saturday Evening, Reunion Dinner, The Ashbourne Hotel
Sixty members of the Association, including members from Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Australia and Canada sat down to dinner on Saturday evening. After the Grace said by Jack Harris a fine dinner was enjoyed by all.
After the dinner Jack Harris said a few words, and proposed the toasts.
Slide sets displayed over the weekend and during the dinner are shown below (these will download and need MS Powerpoint (MSOffice) in order to be viewed):
|550 Squadron and RAF North Killingholme Association
MS Powerpoint Slide Set
NB: very large document (ca. 21 Mbytes) - will take a long time to download
John Arnold gave a short talk on his father's crew experiences with 550 Squadron illustrated with some photographs of the crew.
|550 Squadron F/O Summons Crew
MS Powerpoint Slide Set
NB: large document (ca. 4 Mbytes) - will take a long time to download
Sunday Morning, Airfield Tour
George Turner led a small convoy of four or five vehicles on a tour of the airfield at 11AM. He stopped at various places to point out items of interest, for example, where "Queenie" bogged down (in a well known photograph), where the "Phantom of the Ruhr" overshot the runway (and where in 1963 the metal "carpet" that was used by the winching crew to retrieve her, was dug up by ploughing), dispersal areas, bomb and fuel dumps, site of the control tower, etc. (although some buildings have been knocked down over the last couple of years as planned developments have commenced). Most of the large hangers remain, and are in current use by various businesses.
This was much appreciated by all attending.
A photo of the map of the airfield that George used is available: here.
|"Home of 550 Squadron" North Killingholme village sign (one of three on the approach roads to the village)|
Sunday Afternoon, Elsham Wolds
A group, including all our visitors from Belgium and Canada, travelled to see the museum at Elsham Wolds (about 20 minutes from North Killingholme).
There the group was welcomed by members of the Elsham Wolds Association and given a guided tour of the museum.
|Visitors gathered around the Memorial Stone (to 103 and 576 Squadrons which flew from Elsham Wolds)|
Many thanks to all at Elsham Wolds, especially Robin Lingard (Curator, Elsham Wold Air Museum), Alan Holmes, and Graham Brett for giving us an extremely interesting and enjoyable visit, with many new exhibits since our last visit including items such as Don Charlwood's uniform.
Afterwards the group also visited the RAF Memorial in Kirmington village.
Monday, International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC), Lincoln
A party of ca. 18 people travelled to Lincoln to visit the site of the International Bomber Command Centre in the centre of the city.
|Visitors gathered with the Memorial in background|
Wally Fitch lays a wreath
For 550 aircrew lost on operations 1943-1945
View of Lincoln city centre from the Memorial site