RAF pays tribute to Battle of Britain heroes with parade

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PERSONNEL from one of the region’s air bases paraded through the ancient streets of a Yorkshire city yesterday to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Crowds greeted members of RAF Leeming as they undertook the annual parade through Ripon to exercise the Freedom of the City and to commemorate the landmark anniversary of the key showdown with German might in the skies above Britain during the Second World War.

Personnel from RAF Leeming parade through Ripon to commemorate the heroes who thwarted Hitler's Luftwaffe 75 years ago in the Battle of Britain. Picture: Simon Hulme.

Personnel from RAF Leeming parade through Ripon to commemorate the heroes who thwarted Hitler's Luftwaffe 75 years ago in the Battle of Britain. Picture: Simon Hulme.

They were accompanied by the Band of the RAF College and the parade was followed by a service in Ripon Cathedral to pay tribute to the heroic pilots famously dubbed “The Few” by wartime leader Winston Churchill for their efforts in defeating the Luftwaffe, which had hoped to pave the way for an invasion.

Among those who attended yesterday’s parade was RAF Leeming’s Station Commander, Group Captain David Bradshaw, and the Mayor of Ripon, Coun Pauline McHardy.

The North Yorkshire air base is itself intrinsically linked to the Battle of Britain as No. 609 (West Riding) Squadron of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, which is now stationed at RAF Leeming, was a fighter squadron during the conflict.