Visitors to this month’s Armed Forces Day celebration at Himley Hall will be entertained with an amazing air flypast.
An original WW2 Dakota will fly over the hall and park on Sunday 30 June, thanks to the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight team, made up of regular serving RAF Aircrew. The team operates six Spitfires, two Hurricane Mk 2Cs, a Lancaster as well as a C47 Dakota and two Chipmunk aircraft and from May to September each year, these aircraft can be regularly seen in the skies over the UK celebrating and commemorating public and military events.
Photo credit Chris Cox
Dudley is fortunate enough to be receiving a fly past from an original WW2 Dakota, one of the most successful aircraft designs in history. It became one of the world's most famous military transport aircraft and saw widespread use by the Allies during World War Two and subsequently by Air Forces and civilian operators worldwide.
The plane flying over Himley, the Dakota ZA947 has been painted to represent Dakota FZ692 of No 233 Squadron, around the D-Day period in 1944. This aircraft, which was named ‘Kwicherbichen’ by her crews, was involved in Para-dropping operations on the eve of D-Day and subsequently in re-supply and casualty evacuation missions into and out of forward airfields in the combat areas.
The fly past is scheduled for 1.20pm on the day (weather permitting).
The Dudley Council event, run in association with Black Country Radio, will celebrate the work of service men and women past and present on Sunday 30 June from 11am to 5pm.
There will be entertainment for all the family including vintage fairground rides, Punch and Judy shows and craft, food and vintage stalls. A large display of historic military vehicles will return to the grounds.
There will also be paint balling provided by Dudley Army Cadet Force and an archery range, provided by Kingswinford Air Cadet squadron.
Pete’s War Time Show and Victory Gal Melissa will keep the crowds entertained in the park with classic war time era songs and stories.
Councillor David Stanley, Mayor of Dudley, said:
"Armed Forces Day allows us to reflect on the sacrifices that have been made by those who have served and those who continue to serve in the Armed Forces. The fly past will be a striking and memorable tribute to those who have fallen in the service of this country."
"Alongside the recognition of these dedicated people, Armed Forces Day is also a chance for the whole family to enjoy a range of entertainment and activities in the beautiful grounds of Himley Hall and Park.”
A highlight of the day will be the honouring 63 Military Intelligence Company with Freedom of Dudley Borough as they are officially presented with their scroll by the Mayor of Dudley.
Anyone who believes they are entitled to one of the HM Armed Forces Veterans Badges needs to apply for their medal in advance of the day and allow time for their application to be processed before it can be presented. Veterans need to have received their badge before contacting Dudley Council in order to have them presented on the day.
This year’s event will also be supported Fieldings Auctioneers and Thomas Jones Funfairs.
There is no charge for the event, although parking charges do apply.
For more information visit www.himleyhallandpark.co.uk/armedforcesday