I am delighted to report that an enjoyable morning was experienced at the GB0-VNU Special event memorial station held on the former old airfield of RAF Skellingthorpe (Birchwood) on Saturday 15th April 2023.
On the 17th of April 1943 SGT John Duncan and his 6-crew from 50 Squadron RAF boarded Avro Lancaster ED 800 VN-C for an operation to the Skoda factory at Pilsen, Czechoslovakia.
On their way to the target the Lancaster was attacked by a BF110 and alas was shot down killing all 7 crew. The aircraft crashed into soft land that was riddled with deep mine workings and sadly the aircraft and crew were never recovered. Their names are recorded on the Runnymede Memorial, Egham, Surrey.
David G1WVO received an email from Mike Connock, Chairman of the Friends of RAF Skellingthorpe, from an Amateur Radio club near where the Avro Lancaster crashed in Belgium. The email told Mike that they were going to operate a special event station OO80VNU in the crew’s memory on the Saturday 15th April on the 80th anniversary of the crash.
As I am a member of friends of the FRAFS I acted as a coordinator with the Lincoln Short Wave Club to run a memorial special event station on the original airfield where the aircraft flew from some 80 years ago.
I approached the Lincoln City Council and the Active Nation/Birchwood Leisure Centre and got their permission to run a SES from the preserved wartime perimeter track behind the Birchwood Leisure Centre.
Steve (M5ZZZ) and Les (G1LQB) assisted me in getting the kit from Aisthorpe to Birchwood. I am happy to say the weather allowed us the set the station and antenna up very quickly.
Several club members came along to help run the station they were Pam (G4STO), Peter (M0EJL), James (G0EUN) and Andy (M0KED), James’s dog Dora K9DOR/A was also present.
We made twenty plus contacts on 40 meters including the Belgium memorial station OO80VNU with an excellent signal report both ways.
Andy, M0KED and Dora K9DOR/A