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Australian Bomber Command veteran Laurie Woods AM DFC LdH

Header image: Laurie Woods in his old RAAF uniform when he visited the BBMF in April 2018. (Photo: RAF Coningsby Photographic Section Crown Copyright)

We are sad to report that Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Bomber Command veteran bomb aimer Laurie Woods AM DFC LdH, a larger-than-life character, passed away on 22nd March, aged 98. A live-streamed memorial service was held for him in Brisbane, Australia, on 19th April, with Australian COVID restrictions limiting attendance to 100 people.

Chipmunk 75th anniversary – 22nd May

Header Image: DHC-1 Chipmunk prototype CF-DIO-X airborne in the hands of de Havilland company test pilot, Pat Fillingham, in 1946.

The prototype DHC-1 Chipmunk was flown for the first time on 22nd May 1946 from Downsview, Toronto, Canada, by de Havilland test pilot Pat Fillingham. The aircraft immediately attracted interest from the Royal Air Force as well as the Royal Canadian Air Force. Two Chipmunks were shipped to the UK where they were evaluated at Boscombe Down as a replacement for the de Havilland Tiger Moth biplane, then in use as the RAF’s elementary trainer, and in competition with the rival Fairey Primer (which lost out to the Chipmunk and did not enter production). The RAF eventually received 735 Chipmunks, built under licence in the UK, initially at Hatfield and then at Hawarden, and designated as the de Havilland Chipmunk T.10. In total some 1,000 Chipmunks were produced in the UK, 217 were constructed in Canada and a number of Chipmunks were also produced in Portugal.

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