The framed wings in front of the RAF BBMF’s Lancaster. (Sgt Paul Oldfield/Crown Copyright)

Guy Gibson VC’s Wings Return to the Skies

Wing Commander Guy Gibson’s wings took to the skies once more ahead of a new exhibition in Lincoln.

A Typhoon of 11(F) Squadron, based at RAF Coningsby, completed a flypast above Lincoln, passing the city’s famous cathedral, on January 24. On board were Gibson’s wings, the emblem denoting the legendary commander of 617 Squadron was a qualified pilot.

They were taken from a uniform left behind by the airman following his death in 1944. They are now on display at an exhibition in Lincoln. Bastion in the Air: A Century of Valour also features Gibson’s Victoria Cross earned for his role in Operation Chastise, the famous ‘Dams Raid’ of 1943.  The event also showcases other artefacts from RAF personnel decorated for gallantry.

The Typhoon over Lincoln Cathedral. (SAC Rose Buchanan/Crown Copyright)

Dave Harrigan, Aviation Heritage Manager at Lincolnshire County Council, added: “This is a fantastic opportunity to again highlight Lincolnshire’s vital contribution to the defence of our country through the bravery of such incredible individuals. It is very appropriate and gratifying that RAF Coningsby agreed to fly the wings as a tribute to Gibson and all of the other people that we are celebrating in this exhibition.”

It is very appropriate and gratifying that RAF Coningsby agreed to fly the wings as a tribute to Gibson

Gibson began the Second World War with 83 Squadron at RAF Scampton before commanding the Coningsby-based 106 Squadron. In early 1943, he returned to Scampton to form 617 Squadron, which became a specialist squadron. He was killed during a raid on Rheydt and Moenchen-Gladbach on the night of 19 September, 1944, when his pathfinder Mosquito crashed near Steenbergen, in the Netherlands, on the return journey. The original target was Bremen, but this had been switched due to poor conditions.

The framed wings inside the cockpit of the BBMF Lancaster. (Sgt Paul Oldfield/Crown Copyright)

Bastion in the Air: A Century of Valour opened at The Collection in Lincoln on 25 January and runs until 15 March.

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