Archive for January, 2023

Save the Arthur Scarf Victoria Cross Medal!

Sunday, January 29th, 2023

Scarf VC Medal

The Royal Air Force Museum is calling on the public’s support to help keep Squadron Leader Arthur Scarf’s Victoria Cross medal in the UK.

Arthur Scarf was the recipient of the only Victoria Cross awarded to the Royal Air Force for services in the Far East during the Second World War. This incredibly rare medal, and Arthur’s Story, is a national treasure which represents an extraordinary and highly poignant story of great personal courage, and the RAF Museum is determined for it to remain within the UK.

The Museum is a registered charity and has just a few months to raise £660,000 to match the auction bid placed by an overseas buyer. If successful in the mission to acquire this one-of-a-kind medal, the VC will be preserved in the RAF Museum’s national collection on public display in London, for future generations to see.

The Museum is hoping to raise £250,000 of the required funds through public donations. Money raised will be added to a contribution being made from the Museum’s own funds, and a potential grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund. Donate to #SaveTheScarfVC on the Museum’s dedicated Save the Scarf VC GoFundMe page.

RAF Museum Historian and Head of Collections, Dr Harry Raffal said:
‘Not only does Sqn Ldr Scarf’s Victoria Cross represent his outstanding devotion to duty and supreme act of bravery, it is also a powerful reminder of the sacrifices made by all the British and Commonwealth service personnel fighting in the Far East, and the role of the RAF within this context. This unique medal is part of our nation’s heritage, and a significant element to a decisive moment in British history. There is an imminent risk of it leaving the UK, but we’re hopeful that with public support we can prevent this from happening, and for the medal to remain on our shores. If we’re successful, the medal will be displayed at the Museum, in the heart of our collection, helping us to share the stories of all those RAF personnel who fought, lived and died in the conflict.’

The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest decoration for valour in the British armed forces, awarded for an act of extreme bravery in the face of the enemy. Such is the medals legendary status, recipients are often revered as heroes. Only 22 Victoria Crosses were awarded to RAF personnel during the Second World War, and just one, for their service in the Far East – the VC that was awarded to Arthur Scarf.

Scarf joined the RAF in 1936 aged 23, and three years later was sent to Singapore with No. 62 Squadron to join the forces in the Far East. On the 9 December 1941, he led a formation of Bristol Blenheim aircraft in a daylight attack on Japanese forces occupying airfields in Burma, what is today Thailand. As Scarf became airborne, a formation of Japanese bombers swept over the airfield destroying every British aircraft on the ground.

Realising that none of his squadron’s aircraft had survived the Japanese bombing, Scarf was determined to complete his squadron’s allotted task. Flying low for some 30 miles into enemy occupied territory, Scarf skilfully evaded several attacks by Japanese fighters, and released the bombs whilst his crew manned the machine guns. With the task complete and now heading home, more Japanese fighters arrived attacking at close range. Greatly outnumbered, hopelessly outgunned and in aircraft slower than the enemies, Scarf flew at tree top height, desperately seeking whatever protection he could find. Despite evading the worst of the Japanese attacks, machine gun fire riddled the Blenheim. Scarf was mortally wounded but continued to fly the aircraft while being held upright by his crew mates and managed to make a controlled crash landing at a nearby British controlled airfield without injury to his crew, but Scarf died from his wounds shortly afterwards.

The Victoria Cross was awarded posthumously in 1946 and was presented to his widow, Elizabeth, by King George VI at Buckingham Palace.

Arthur’s heroic story can inspire future generations for many years to come. To support the RAF Museum’s mission to raise the money needed to save Scarf’s VC medal from leaving the UK, visit the Save the Scarf VC GoFundMe page.

RAF Museum Midlands 2023 Events Diary

Wednesday, January 25th, 2023

Model Mania at RAF Museum Midlands

Forthcoming events taking place at the Royal Air Force Museum Midlands in 2023:

RAF Museum Midlands Events diary 2023

This year, visitors to the RAF Museum Midlands can expect to see some brand-new additions to the events calendar including a fun packed STEM week during February half term, an out of this world Jet and Space Week in October, and the chance to enrol in Elf Cadet Training next Christmas.

The busy schedule caters to the Museum’s wide and diverse audience, offering something new for repeat visitors, and for those visiting the Museum for the first time in 2023.

