Battlefield History Tours

Battlefield History Tours
Incorporating History and Heritage tours

Bomber Command and RAAF in the UK 1939 - 1945


Join this heritage tour to the sites in the UK where our RAAF Squadrons served as they flew those dangerous missions over Europe..

Bomber Command Squadrons Fighter Command Squadrons Coastal Command Squadrons
455 463
458 464*
460 466
462 467
452 457
453 464*

*464 changed role in July 1943

Please note: This itinerary has been prepared on a geographical basis to cover areas in the UK where the Australian Squadrons were based and from where they set off on their various missions. There were also many RAAF men and women attached to RAF Squadrons and establishments in various other locations in the UK. It is hoped that by having a programme as broad as appears below, there is the flexibility to visit specific sites that are of special interest to those on tour.

Therefore, following information provided by those on tour, prior to us leaving Australia, the actual sites that are currently listed may be replaced by sites as requested by those on tour or even added to those sites already detailed. Battlefield History Tours endeavors to comply with all special location requests and from past experience, visits to these sites are of significant interest to all members of our touring parties and tend to bring that personal touch to all on tour.

If you had received previous itineraries you will notice that there are some changes that we believe will improve the tour experience.

Further significant contacts in the UK during the 2011, 12, 13,14, 15,16,17,18 & 19 tours, including the opportunity to actually see the Lancaster up close and access to an operational airfield, have enabled the changes detailed in the new itinerary.

We continually strive to improve what we have been told are excellent tours.

Once we have received your booking, we will request from you information concerning any specific areas that may be important for you to visit. This may be an airfield from which you or members of your family had operated from or another site of equal importance.

From past experience, visits to these sites are of significant interest to all members of our touring parties and tend to bring that personal touch to all on tour.

Australia's most costly single campaign of the war was the air offensive over Europe.

Costs: TBC

Included in this price:

Airfield and Museum visitations,
Special memorial services,
air conditioned coaches,
Air Show entrance,
Meals as indicated in the itinerary B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner.

Not included in this price:

Air travel to/from Australia,
travel insurance,
laundry and alcohol,
tour extensions, and
personal expenses.

 Itinerary go to top of page

Friday 7 July 2023 - Tour guests arrive at Heathrow Airport and make their way to our hotel in the airport precinct. The remainder of the day and evening is free to relax and meet other guests. Dinner in our hotel. D

Saturday 8 July 2023 - LONDON to BEDFORD: Following a leisurely breakfast, we head out to what will be our first museum for the Tour. An excellent museum to start with is Museum RAF Hendon. This will be a fitting start to our specialised museum visitation programme and we will be able to view aircraft from 1900 up tp present times. The display of First World War machines is very extensive and has all of those old combat aircraft. After our visit and a spot of lunch we will head north to Bedford where we will be staying for the next two (2) nights. We should reach our hotel by mid afternoon which will enable us to have a look at this ancient town and a drink before dinner. B/D

Sunday 9 July 2023 - BEDFORD: Today is a very full day for us as we venture to Duxford for the Special Museums that are there on that famous airfield. Leaving Duxford we will head over to Biggleswade where we will view the Shuttleworth Collection. All aircraft on display are able to fly and do so at various air shows. Leaving Biggleswade we make our way to Tempsford a secret airfield from where the flights to Europe to drop agents and supplies to the resistance groups flew. We may, if able, visit St Peters Church where there is a small chapel dedicated to those who paid the supreme sacrifice when carrying out those missions. B/D B/D

Monday 10 July 2023 - BEDFORD to LINCOLN: Much to see as we head north to East Kirkby where we should be able to get up close to a Lancaster that has been restored and waiting permission to again take to the skies and maybe an operational airfield at RAF Syerston. Depending on local security issues we may be able to visit another site before heading to Lincoln which will be our home for the next two (2) nights, in Bomber Country! B/D

Tuesday 11 July 2023 - LINCOLN: Today we will visit RAF Conisby, Home of the Battle for Britain Memorial Flight. This is the home of the only flying Lancaster. Also there are a number of Spitfires and Hurricanes that fly as part of the Memorial Flight. We will find a nice Country Pub for lunch before visiting Scampton, the previous home of the Red Arrows. There other visits planned and we hope time allows us to visit more sites before heading home for a drink before dinner. B/D

