A commemoration and unveiling of a new memorial to those who served during the Second World War in the RCAF’s 431 (Iroquois) Squadron is being held Oct. 28 near Selby, North Yorkshire.
In 1942 a bomber base was built near the village of Burn, from which the Iroquois Squadron few more than 300 sorties, during which 17 Wellington bombers and 85 crew members were lost.
At one time, the population on the airfield was 10 times that of the village. Now there are about 400 villagers, and the airfield is used by a gliding club.
The commemoration will feature a march past by Royal Air Force cadets and unveiling and dedication of a memorial stone on the village green, next to the memorial for the Royal Air Force 578 Squadron, which flew out of the airfield from 1944. The village pub is hosting an exhibition of photos and 431 Squadron memorabilia.
A local brewer has produced “Snowbirds’ beer” in honour of this 70th anniversary. Today’s 431 Air Demonstration Squadron is better known as The Snowbirds. Locals are excited that Lieutenant-Colonel Maryse Carmichael, the first female pilot to fly with the Snowbirds and the squadron’s first female commanding officer, plans to attend.