Battlefield History Tours

Battlefield History Tours
Incorporating History and Heritage tours


 
Bomber Command and RAAF in the UK 1939 - 1945

   

Join this heritage tour to the sites in the UK where our RAAF Squadrons served as they flew those dangerous missions over Europe. 29th June to 11th July 2018.

Bomber Command Squadrons Fighter Command Squadrons Coastal Command Squadrons
455 463
458 464*
460 466
462 467
452 457
453 464*
456
10
461

*464 changed role in July 1943

Please note: This itinerary has been prepared on a geographical basis to cover areas in the UK where the Australian Squadrons were based and from where they set off on their various missions. There were also many RAAF men and women attached to RAF Squadrons and establishments in various other locations in the UK. It is hoped that by having a programme as broad as appears below, there is the flexibility to visit specific sites that are of special interest to those on tour.

Therefore, following information provided by those on tour, prior to us leaving Australia, the actual sites that are currently listed may be replaced by sites as requested by those on tour or even added to those sites already detailed. Battlefield History Tours endeavors to comply with all special location requests and from past experience, visits to these sites are of significant interest to all members of our touring parties and tend to bring that personal touch to all on tour.

If you had received previous itineraries you will notice that there are some changes that we believe will improve the tour experience.

Further significant contacts in the UK during the 2011, 12, 13, 14 and 15 tours, including the opportunity to actually go gliding from one of the WW2 airfields and access to an operational airfield, have enabled the changes detailed in the new itinerary.

We continually strive to improve what we have been told are excellent tours.

Some of the areas that we are programmed to visit include: Elvington, Home-on-Spalding Moor, Aston Down, Coningsby, Coddington, Breighton, Sutton Veny, Scampton, Duxford, St Clement Danes Church and more. The tour is geographically planned that enables us to respond to specific sites and requests from those travelling with us.

Once we have received your booking, we will request from you information concerning any specific areas that may be important for you to visit. This may be an airfield from which you or members of your family had operated from or another site of equal importance.

From past experience, visits to these sites are of significant interest to all members of our touring parties and tend to bring that personal touch to all on tour.

Australiaís most costly single campaign of the war was the air offensive over Europe.

Costs: 13 days/12 nights. Based on share twin or share double $(AU)5,995 per person.
Single Supplement additional cost $(AU)1,500.

Included in this price:

Accommodation,
Airfield and Museum visitations,
Special memorial services,
air conditioned coaches,
Air Show entrance,
Meals as indicated in the itinerary B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner.

Not included in this price:

Air travel to/from Australia,
transfers,
travel insurance,
laundry and alcohol,
tour extensions, and
personal expenses.

 Itinerary go to top of page

Please note: This itinerary has been prepared on a geographical basis to cover areas in the UK where the Australian Squadrons were based and from where they set off on their various missions. There were also many RAAF men and women attached to RAF Squadrons and establishments in various other locations in the UK. It is hoped that by having a programme as broad as appears below, there is the flexibility to visit specific sites that are of special interest to those on tour.

Therefore, following information provided by those on tour, prior to us leaving Australia, the actual sites that are currently listed may be replaced by sites as requested by those on tour or even added to those sites already detailed. Battlefield History Tours endeavours to comply with all special location requests and from past experience, visits to these sites are of significant interest to all members of our touring parties and tend to bring that personal touch to all on tour.

29 June 2018 - LONDON: Tour guests arrive at Heathrow Airport and make their way to our hotel in the airport precinct. The remainder of the day and evening is free to relax and meet other guests. Dinner in our hotel. D

30 June 2018 - LONDON to SALISBURY: : After breakfast at the hotel, coaches will depart for Salisbury, the first of our location bases. We will stay three nights here as we cover the general area as there were quite a few airfields in the vicinity. On the way we will visit Brooklands Museum, Middle Wallop (456 Sqn) and maybe enjoy lunch in our first country pub. A stop at The Air Force Memorial at Runnymeade will allow us to pay our respects to those who were lost. B/D

