Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wing Air Cadets
Our assignment for the weekend of 15th-18th of September 2011 was to protect the vintage aircraft on static display from damage.
Although the weekend had the serious task of looking after these lovely aircraft there was plenty of time for fun too. I have never seen so many Spitfires in one place before. They were all amazing to look at and also the displays we were treated to were awesome. Early morning practice before the public arrived was a real treat as though put on especially for us.
During one of many breaks I went to the Spitfire Bar to ask if some of the cadets could view the twelve Spitfires all lined up out of general view. As the cadets arrived to see the Spitfires I recognised a lady briefing a pilot before take-off as Carolyn Grace, the only woman to fly Spitfires, who also flew the Spitfire from Eastleigh on the 75th anniversary of the first flight on the 5th March 1936.
A while later Carolyn Grace came over to all of us and spoke with us for about 20 minutes. She was very interested in what we were doing and took the trouble to sign autograghs. I told her that we had provided the Guard of Honour for her at Eastleigh. Alas our meeting with her had to come to an end but all of the cadets were thrilled to meet her, as she was them.
As a Civilian Instructor I shall, for many reasons, remember this weekend with pride in the Squadron I have joined. They are a credit to themselves and the Sqn they represent, youngsters who show respect and have great senses of humour. I am sure they all enjoyed the time they had at Goodwood
Story submitted by Clive Armour on behalf of
424 (City of Southampton) Squadron
Published to website 25 Sep 2011
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