News and Events
During the course of the Season we hold various events such as Vintage Weekends, Book Launches, Presentations, Airfix Paint and Make Days.
They will include: Vintage Weekends, 100th Anniversary of the RAF Centenary event, Blenheim Day, Defiant Day, John Vasco presentation on the Messerschmitt Bf 110 and several book launches, including Andy Longs definitive tome on the Boulton Paul Defiant.
Watch this space!
On Saturday 14th April 2018, we welcomed 'Red 10' an Aston Martin Vanquish S Red Arrows car, which was carrying the RAF Centenary Baton, and had an honour guard of eight other Aston Martins.
Actually forty-five Aston Martins accompanied 'Red 10' and the RAF Centenary Baton to the Museum!
The RAF Centenary Baton is being carried in a relay which sees the specially designed baton visit 100 sites associated with the RAF in 100 days, to commemorate the RAF's 100th Birthday year. To coincide with the birthday of the RAF the relay started on 1st April 2018 from the Royal Courts of Justice and will end 100 days later on 10th July (the seventy-eight anniversary of the start of the Battle of Britain) at Horse Guards Parade. It was flagged off by Chief of Air Staff Sir Stephen Hillier and Wing Commander Paul Farnes, a former Battle of Britain veteran who flew with No.501 Squadron and who often flew from RAF Hawkinge.
We are very pleased and honoured that the RAF have chosen to recognise the Museum and the proud history of RAF Hawkinge by including us within the 100 sites.
Just after 12.00 noon, lots of visitors and museum supporters, our volunteers, representatives of the Royal British Legion, RAF re-enactors were at Museum to welcome 'Red 10', driven by Lt/Col Humphrey Bradley, the RAF relay team, led by SAC Luke Moore, RAF Regional Organiser, and the forty-five accompanying Aston Martins.
When they arrived we recreated a Red Arrows Formation with nine Aston Martins (in part red, white and blue) led by 'Red 10' and the RAF Centenary Baton, re-enactors and guests, in front of the three Gate Guardian Hurricanes.
After a visit around the Museum they departed, half an hour later than planned, for their next stop at the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne.
And that is how we celebrated the 100th Birthday of the Royal Air Force.
The Trustees and Volunteers of the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust are Very Pleased and Honoured to announce that Yvonne Malan, who is a descendent of the one and only Sailor Malan, is running three races in South Africa this year raising much need funds for the Museum!
The first race, The Peninsula Marathon will be this coming weekend on 18th February 2018. The race finishes in Simon Town where Sailor Malan was a cadet on board SATS General Botha and the source of the 'Sailor' nickname (his family members called him John).
In May Yvonne will be running the Wellington Half Marathon, where Sailor was born.
In September Yvonne will be running the Cape Town Marathon, the city where Sailor led the Torch Commando meetings.
Yvonne said :
Sailor was erased from from South African history after his death, so I hope to raise awareness in South Africa about his life and legacy. Even if I weren't related to Sailor, I'd still feel strongly about promoting the legacy of 'The Few.' As I mention in the MyDonate Page, their courage made the future possible. Regardless of where you where born or where you come from. If The Few had failed, the global consequences would have been horrific. We owe them so much.
If you would like to support Yvonne over these three races and thus support the work of the volunteers at the Kent Battle of Britain Museum Trust please click on the MyDonate button below.
Not only will we receive 100% of your donation but MyDonate will add Gift Aid to qualifying donations giving us an extra 25% at no extra cost to you
Presentation by John Vasco.
On Saturday 11th August 2018, 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.
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 very rare film came to light less than twenty years ago 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.
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 expansion and improvement of the Museum.
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.
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 has now been redeveloped with housing.