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World War Two

  • "Something's afoot!"

    Former Flight Lieutenant Jack Lyon, 96, was 25 when he entered Stalag Luft III's north compound. He became involved in the escape after being moved from the east to the north compound but, he says, escape information was strictly on a 'need to know' basis and he had no idea how truly audacious the plan was.

  • "Big X – one of the greatest of his generation"

    The mastermind of The Great Escape was Squadron Leader Roger Bushell. Described by his Commanding Officer as ‘one of the greatest of his generation’, Bushell was born and brought up in South Africa but went to school in England, studied law at Cambridge and became a London barrister.

  • "It was every boy's ambition to join the Air Force"

    Former Flight Lieutenant Charles Clarke was 20 years old when he was shot down over enemy territory serving in Bomber Command. He was captured whilst trying to flee to safety in Switzerland and imprisoned in Stalag Luft III during the time of The Great Escape. Now 90 years old, Charles shares his recollections of life in the RAF and as a PoW in Stalag Luft III.

  • "Our aircraft had been observed liked a great torch in the sky'"

    Former Flight Lieutenant Jack Lyon was just 23 when he joined the RAF as an Aircraftman. He entered Stalag Luft III, the scene of The Great Escape, in 1942 when it opened and was later moved to the north compound, home to the tunnels 'Tom' , 'Dick' and 'Harry'.

  • A WWII veteran bestows his 'special' watch to the memory of his fallen comrades

    On 30 May 1949, John Oliver 'Jo' Lancaster DFC made aviation history by becoming the first pilot to eject from an aircraft in an emergency situation using a Martin-Baker ejection seat - since then, Martin-Baker ejection seats have saved over 7,420 aircrew lives worldwide.

  • Sad loss of Polish WWII pilot

    Sadly, World War II Polish pilot, Tony Rogers has passed away. Tony had an incredible life and flew Lancasters, Spitfires and Wellingtons during the War. In later life he became a keen supporter of the RAF Benevolent Fund.

  • Battle of Britain Sunday

    Last Sunday, 15 September, some of the few surviving veterans of the Battle of Britain gathered at Westminster Abbey for the annual service to remember the courage and sacrifice of The Few.

  • A Battle of Britain pilot remembers

    Squadron Leader Tony Iveson DFC served in the RAF during the Battle of Britain, and then went on to fly Lancasters with Bomber Command. Tony tells us more in this blog.

  • Remembering the 55,573

    Flight Sergeant Ronald Thorpe served in the RAF from 1943-1947 as a mid upper gunner on Lancaster bombers. Ronald attended the unveiling of the Bomber Command Memorial on 28 June – he tells us more in this blog.

  • Supporting veterans in their time of need

    The RAF Benevolent Fund always aims to find the most effective way to support the RAF family. Sometimes we work with partner charities such as hospices. One of our regional directors, Paul Hewson, tells us more.

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