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Veterans to share war memories at IWM Duxford event




War veterans at IWM Duxford ANL-151208-092736001
War veterans at IWM Duxford ANL-151208-092736001

Visitors to IWM Duxford will be able to hear first-hand accounts of war when the museum holds its Meet the Veterans event from Sunday (16) through to Thursday (20), with the exclusion of Monday.

The veterans attending have a wide range of ages, backgrounds and experiences and cover a number of different conflicts, from the Second World War and the Cold War to global contemporary conflicts, including Northern Ireland, Iraq and the Falklands War.

They range from members of the Royal Air Force, Army and Royal Navy to National Service conscripts and civilians who experienced the Second World War Home Front as children, playing on the wartime bomb sites and enduring air raids, rationing and evacuation.

Veterans chatting about their personal memories of war and conflict include:

Sunday 16 August

Phyl and Jim Longstaff

Phyl was evacuated from her home in Middlesborough during the Second World War and can recall what

it was like to be evacuated.

Jim Longstaff was a small child during the Second World War. He remembers playing and having fun on

the bomb sites. After the war, he joined the RAF.

Les Keen

Les was evacuated during the Second World War and can tell you what it was like to be a child on the

Home Front during the 1940s. He served in the Royal Navy after the war ended.

Robert Johnson

Robert served as a signal man in the Royal Corps of Signals for his National Service from 1954-1956. He

was stationed in Egypt, Iraq and Cyprus.

Robin Buttle

Robin was a pilot in the RAF between 1963 and 1971, during the Cold War. He was a squadron pilot on

Vulcans. He became an instructor and trained other pilots in the Royal Air Force and the Fleet Air Arm. After he left the RAF, he flew commercial airliners until he retired.

Tuesday 18 August

Fred Henley

Fred was a Petty Officer in the Royal Navy during the Second World War. He served in the Atlantic and in

the Mediterranean and with Russian Convoys on motor gun boats and on submarines.

Les Keen

Les was evacuated during the Second World War and can tell you what it was like to be a child on the

Home Front during the 1940s. He served in the Royal Navy after the war ended.

Robert Johnson

Robert served as a signal man in the Royal Corps of Signals for his National Service from 1954-1956. He

was stationed in Egypt, Iraq and Cyprus.

Robin Buttle

Robin was a pilot in the RAF between 1963 and 1971, during the Cold War. He was a squadron pilot on

Vulcans. He became an instructor and trained other pilots in the Royal Air Force and the Fleet Air Arm.

After he left the RAF, he flew commercial airliners until he retired.

Ivan Potter

Ivan was a member of the British Resistance Organisation (Churchill’s Secret Army) from 1940 until 1943,

when he joined the RAF. He was a Flight Sergeant until 1947.

Bob Thomas

Bob was on National Service in the RAF from 1950 until 1952. He was awarded a National Service

commission. During that time, he trained as a pilot. In 1952, he joined the RAF on a regular commission

which lasted until 1964. He mainly flew Hastings, Lincolns and Shackletons.

Wednesday 19 August

Bob Barker BEM

Bob began his National Service in October 1950. He served in Trieste before going to fight in the Korean

War, in July 1951, with the Royal Norfolk Regiment. He was shot while on patrol in 1952 and evacuated to

a MASH unit before being sent home to recover. He was discharged in October 1952.

Bob Knights

Bob was in the Royal Navy from 1952 to 1964. He served on a variety of ships as a Leading Radio

Operator. In 1957, Bob witnessed H-bomb testing near Christmas Island in the South Pacific.

Pat Whiley

Pat served in the Royal Navy and the Anglian Regiment TA between 1956 and 1994. He served in Cyprus,

Malaya and Borneo. Fred Fitch

At the beginning of the Second World War, aged only 14 years old, Fred was a messenger boy dodging the

bombs in the London Blitz. He later joined the Royal Navy. Just after his 19th birthday, working in a

combined operation with American sailors of the 7th Fleet Pacific, Fred was part of the first wave on Sword

Beach in the Normandy Landings on D-Day.

David Armstrong

David was a Captain in the Intelligence Corps from 1966 to 1997. He was particularly involved with air

reconnaissance work in Ireland, Hong Kong and Germany.

Keith Norgan

Keith served in the RAF from 1961 until 1997. He was a Squadron Leader. He worked both in air crew as

an Air Electronics Officer and in ground crew as an Engineer and Staff Officer. He flew during the Cold

War, on Vulcans and Victors, and later worked on various aircraft including Phantoms and Tornados.

Les Keen

Les was evacuated during the Second World War and can tell you what it was like to be a child on the

Home Front during the 1940s. He served in the Royal Navy after the war ended.

Robert Johnson

Robert served as a signal man in the Royal Corps of Signals for his National Service from 1954-1956. He

was stationed in Egypt, Iraq and Cyprus.

Robin Buttle

Robin was a pilot in the RAF between 1963 and 1971, during the Cold War. He was a squadron pilot on

Vulcans. He became an instructor and trained other pilots in the Royal Air Force and the Fleet Air Arm.

After he left the RAF, he flew commercial airliners until he retired.

James O’Brien

James was an Able Seaman in the Royal Navy. During the war, he was an information broadcaster, a depth

charge releaser, a forward supply party member and a boatswain’s mate. He was stationed in Portsmouth.

Thursday 20 August

Phyl and Jim Longstaff

Phyl was evacuated from her home in Middlesborough during the Second World War and can recall what

it was like to be evacuated.

Jim Longstaff was a small child during the Second World War. He remembers playing and having fun on

the bomb sites. After the war, he joined the RAF.

Robert Johnson

Robert served as a signal man in the Royal Corps of Signals for his National Service from 1954-1956. He

was stationed in Egypt, Iraq and Cyprus. Vaughan Limmer

Vaughan was a Royal Marine who served between 1978 and 1982. He was in 41 Commando and did a

tour of duty with the United Nations in Cyprus in 1979. In 1980, he served in the border town of

Crossmaglen in Northern Ireland.

Ivan Potter

Ivan was a member of the British Resistance Organisation (Churchill’s Secret Army) from 1940 until 1943,

when he joined the RAF. He was a Flight Sergeant until 1947.

Bob Thomas

Bob was on National Service in the RAF from 1950 until 1952. He was awarded a National Service

commission. During that time, he trained as a pilot. In 1952, he joined the RAF on a regular commission

which lasted until 1964. He mainly flew Hastings, Lincolns and Shackletons.



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