OCTOBER 20, 2002
Royal Air Force memorial at Silverstone
The surviving members of the 17th Operational Training Unit of the Royal Air Force gather today at Silverstone to unveil a memorial to their fallen colleagues who flew from Silverstone during World War II.
Before the Royal Automobile Club leased the land in 1948 from the Air Ministry, Silverstone was a bomber training base which housed the 17th Operational Training Unit. Between 1942 and 1944 the base trained over 2500 RAF personnel for bombing missions across Germany. Those trained included pilots, navigators, wireless operators and air gunners predominantly using the Wellington bomber. In memory of those that did not return from the bombing missions, a memorial stone was laid in their honour in 1989 but the recent upgrading work at Silverstone meant that the memorial had to be moved. In future it will be located outside the circuit offices where it will be freely accessible for veterans and their families.
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