Bomber Command veterans see aviator memorial unveiled

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A MONUMENT to honour aviators who served at Doncaster Aerodrome during its 58 years of operation was unveiled yesterday.

Veterans of the Second World War Bomber Command and members of Doncaster council joined dignitaries including the Lord Mayor Peter Davies and Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire David Moody to unveil the memorial at the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum.

Donated free of charge by stonemason S.P. Davis of Bawtry, it shows a plan of the airfield with several points of interest marked.

Starting life in 1934 as the Doncaster Municipal Airport operated by Dutch carrier KLM, the site was integral during the Second World War.

The base of 616 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force – the only transport squadron to be awarded the Victoria Cross – it was home to Spitfires flown in the Battle of Britain, Dakota transport aircraft in service on D-Day and the starting point of countless supply missions to support the Allied advance in Europe.

After the war, it was used as an RAF training centre and a private flying field until closure in 1992 to make way for the Lakeside Centre.

Today, it is home to AeroVenture, a large collection of military and commercial aircraft preserved for the public.