DX 17 Opening


Cont. from Page 5. They continued their hunt and flying near Bretigny spotted two Ju-88 night fighters or bombers coming into land. MacLachlan destroyed the first and shared the second with Page. The Mustangs retreated when the airfield defences retaliated with gunfire. MacLachlan and Page returned at 1,000 feet and crossed the coast south-west of Dieppe and crossed between Brighton and Newhaven


On 18 July 1943 these two brave pilots repeated the exercise, S/L Page returned but S/L McLachlan’s Mustang was probably hit by ground gunfire and downed over Dieppe, Page had noticed MacLachlan's Mustang suddenly pull up sharply from their tree-top height, by about 1,000 feet. The Mustang then headed towards a small field. MacLachlan touched down three-quarters of the way across and the Mustang ploughed into an orchard at the field's edge which ripped off the wings. Page orbited the crash site several times and considered landing to rescue him but the space was too confined. Page dived at the wreck and took gun-camera footage but could see no signs of life then headed home.


On 30th July S/L MacLachlan was awarded a second Bar to his DFC while S/L Page received his DFC. MacLachlan had been critically injured, the Germans took him prisoner and treated him in a Field Hospital at Pont-l`Eveque MacLachlan lingered for 13 days before succumbing to his wounds on 31st July 1943. He was buried at Pont-l'Évêque Communal Cemetery, he was just 24 years old. See the full story here:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_MacLachlan


The June 2013 Newsletter featured WAAF Sergeant Peggy Snashall, whom I met through Len Thorne a fellow member and who joined the AFDU as a Flt/Sgt in 1942. His item appeared in June 2011 Newsletter. Peggy was very much to the fore of the AFDU’s activities and responsible for typing up the reports of the AFDU’s findings.       Below are entries from her diary.        


May 16th. My 21st. Birthday, received 21 bumps from some of the pilots! Later S/L MacLachlan gave a wonderful display of aerobatics in the Mustang.


June 29th. S/L McLachlan and S/L A.G. Page were ‘out’ this morning, later heard they had shot down six enemy aircraft and was privileged to see the combat film.


July 18th. These two brave pilots repeated the exercise, S/L Page returned but S/L MacLachlan was shot down over Dieppe, was captured and died of his wounds. S/L MacLachlan who flew with an artificial arm lost his left arm in the battle over Malta in 1940.    R.I.P. James x                       


Our Last Weekend Together 12th/13th May 2018                               Stan Dell

It has become shorthand to refer to our weekend together as The Dinner. In fact, it is much more than that. Many of us gather in The Red Lion on the Saturday afternoon for a good old chin wag, maybe a spot of lunch or a cup of tea.........maybe something stronger, but mostly to meet up with like-minded members to meet new people and have a good old natter. Following that, most retire to their rooms for a rest before meeting in the bar at around 6.30pm for a pre-dinner drink. We usually have dinner at around 7.30pm this is not a posh affair, just a reunion of old friends. All we ask is that the men wear a jacket and tie, apart from that it is a very relaxed weekend.


On Sunday, following a relaxed buffet breakfast, you are free to visit the museum, free being the operative word, we will have your car registration number which entitles you with your named passengers to enter through the old Guardroom and park up as directed. The time is yours until we meet in Air Space at 1pm for the AGM which usually lasts for about 90 mins. Then the Museum is available to you until it closes. We do not expect your relatives and friends to attend the AGM unless they wish to.


Of course, as you are aware, this will be our last Weekend and Dinner together before we disband on the Sunday. We intend to make it even more special than it usually is with entertainment and other surprises, including the best and shortest raffle in our 23-year history.


All this information is aimed at all of you who have never got around to joining us. It really is your last opportunity. We know that some are put off because they don’t recognise anyone whom they served with, but honestly, we have no strangers, we are all ex Duxford and have a lot in common so be assured that you will very soon feel part of it all again.


The cost of the weekend is reasonable, the hotel is £56 for a single and £66 for a double occupancy including breakfast. The dinner is £29.50 per head including wine and we do cater for special diets and religious requirements. We are not restricted to members, so bring your family, friends and as some do, your carers. The evening is not really suitable for children. The hotel has ground floor rooms and a lift.


Having read all this, if you have any doubts about anything that might prevent you from joining us please contact either Kerris or Stan, we will be happy to help and advise. Kerris Denley (Secretary) 01590 645495 kadenley@btinternet.com or Stan Dell (Treasurer) 01494 863428 janstandell1@btinternet.com.


The dinner application form will be attached to the next News Letter in March.


Again, the committee wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. See you in May 2018.                                            



































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