On the 16th of May 1944, a French Tricolour flag was raised in the centre of RAF Elvington and a grainy black and white photograph was created. It marked the day that No 346 ‘Guyenne” Squadron was officially formed here in what are now the grounds of the Museum. The following month they were joined by No 347 “Tunisie” Squadron.
From that date until the end of World War Two, the two French Squadrons flew from RAF Elvington in Halifax Mk III bombers alongside The Royal Air Force to liberate their homeland and mainland Europe.
At last weekend’s Against The Odds event, we realised that the 75th anniversary of that historic day was nearly upon us and that we had the resources in place to re-create that historic photograph.
Late Sunday afternoon, we gathered together close by the Control Tower and the NAAFI to create a modern interpretation of that historic black and white image.
Some of our WW2 re-enactors gathered with pride to form a salute and we chose French re-enactor Peter Dabby as the man who should be raising the flag of his home country.
We hope you like the photograph.
The two Squadrons continued flying from RAF Elvington until the celebrated their return to Mérignac airbase, Bordeaux, to form the basis of the post war French air force, flying the same Halifax bomber aircraft they fought in when at war.
However, that’s another story. And another photograph.