Old Comrades Unveil Tribute To Old Friends

On Wednesday 13th May members of the ‘601 Squadron Old Comrades Association’ will unveil a memorial plaque at the RAF Museum (formerly RAF Hendon), to recognise the long standing association between the two units.Prior to the Museum opening in 1972, the site was an active RAF station and home to amongst others, 601 (County of London) Squadron for a total of fifteen years. The sculpture celebrates the historic association of RAF Hendon and 601 Squadron as well as the bravery of its personnel and their importance to London.

601 Squadron was RAF Hendon’s longest serving squadron it also had the honour of being recognized as ‘the County of London’ Squadron. It fought in many theatres across WWII notably in North Africa and Italy. The squadron was also active in the Battle of Britain and the defence of London.

Aircraft flown by the squadron include Hawker Harts, Hurricanes and Spitfires. Nicknamed ‘the Millionaire Squadron’, its ranks include renowned pilots such as Roger Bushell (the driving force behind the Stalag Luft III ‘Great Escape’), Max Aitken, Stanislaw Skalski (Polish veteran of the Battles of France and Britain) and the legendary American, Billy Fiske whose Bentley will also be on display during the day.

The sculpture was designed by Sam Bofey and is being installed in the grounds of the Museum. 1.5 metres in height, it is represents the squadron’s crest with a bronze cast sword and wings resplendent on a plinth of stainless steel.

The unveiling ceremony will be attended by members of the squadron’s ‘Old Comrades Association’ with Air Marshal Ian Macfadyen (Head of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force) as lead speaker. The Deputy Mayor will also be speaking and representing the squadron’s long standing relationship with the city of London. Other notable attendees include Squadron Leader Iveson DFC of the Bomber Command Association and Jack Riddle, a squadron pilot during the Battle of Britain.


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