RAF Benson 75th Anniversary Celebrations

On Sunday 4 May cadets from the 966 (Wallingford) Sqn assisted at RAF Benson 75th Anniversary celebrations which were held in Benson village.

Early in the morning 16 cadets assembled to carry out their first assigned task which was to deploy as crowd control when first a Merlin and then a Puma Mk2 helicopter landed on the village playing field.

Following this, the cadets commenced their primary task of the day which was the erection of 12 tents supplied by the RAF for the use of exhibiters and charity organisations.   One of these tents the cadets themselves used to demonstrate typical leadership exercises much to the enjoyment of local children.

RAF Benson had organised a number of activities, including equipment demonstrations, a football match between the station and the village, but the highlight was a fly past of a photo reconnaissance Spitfire which was originally based at RAF Benson during WWII. In addition, there was a surprise announcement that the Prime Minister had arrived to say a few words.  This turned out to be a very good Winston Churchill impersonator who gave a very patriotic rendering of one the real Churchill’s more famous wartime speeches. He was accompanied by ‘Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery’ another very good impersonator.

The event closed at 2pm with the cadets dismantling the tents and providing crowd control for the departure of the helicopters.

Throughout the day the weather exceeded expectations to the extent a number of cadets had to apply sun cream – probably the first time this year!

The cadets were warmly thanked by the event organiser, Sqn Ldr Mike Green, who expressed his appreciation on behalf of RAF Benson for the sterling work performed by 966 cadets.