RAF Museum Midlands Public Events Manager, Amy Bertaut said:
‘We’ve refreshed our public events programme this year to ensure we’re offering fun and affordable family activities throughout the school holidays. Each half term has a unique theme, ensuring there is something for everyone. Pilot Training at Easter will see families take part in a series of challenges, and in May we’ll be turning back the clock and exploring life in the 1940s. In October we’ll be exploring space with a huge mobile planetarium and blasting rockets in our STEM zone. We also have some exciting plans for the entire summer holidays which we will be announcing very soon.’

Some of the big outdoor events will be returning this year, including the Spitfire 10K in August where participants will race across the airfield and down the runway. Step into the Danger Zone with a series of action-packed films for all the family when the popular Outdoor Cinema event returns in September. The Cosford Food Festival and Large Model Air Show will be taking a break from the schedule this year, instead, the Museum has big plans for a six week long event during the summer holidays.

Event organisers are confident the exciting events programme, combined with exploring the Museum’s vast collection of aircraft, and the interactive experiences in Flight Zone will make a visit to the Museum one to remember!

For further information on any of the events taking place at the RAF Museum Midlands throughout 2023, visit Admission charges apply for some events and activities, tickets are available online. Events may be subject to change and additional events may be added during the year.

The Museum is open daily from 10.00am and admission is free.

Sywell Aviation Museum Events 2023

Wednesday, January 11th, 2023

Sywell Aviation Museum

15th January 2023 – The Rich Tapestry of Life (Winter Talk)

A talk by David McIntyre.

David always wanted to be a pilot; his father was an RAF instructor at Sywell during 1942/43 on Tiger Moths, and later went on to fly Lancasters with 106 Sqn at the end of WW2. During this time, David’s father met a Battle of Britain Spitfire pilot who in later years became David’s uncle. David flew Canberra PR7.s on Cold War intelligence gathering, then Vulcan (nuclear) bombers. He became an instructor himself, on Jet Provosts at RAF Brawdy; including an emergency ejection!

19th February 2023 – A Tale of Two Lancs (Winter Talk)

Mike Chatterton is a former RAF Shackleton and Nimrod pilot. He was posted to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight in 1989 and became their Lancaster pilot, skills which he transferred to East Kirkby when he began taxiing their own Lancaster ‘Just Jane’. He retired from the RAF in 2013 after nearly 40 years. He is very proud that his father was also a Lancaster pilot, and they often provided a ‘double act’ at Coningsby and East Kirkby!

19th March 2023 – Operation Exodus & The Fate of Lancaster PD339 (Winter Talk)

A talk by Roger Kirkham & Bill Lockerbie. On 26th April 1945 Lancaster PD339 of 50 Squadron RAF was returning to base following a delivery of repatriated Allied POWs as part of Operation Exodus. The aircraft crashed close to Delapre Home Farm near Hardingstone. Both speakers are experienced tour guides at Delapre Abbey and have extensively researched this incident with a view to erecting a memorial to those involved on the 80th anniversary in 2025.

**Admission to each talk is £5 per person. Groups may book tickets in advance (tel: 07711 363392). All talks are held in the Cirrus Room at the Aviator Hotel

8th April 2023 – Easter Saturday Grand Opening


One for your new diaries! As ever the Museum reopens on Easter Saturday with its Grand Opening!

For you old hands you’ll know what to expect – though we can’t guarantee the weather this year!

Military vehicles, re-enactors, aircraft cockpits, trade stands and the usual volunteer-run chaos that is our 22nd Grand Opening and it’s all free! We’ve set up an Event Page so you can keep up to date with the latest news…
You never know something sexy and Rolls-Royce powered may turn up!

Military vehicles/classic vehicles must book in in advance please – visiting historic aeroplanes are also very welcome but please do let us know you’re coming so we can have cake ready! To book in please email


12th March 2023 – Model & Book Sale

Yes it’s back by popular demand! Please click on the link below for details! In the meantime we would be extremely grateful for the donation of aviation books, model kits and accessories, diecast models, aeronautica etc to sell on the day to help raise funds to keep us going! Sincere thanks to all those who have helped so far – if you can help please contact us by Facebook Messenger, email to or call 07968061708.


