2214 (Usworth) Squadron RAF Air Cadets based in Washington are soaring into a new kind of RAF blue for the RAF’s 100 year anniversary.
On Thursday the 29th of November a new Blue Plaque was unveiled at The Three Horse Shoes pub at Washington Road, Usworth, Washington.
The plaque celebrates the aviation heritage of the former RAF Usworth airfield and the part it played in the Battle of Britain on 15th August 1940.
Hawker Hurricane aircraft of 607 (County of Durham) Squadron led by Flt Lt Francis BLACKADDER DSO succeeded in defeating the largest daytime raid by the German Luftwaffe on North East England. During this time the pub was used as the RAF officers’ mess.
The squadron’s idea for the plaque was funded by Washington Area Committee and the new owners High Street Hospitality arranged for its installation. The Washington Trust were given the grant from the area committee to create a number of plaques to mark the heritage of Washington.
“After completion of the replica Moraine Saulnier WW1 aircraft, the cadets were looking for something to commemorate the RAF’s 100 years”, said Flt Lt Dave Walmsley, an officer and former cadet at Usworth squadron.
“The idea of a lasting memorial to the RAF’s aviation heritage in the region seemed appropriate, in recognition of its 100th birthday.”
The plaque also features the crests of the RAF, 607 (County of Durham) Squadron and 2214 (Usworth) Squadron, RAF Air Cadets.
The plaque was unveiled by the Mayor, Councillor Lynda Scanlan, who gave a short speech of thanks to those who had served at RAF Usworth, especially those in service during the ‘Finest Hour’, - the Battle of Britain.
Attending the event were members of todays 607 (County of Durham) squadron from RAF Leeming, staff and cadets from 2214 (Usworth) squadron. The cadets formed a banner party, together with 607sqn association members and ex cadets.
The heritage link lives on today in the name of 2214 Usworth squadron and the number, 607, of Wearmouth squadron, RAF air cadets.
2214 (Usworth) squadron meets on Tuesdays & Thursdays 7.00 - 9.30pm at their HQ opposite the Nissan car plant / Aircraft Museum (Usworth Cottages) Usworth Washington.
FB:2214 Usworth Squadron