The RAF Benevolent Fund's Public Relations Officer Samantha Budde joined WWII veterans and HRH Princess Anne this week for a special ceremony to unveil a statue in honour of pioneering surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe and his 'Guinea Pigs'. Samantha tells us more.
Cpl Stuart Goodhall and a team of RAF colleagues will be running the length of the River Thames from Kemble to the Thames Barrier to raise money for our work. In a guest blog, Stuart tells us more about this challenge.
Sergeant Lee Wrake joined the RAF at the age of 19. On 6 June 1944 he landed on Omaha Beach, and after saving a man who was hit in the stomach, he himself was hit in the chest by shrapnel.
Flying Officer Bunny Mason, 90, was a lone rear gunner on the Stirling Mk 4, which was specially adapted for D-Day to tow gliders over the Normandy beaches. The British Airspeed Horsa glider was used to transport paratroops and equipment, hundreds landing within just a few square kilometres once they were released.
Sergeant Lee Wrake, 94, was just 19-years-old when he joined the RAF as a mechanic. On 6 June 1944 – D-Day - he was responsible for transporting vehicles on to Omaha beach – a difficult task as many vehicles became waterlogged before they even reached shore.
Richy Hartley isn't afraid of a challenge. As an RAF chef, he cooked up to 800 lunches a day for servicemen and women in Afghanistan. But he conquered a new challenge this month to aid the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund: a sponsored trek of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Richy's adventure began on 26 April.
Flight Lieutenant Rusty Waughman was a 21-year-old pilot flying Lancasters with 101 Squadron on 4 June 1944. Their mission was to listen in on German Fighter Control's instructions and jam broadcasts to their fleet. In 1944 he safely landed a Lancaster following a mid-air collision over Belgium with another Lancaster, saving all of his crew. After the war he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Today sees the release of a new book called Living in the Slipstream: Life as an RAF Wife, a collection of stories told by wives of RAF personnel. The book includes a foreword from HRH The Duchess of Cambridge and 100% of the authors' profits will be shared between the RAF Benevolent Fund and the Royal Air Force Association. Alison Bairsto who is one of the editors of the book tells us more about it.
LAC Eric Reedman, 91, landed on Gold Beach on 16 June 1944 where his unit, Advanced HQ, 80 Wing made their way two miles inland to Tour en Besson. Although the Allied Forces were still advancing, Eric and his unit set up a convoy in the relative quiet of an orchard – until he found himself being shot at by enemy aircraft.
Omaha beach was the largest of the five beaches and heavily fortified by the Germans. The Americans suffered huge losses here as they made their advance. Twenty-three-year-old Lee Wrake was transporting trucks onto Omaha beach when he was hit in the chest by shrapnel. Prior to that he had saved a man, who had been hit in the stomach, from drowning.