Newark Air Museum Events 2023

Wednesday, January 11th, 2023

Vulcan XM594

Here at Newark Air Museum, a registered charity, we’re already starting to make plans for our 2023 special events. 2023 is a significant year in the museum’s long history as it will be celebrating 50 years of being officially open to the public and we hoped that you might be able feature them in your event listing sections.

11th & 12th February 2023 – Vulcan delivery 40th Anniversary

On the weekend of 11th/12th February 2023 it will be forty (40) years since Avro Vulcan XM594 landed (actual landing date 07.02.83) on the former wartime runway at Winthorpe Showground to go on display at the museum; the year 2023 it is also the 60th anniversary of its entry into RAF service.

To mark the anniversary, the museum trustees will allow members of the museum’s Cockpit Opening Team to provide FREE cockpit access to the Vulcan on the weekend – this will be available for visitors who pay to come into the museum and who advise the museum in advance of their plan to participate.

The museum will be open from 1000 to 1600 hours, with last admissions to the site being at 1500 hours. Admission costs to the museum site will be: Adults £10.00, Over 60s £9.00 and Children £5.50.

*NOTE This event was first advertised early in December and there is now a reserve list for cockpit access to the Vulcan.

15 & 16 April 2023 – 50th Anniversary Gala & Aeroboot / Aerojumble

This two-day event is being hosted at the museum, to mark fifty years since the museum was officially opened to the public, on 14th April 1973. The original opening ceremony was led by AVM Sir Ralph Cochrane KBE, the former Officer Commanding 5 Group Bomber Command at the time of the famous Dambusters Raid; he was introduced to the gathered enthusiasts by the museum’s then President, Air Cdr David Bonham-Carter.

Since those humble beginnings, with just eight aircraft on display the museum has developed into one of the UK’s largest volunteer managed aviation collections, which now displays around one hundred aircraft and cockpit sections from across the history of aviation. Several of the current exhibits are unique to UK aviation museums and they always attract particular interest and attention.

Various displays will illustrate how the museum has developed across those fifty years, and members of the museum’s open cockpit team will be on hand to give visitors the opportunity to look inside our aircraft; (a small additional charge will be made for aircraft access).

An outdoor Aeroboot/Aerojumble event will run alongside the Anniversary Gala, with sellers from across the UK expected to attend.

24 & 25 June 2013 – Cockpit-Fest 2013 & Aeroboot / Aerojumble aviation and avionics sale; this regular two day event provides the perfect opportunity for the public to view a diverse range of visiting aircraft cockpits. {Normal admission rates apply}

RAF Bircham Newton Heritage Centre Opening Schedule for 2023

Tuesday, January 10th, 2023

RAF Bircham Newton

We will open on the following dates in 2023:

First open day – Easter Sunday April 9th

Sunday April 30th

Sunday May 28th

Sunday June 11th

Sunday June 25th

Sunday July 16th

Sunday July 30th

Sunday August 13th

Sunday August 27th

Bank Holiday Monday August 28th

Sunday September 10th

Sunday September 24th

Sunday October 15th

Sunday October 29th

Last open day – Sunday 12th of November Remembrance Sunday

As usual we will be open from 10am until 4pm. Entrance and parking will be free, and disabled access and toilets will be available.

Latest display at RAF Sculthorpe Heritage Centre

Tuesday, January 10th, 2023

RAF Sculthorpe B29 display

We have now finished installing our B-29 display…

“In July 1949, B-29 44-62191, 344th B’s, 92nd BG was en-route back to its home TDY base of RAF Sculthorpe, when no 3 engine caught fire.
The crew of 12 successfully bailed out with only a few injuries.
The aircraft crashed in to a orchard near to the town of Wisbech.

After 74 years, the wreckage of this B-29 as returned to RAF Sculthorpe.

The RAF Sculthorpe Heritage Centre has acquired the substantial wreckage from the now closed Fenland Aviation Museum who excavated the wreckage in the early 90s.

Ian Brown, Curator of the RSHC said, “We are extremely pleased to bring home what we believe is the most substantial B-29 wreckage on display in the UK.
We can now share to a wider audience the story of this rare aircraft and the bring to life the crews in our fantastic new display which has been bespoke built by our volunteers.”

“This year is an extremely important year in which we are attempting to renovate our new home which was the former Chapel building. This building has been gifted to us by the local business owner in which we at extremely grateful to.”

