GALLERY: Biggin Hill airport remembers the Hardest Day of Battle of Britain as Spitfires and Hurricanes take to the air
PUBLISHED: 09:47 19 August 2015 | UPDATED: 10:51 19 August 2015
Second World War planes fly in formation across the south east
The sacrifice made by those who fought for our freedom in the Second World War was remembered at Biggin Hill airport yesterday with the re-enactment of the Hardest Day.
The airport marked the 75th anniversary of the most intense day of fighting in the Battle of Britain with a huge display of 24 Hurricanes and Spitfires which flew all over Kent and the south east as far as the Isle of Wight.
August 18, 1940 marked a turning point in the Battle of Britain. The German high command was preparing to invade Britain and believed heavy raids on the south east’s major airfields – including Biggin Hill – would terminally wound an already weakened RAF.
Fortunately, they had got their facts wrong. The RAF was much stronger than the Germans believed and routed the Luftwaffe – and less than a month later the invasion plans had been abandoned.
“We wanted to honour the courageous pilots, engineers, armourers, operations staff and ground crews who faced constant attack from the Nazi Luftwaffe on that day and during that period,” the airport’s head of communications, Simon Ames, explained.
The Hurricanes and Spitfires flew in various formations from 12.45pm over Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire and Kent. There was a special salute over the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-Le-Ferne.
There was also a flight line walk where people could see the aircraft and meet the pilots.
Sally O’Connor, who owns the Spitfire Café at the airport, said: “It was a fantastic day.”