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Special Events

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There are currently no events scheduled for the museum.  Here are some past events that have been held.

 

Presentation by John Vasco.

On Sunday 19th September 2004, the Kent Battle of Britain Museum is pleased to welcome back John Vasco. John is one of the leading experts on the Messerschmitt Bf 110 and on Erprobungsgruppe 210 (a German precision fighter bomber unit). There will be at least three presentations held by John throughout the day.

No. 3 hanger following the attack by Erprobungsgruppe 210, on Monday 12th August 1940

No. 3 hangar following the attack by Erprobungsgruppe 210, on Monday 12th August 1940

John Vasco will be showing a 16mm colour film of the examination of a 2nd Staffel, Erprobungsgruppe 210 Messerschmitt Bf 110, by the Vultee Aircraft Corporation in America. This vary rare film has only recent come to light in America and has rarely been shown to the general public, the first time being shown at the Museum on 11th August 2002. The Messerschmitt Bf 110 took part in the attack on Hawkinge on the 12th August 1940, which was the first major attack on the airfield, and was shot down in combat three days later. Items acquired at the time of the crash are also on show within the Museum.

The Messerschmitt Bf 110D Werke No. 3341 being re-assembled at the Vultee Aircraft Corporation

The Messerschmitt Bf 110D Werke No. 3341 being re-assembled at the Vultee Aircraft Corporation

John Vasco will be giving talks on the film and also on the attack on Hawkinge during the day, and will happily answer any other questions that visitors may wish to ask. John will also be available to sign several books he has written on the subject, and all the money raised by this, will go to the 'Hangar Roof Repair Fund'. A slight twist of fate, when you think that sixty-two years ago the German Units were destroying the airfields hangars and now they are indirectly helping to repair the Museum's Hangar roofs!!!!!!

The raid on Hawkinge was carried out without loss to Erprobungsgruppe 210 and the Hawkinge Operations Record Book recorded the raid as follows: 'Bombing attack by Ju 88's against the Station was carried out at 1730 hours and lasted approximately 10 minutes. One hangar, No. 3, was almost completely wrecked whilst one other, No. 5, was partially wrecked. A number of bombs of heavy calibre, including incendiary, were dropped. The aerodrome and buildings were machine-gunned during the attack. The main stores were partly damaged by fire, the clothing store almost completely. The fire was quickly brought under control by RAF personnel aided by local AFS. The Station Workshops were wrecked. Two houses in the Airmen's Married Quarters, occupied by airmen, were destroyed. Twenty-eight craters were made on the aerodrome, the longest being 76' x 72' x 28' deep and the smallest 10' x 10' x 8' deep, but the aerodrome was not rendered completely unserviceable. Repairs to the surface were immediately commenced by the RE's already attached for such work. Ground defences were surprised and no guns, except two Hispano, were fired. The altitude of the attacking aircraft was such that it was impracticable for the PACU to be brought into action. Two civilians employed by contractors of the Works Directorate were killed, and three airmen were killed. Six airmen received severe injuries and were admitted to the Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Canterbury. The Casualties occurred to personnel employed in No. 3 Hangar. Two Spitfire aircraft, under repair, were damaged, whilst one or two others were struck by splinters. Two non-operational aircraft on charge were damaged but repairable.

A close-up of Erprobungsgruppe 210 Unit Emblem, found on the port side of the Messerschmitt BF 110's cockpit. It shows the British Isles covered by a Bomb Target

A close-up of Erprobungsgruppe 210 Unit Emblem, found on the starboard side of the Messerschmitt BF 110's cockpit. It shows the British Isles covered by a Bomb Target

After the attack, seven men were left dead, within feet of where the Museum now stands. No. 3 Hangar received several direct hits and the towering Iron Belfast Hangar doors came off their top runners and crushed to death an airman and two civilian employees, Mr. Brisley and Mr. McCaister. Within the hangar Corporal McColl and three more airmen were killed. The site of this death and destruction, for many years after the war was the Hawkinge Parish Council's football pitch and is now the site of the 'De Havillands Development' by Wimpey Homes.

When the film was last shown at the Museum, in August 2002, we were honoured to have several relations of Mr. Brisley in attendance during the day.

The Messerschmitt BF 110D Werke No. 3341 at the Vultee Aircraft Corporation.  The aircraft's code S9+CK can be seen on the side.

The Messerschmitt BF 110D Werke No. 3341 at the Vultee Aircraft Corporation. The aircraft's code S9+CK can be seen on the side.

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Cinque Port Volunteers and
Home Guard visited the museum
Easter Sunday and Monday

Guarding the museum entrance

The 2nd Company, 3rd Battalion of the Rye Company "Cinque Ports Volunteers", a living history unit, displayed at the Museum on Easter Sunday and Monday, 20th and 21st April 2003. They were joined by the Chatham Home Guard unit to give visitors an idea of how the British Isles have been defended from invaders over the centuries.

Gathering around the camp fire for a cup of tea

They were encamped at the Museum on both days, showing visitors the way of life of a Napoleonic soldier nearly 200 years ago. The "Cinque Port Volunteers" were every day men, living locally, who defended the Royal Military Canal and Coast from the threat of possible invasion from Napoleon. Their chosen period is 1804, eleven years before the Battle of Waterloo.

Andy posing for the camera

The "Cinque Port Volunteers" became Kent's first Home Guard. Joining them over the weekend were the members of the 1940's Home Guard Unit, another living history unit, all dedicated in commemorating these historic periods of our nation's history.

The members of the "Cinque Port Volunteers" kindly offered to do this display as their own contribution to the 'Hangar Roof Appeal'. Their hope was that it would attract additional publicity and visitors over the weekend, and therefore raise much needed funds to pay for the ongoing repairs to the leaking roofs. Those visitors that did come to the museum were treated to displays over how the Volunteers drilled and lived. Some were given uniforms to wear and take part in the life of the camp.

Some new recruits to the Company

If you have any suggestions or ideas for future special events that could be held at the Museum, please e-mail us with details.

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