Seventy years ago this week, The Battle of Britain reached it’s height. On 15th September 1940, in one last attempt to break the resistance of the RAF in the fight against the might of the German Luftwaffe (Air Force), massive formations of German bombers launched a huge aerial attack against targets in London.
They found the valiant Spitfires and Hurricanes waiting for them in numbers, and Hitler’s plans for invasion were scrapped.
Key to the victory was the famous planning room, where women from the WAAF (Women’s Auxiliary Air Force) pushed counters around a board to show the positions of enemy formations coming in, based on information from the radar stations on the coast and reports from the Observer Corps. Watching the board from above were the commanders of the RAF, Air Chief Marshall Dowding and commander 11 group, Keith Park – Plus, on 15th September, Churchill himself, as immortalised in the film ‘Battle of Britain’. Strategies were hatched, squadrons guided to target, and the campaign won from this room, housed at RAF Uxbridge in the centre of the borough.
On the 15th, I will be lighting a candle and raising a glass to all those who worked and protected our liberty at the centre at Uxbridge, and also to the valiant airmen from our local RAF base at Northolt from No 609,257,303 (Polish),43, 1 and 401 (RCAF) squadrons.
We owe them all a great debt .