Memorial flight to join the Red Arrows

Spitfire TE311 - 1 (pic: Darren Harbar)

Joining the Red Arrows at Isle of Wight Armed Forces Day, on June 30, will be the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

There will be two aircraft performing a tail-chase display routine, either two Spitfires or a Spitfire and a Hurricane. This element of the event will be sponsored by Fishbourne Parish Council. As well as those in the community of Fishbourne, with armed forces connections, in the ward sits a war memorial which commemorates a number of RAF personnel who died in battle.

Armed forces champion, Cllr Ian Dore, explained: “One such individual is Sgt Edmund Eric Shepperd, who joined the RAF in 1935. During the Battle of Britain, as a Sergeant Pilot with 152 Sqn, he was credited with the destruction of various German aircraft including a ME109, three Junkers and a Stuka. Sadly, in October of 1940, he was killed instantly when his Spitfire crashed as he was returning to his base at RAF Warmwell, in Dorset. He was buried in the same cemetery as his father, who died during the WWI.

“War should never be glorified or celebrated, but remembered and commemorated. Along with many others, we are forever in Sgt Shepperd’s debt. As we look to the skies to catch sight of the display, let us not lose sight of that debt. As they tip their wingtips, let us tip our hats to those that never returned.”