1 July 2018 - SALISBURY: We will stay in the south west today and visit some of the locations that were most important during those hectic days of the Battle of Britain. The Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton will be visited as there are many very interesting airplanes displayed over quite a big area. Lunch may be taken at the museum or we may find a quiet country pub for a ploughmanís lunch. Prior to the Museum we will visit famous Shaftsbury for its annual Gold Hill Fair. B/D

2 July 2018 - SALISBURY: Today we stay in the vicinity of Salisbury and we will visit Mere/Zeals and Sutton Veny where there were airfields during the war. The tower and concrete holding area at Mere is still in place and nearby there is a Memorial to a group lost when their Dakota crashed. B/D

3 July 2018 - SALISBURY to WOLVERHAMPTON: On the way to Wolverhampton we will visit Leighterton, where our WW1 airman trained and a few remain in the Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery there. The church in the village conducts an ANZAC Day Service each year and there is an ANZAC corner within the Church. We will also visit the Cotswold Gliding Club at Aston Down, drive around the airfield to view the original hangars and there may be an opportunity to be taken up in a glider with an instructor. B/D

4 July 2018 - WOLVERHAMPTON to YORK: Heading towards York we will visit Shifnal and the RAF Cosford Museum before moving on to RAF Snaith. At Snaith there is an incredible memorial to those who were lost flying from this airfield. On arrival in York we have some free time to visit this special town. B/D

5 July 2018 - YORK: Today we visit Elvington where there is a good museum collection on an old WW2 airfield that has been preserved as it was when the war ended. The rest of the day is reserved for special visits, maybe the National Railway Museum or free time in this historic town of York. B/D

6 July 2018 - YORK to LINCOLN: Turning south towards Lincoln we will pass through Home on Spalding Moor where there is a special memorial to 458 Sqn and we will conduct a small service at the memorial. We then visit Binbrook, home of 460 Sqn and depending on our timings, we may be able to visit some other sites before we arrive at our hotel. A drink before dinner will be a just reward. B/D

7 July 2018 - LINCOLN to BEDFORD: Much to see as we head further south. Coningsby (home of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight), East Kirkby (Lancaster) and maybe an operational airfield at RAF Syerston. Depending on local security issues we may be able to visit another site before heading to Bedford. B/D

8 July 2018 - BEDFORD: Today is a very full day for us as we venture to Duxford for the airshow and visit that special museum. This is the day where we hope to see many of those old planes flying including the Lancaster Bomber, Spitfires and Hurricanes and more. Following this excellent day we will return to our hotel for a well deserved drink before dinner in our hotel. B/D

9 July 2018 - BEDFORD: After breakfast at the hotel, our coach will depart for Biggleswade where we will view the Shuttleworth Collection. Leaving Biggleswade we make our way to Tempsford a secret airfield from where the flights to Europe to drop agents and supplies to the resistance groups flew. We may visit St Peters Church where there is a small chapel dedicated to those who paid the supreme sacrifice when carrying out those missions. B/D

10 July 2018 - BEDFORD to LONDON: Following a leisurely breakfast, we head down towards London and call into our last excellent Museum, RAF Hendon. This will be a fitting conclusion to our specialised museum visitation programme and we will see aircraft from 1900 up to present times. The display of First World War machines is very extensive and has all of those old combat aircraft.

Tonight we stay in London and that will allow an evening to relax, maybe in one of Londonís old pubs or even attend one of the shows in the East End for the time is yours to enjoy.

11 July 2018 - LONDON: Today, after breakfast, your tour ends. B

Please Note: Due to matters outside our control, there may be times when we will change from our proposed itinerary. It is our intention to conduct a briefing each evening to set in place the following dayís visitation programme.


Video courtesy the Imperial War Museum.

The video above shows what can be seen at Duxford.


Your Tour Leader Colonel Graham Fleeton RFD

Colonel Graham FleetonColonel Graham Fleeton RFD served 44 years with the Australian Army Reserve, and had a parallel career with the Sydney County Council then as a consultant. He has a degree in history, chairs the Army Museum of New South Wales Foundation and has hosted battlefield tours since 1999. Grahamís military knowledge and familiarity with the sites you will visit is unsurpassed.

   

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