Wednesday 12 July 2023 - LINCOLN to YORK: Heading towards York we will pass through Binbrook, home of the famous Australian Squadron, 460 Sqn. Then on to Home on Spalding Moor where there is a special memorial to 458 Sqn, and we will conduct a small service at that memorial. Arriving in Historic York we should have time to walk into the town for an initial viewing before tomorrow's free afternoon to fully explore. Two (2) night stay in this hotel. B/D

Thursday 13 July 2023 - YORK: Today we visit Elvington where there is a good museum collection on an old WW2 airfield that has been preserved as it was when the war ended. As the War ended, all just left the airfield and the Historical Society was able to move in and preserve the site. Some very special aircraft are on display. The rest of the day is reserved for special visits, maybe the National Railway Museum or free time in this historic town of York. B/D

Friday 14 July 2023 - YORK to CHELTENHAM: We leave the north and head south towards Cheltenham. On our way we will visit RAF Snaith the home of 51 Sqn. At Snaith there is an incredible memorial to those who were lost flying from this airfield. After visiting this very moving site, we will move on to Sifnal and the RAF Cosford Museum. B/D

Saturday 15 July 2023 - CHELTENHAM: Today is a very full day for us as we venture to RAF Fairford for the Royal International Air Tattoo(RIAT) for that famous air show with planes from many countries with those old planes flying including the Lancaster Bomber, Spitfires and Hurricanes and more. Following this excellent day, we will return to our hotel for a well-deserved drink before dinner in our hotel. B/D

Sunday 16 July 2023 - CHELTENHAM to SALISBURY: After breakfast at the hotel, our coach will depart for Salisbury, the last of our location bases. We will stay three (3) nights here as we cover the general area as there were quite a few airfields in the vicinity. On the way we will visit Leighterton, where our WW1 airman trained, and a few remain in the Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery there. The church in the village conducts an ANZAC Day Service each year and there is an ANZAC corner within the Church. We will also visit the Broadway, one of the jewels of the Cotswolds. B/D

Monday 17 July 2023 - SALISBURY: We will stay in the southwest today and plan to visit The RNAS Museum at Yeovilton. This museum has on view all the aircraft that have been part of the RNAS from its inception and with many exhibitions taking you through the various campaigns where the RNAS saw action. The Falklands War exhibition is particularly informative. B/D

Tuesday 18 July 2023 - SALISBURY: Today we stay in the vicinity of Salisbury and we will visit Mere/Zeals and Sutton Veny where there were airfields during the war. The tower and concrete holding area at Mere are still in place and nearby there is a Memorial to a group lost when their Dakota crashed into a wooded hill. B/D

Wednesday 19 July 2023 - SALISBURY to LONDON: After breakfast at the hotel, we will depart for London.. On the way we will visit Brooklands Museum, Middle Wallop (456 Sqn) and maybe enjoy lunch in our last country pub. A stop at The Air Force Memorial at Runnymede will allow us to pay our respects to those who were lost. Tonight, we stay in London and that will allow an evening to relax, maybe in one of London's old pubs or even attend one of the shows in the West End for the time is yours to enjoy. B/D

Thursday 20 July 2023 - LONDON: This is a special day and is an additional day on this tour as against previous tours. We will spend the day together at Bletchley Park which was the top-secret home of the World War Two Codebreakers and is now a vibrant heritage attraction. Bletchley Park was vital to the Allied victory in World War 2. The Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) devised methods to enable the Allied Forces to decipher the military codes and ciphers that secured German, Japanese and other Axis nations communications. This produced vital intelligence in support of Allied military operations on land, at sea and in the air. It is all there for us to see, what a way to finish our tour. B/D

Friday 21 July 2023 - LONDON: Today, after breakfast, your tour ends. B

Please Note: Due to matters outside our control, there may be times when we will change from our proposed itinerary. It is our intention to conduct a briefing each evening to set in place the following day's visitation programme.

Video courtesy the Imperial War Museum.

The video above shows what can be seen at the Air Shows.

Your Tour Leader Colonel Graham Fleeton RFD

Colonel Graham FleetonColonel Graham Fleeton RFD served 44 years with the Australian Army Reserve, and had a parallel career with the Sydney County Council then as a consultant. He has a degree in history, chairs the Army Museum of New South Wales Foundation and has hosted battlefield tours since 1999. Graham's military knowledge and familiarity with the sites you will visit is unsurpassed.


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