The first time to view our new displays which also include a TR-1 cockpit quarter window is the 5th of February, which also coincides with the RSHC’s Scale Model show.

Get moving for the Chinook Challenge

Monday, January 9th, 2023

RAF Museum Chinook

Date: Registration now open
Cost: £20 per person / £15.00 Armed Forces entry

New year, new challenge, wokka you waiting for? Sign up to the Chinook Challenge this January and get active while raising funds for charity!

Kick start your new year with the Royal Air Force Museum’s Chinook Challenge, and walk, run, or cycle your way to reach the 100km, 200km or even 400km distance! Complete the Challenge and be rewarded with a bespoke wooden medal featuring the iconic helicopter.

This virtual Challenge will run throughout 2023 and can be completed anywhere in the world in a time to suit everyone, whether that’s in a day, week, month or even a year! Turn your daily walks with the dog, cycling commute to work, and time on the treadmill in the gym, into part of your Chinook Challenge distance. Once you’ve hit your target distance, you’ll receive your medal in the post within two weeks.

Register now at Entry costs £20 per person and all proceeds will go towards supporting the RAF Museum (registered charity number 1197541) to continue sharing the story of the RAF and the thousands of service men and women who served in it. Members of the Armed Forces Community (Cadets, serving personnel, veterans, and reservists) can register for the discounted rate of £15.00.

RAF Museum Individual Giving Manager, Ella Hewitt said:
‘Support from Chinook challengers will enable the Museum to preserve remarkable aircraft, and share amazing RAF stories of courage and bravery, like those who have flown on the legendary Chinook ‘Bravo November’. This sole surviving Chinook flown by the RAF during the Falklands campaign is displayed at RAF Museum Midlands and has seen four of its pilots awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Participants of the Chinook Challenge will each receive a bespoke wooden medal for their efforts when they achieve their chosen distance. For anyone who would like to support us further by fundraising, you’ll receive a limited-edition Chinook Challenge fundraising t-shirt when you raise £50, and if you raise £100 and you’ll receive a one-of-a-kind water bottle as well.’

Join the RAF Museum Virtual Running Group on Facebook where you can share your progress and meet other Challengers. If you’re posting updates on your social media, don’t forget to tag @rafmuseum or #ChinookChallenge.

For more information and to register for the Chinook Challenge visit Entry costs £20 per person (£15.00 Armed Forces entry), additional booking and postage charges apply for overseas participants. The Challenge is open to participants of all ages, but we recommend under 16’s are accompanied by an adult.

Army Flying Museum Events 2023

Thursday, January 5th, 2023

Army Flying Museum

30th January – Chinook Crew ‘Chick’ Lecture – Join Liz McConaghy at 7pm on Monday 30th January, to hear her insightful and personal perspective on war. Her career saw her amass 2 deployments to Iraq and 10 deployments to Helmand Afghanistan in support of Operation HERRICK.

4th – 5th February – The Brick Event – Flying machines made out of lego.

11th February – Living History Saturday – Ham & Jam (a Living History Group depicting various units of the British 6th Airborne Division in World War Two) will be visiting the Museum. Come along and learn about the troops of World War Two.

13th – 17th February – Operation Codecracker – activities with a focus on secret agents, code breaking and great escapes.

18th February – Trainmaster – We are delighted to be hosting Trainmaster in the Museum for a special Half Term event when they will be filling our conference room with a giant hands-on train track, electric trains, and lots of train themed fun.

20th February – D-Day, Arnhem & The Rhine – Join Michael Ashby and Jonathan Walker, either in the Museum or online, at 7pm on Monday 20th February 2023, for a fascinating insight into the experiences of Michael Ashby’s father, Robert, as a Glider Pilot.

27th March – Bomb Group – Hear Mike Peters tell the story of just one ‘Bomb Group’ – the 381st, which crossed the Atlantic in May 1943. Arriving at RAF Ridgewell on the Essex-Suffolk border, its airmen quickly found themselves thrown into the hazardous and attritional air battle raging in the skies over Europe.

25th & 27th May – Model Making – Come and learn how to make and paint plastic models and start a model making hobby. Explore your passion and interest in vehicles, history, fantasy and story-telling. With guidance and resources from Models for Heroes you will take home a model to be proud of to remind you of your visit.

1st July – Wallop Wings & Wheels (not an airshow)