On the 1st September, a beautiful late Summer day and, coincidentally, the 60th anniversary of the World War II Airborne crossing of the Rhine, some 37 Association members gathered at the Museum of Army Flying at Middle Wallop near Salisbury for what proved to be a particularly interesting visit. The Museum celebrates over one hundred years of Army aviation with some 35 fixed and rotary winged aircraft on display including the largest collection of military gliders in Europe and Sopwith types from the Royal Flying Corps era.
Les Palmer reports that upon arrival most members took lunch in the restaurant which overlooks the flight line (Middle Wallop is an active military airfield) affording a panoramic view across the rolling countryside beyond. After lunch we were treated to a most informative and humorous presentation about the origins and history of the Army Air Corps, from simple
balloons to the present day operations with state-of-the-art helicopters, like the formidable Apache. Following his talk, Lt Col David Patterson, the Curator, escorted members through the exhibition halls, which included Horsa and Hotspur gliders as were flown by Army pilots at the Rhine crossing. In addition to the interest generated by the museum exhibits we were very fortunate to enjoy the Army Air Corps helicopter flying display mounted as a tribute to the anniversary.
Our day was made all the more enjoyable by the attendance of several of our mid-west members including among others Allan and Pam Gettings, Roger Dabbs, and Brian Harvey. It was also a great pleasure to be joined by Keith Hertzenberg who directs Boeing training operations in the United Kingdom, including Middle Wallop.